Warner Music Group’s US fiscal Q1 revenues for recorded music hit $1 billion (£768m), a first for the major over a quarter in the streaming era.
Both recorded music revenue of $1.04bn (£799m) and total revenues of $1.2bn (£922m) for the quarter ending December 31 were up 15% year-on-year on a constant currency basis. Sony Music recently reported its quarterly results.
While streaming continues to soar the major also increased physical sales by 3.6% to $231m (£177.6m). Major sellers included releases from Johnny Hallyday, Ed Sheeran, Michael Bublé, Kobukuro and The Greatest Showman soundtrack.
“I’m pleased that we are off to a great start for fiscal ‘19,” said Steve Cooper, Warner Music Group’s CEO. “We have best in class operators working with amazing music from our extraordinary artists and songwriters across a diverse set of genres, generations and geographies.”
“Our first-quarter results are evidence that our long-term strategy is paying off,” added Eric Levin, Warner Music Group’s EVP and CFO. “Our recorded music business alone exceeded $1 billion in revenue, and we also had strong OIBDA and cash flow.”
There was growth in recorded music digital, physical and artist services and expanded-rights revenue, as well as music publishing digital, performance and sync revenue. But these were partially offset by a decline in recorded music licensing revenue and music publishing mechanical revenue. Revenue grew in all regions.
Digital revenue grew 17.6% (or 19.9% in constant currency) to reach $627m (£481.9m), and represented 52.1% of total revenue, compared to 51% in the prior-year quarter.
Within the recorded music division, streaming revenue was up 24.3% at $502m (£385.9m).
Operating income was $147m (£113m) compared to $90m (£69.2m) in the prior-year quarter. OIBDA was $215m (£165.2m), up 38.7%.
Recorded music revenue included a $76m (£58.4m) increase related to the acquisition of merch company EMP.
Music publishing revenue rose $22m (£16.9m), or 15.4% (18.7% at constant currency). There was 23% growth in publishing's digital revenue of $65m (£50m) for the quarter.