Warner Music Group hits $1billion in Q1 as streaming surges

Warner Music Group hits $1billion in Q1 as streaming surges

Days after their Grammys success with artists including Bruno Mars, Warner Music Group is celebrating again today as its quarterly results show the major passing $1 billion in overall revenue for the first time.

Covering the period ending December 31, 2017, total revenue in fiscal Q1 increased by 14% (10.1% at constant currency) to $1.045 billion (£735 million).

For the recorded music side of the company, the streaming growth was substantial, with a year-on-year increase of 30% to $404m (£284m). Overall digital revenue for recorded music was $481m (£338.2m).

Digital represented 51% of total revenue in the quarter, compared to 48.4% in the prior-year quarter. 

“2018 is off to a great start. For three years running, we have grown revenue by double digits in the first quarter, a great testament to the sustainability of our success,” said Steve Cooper, Warner Music Group’s CEO. “Streaming is driving the industry and we continue to outperform thanks to fantastic new music and the strength of our worldwide operating team.” 

On the WMG earnings call today, Cooper noted that "the rebound continues" for the industry as a whole.

“This marks the first time in over 10 years that our quarterly revenue has exceeded a billion dollars”, added Eric Levin, Warner Music Group’s EVP and CFO. “Our cash flow is strong and we are committed to maintaining our momentum.” 

Recorded music revenue grew 13.4% (9.6% in constant currency) with the quarter’s major sellers including Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Dua Lipa, Lil Uzi Vert and Liam Gallagher.

Music publishing revenue rose 15.3% (11.7% in constant currency) with growth in all segments. Digital revenue was up 23% year-on-year.

"We're seeing the competition between digital music services intensify," said Cooper, describing that process as "good news for the wider music industry ecosystem".

Operating income was $90 million (£63.3m) compared to $94 million ($66.1m) a year earlier. OIBDA declined 1.3% to $155 million (£109m) in the prior Q1. The decline was attributed to factors including increased A&R investment and restructuring costs.


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