Warner Music Group just reported quarterly recorded music revenues of over a billion dollars for the third straight quarter.
Published today (August 3), WMG’s fiscal results for the three months to end of June (its fiscal Q3, but calendar Q2), reveal that the company’s quarterly recorded music revenues – including streaming, digital and physical sales, plus ancillary income – hit $1.152 billion, up 34% year-on-year (or 27.6% in constant currency).
In the previous quarter – the three months to end of March (WMG’s fiscal Q2, but calendar Q1) – the company generated recorded music revenues of $1.059bn, up 16.8% (or 12.9% in constant currency).
Meanwhile, in calendar Q4 2020 (WMG’s fiscal Q1), the company’s recorded music revenues were up 4.5% at constant currency YoY to $1.16bn.
Within WMG’s recorded music figure in calendar Q2 2021 was $781 million from streaming, which grew $192m, or 32.6% (27.2% in constant currency), from $589m in calendar Q2 2020.
WMG pinned this growth on the “strong performance of new and carryover releases”, as well as accelerated revenue growth from emerging streaming platforms such as Facebook, TikTok and Peloton.
Also making a significant contribution to Warner’s recorded music tally was physical revenues, which grew 154.9% (or 136.4% in constant currency) to $130m, up from $51m in the same quarter in 2020.
WMG says this growth was propelled by an increasing demand for vinyl products and increasing retail sales as businesses began to recover from disruption caused by COVID-19.
Elsewhere, WMG’s artist services and expanded-rights revenue increased on an as-reported basis by 7.3% (or 0.8% in constant currency), from $124m in calendar Q2 2020, to $133m in calendar Q2 2021.
This growth reflects an increase in direct-to-consumer merchandising revenue, partially offset by the impact of COVID disruption on concert touring and live events, according to WMG.
WMG’s major sellers across the quarter included Dua Lipa, Cardi B, Ed Sheeran, Ava Max and Masked Wolf.
WMG’s music publishing operation – Warner Chappell Music – grew its revenues 26.8% (or 21.2% in constant currency) to generate $189m in calendar Q2 2021.
Warner Chappell Music‘s revenue growth was primarily driven by an uplift in digital revenues, which increased 25.6% (or 20.2% in constant currency) to reach $113m in calendar Q2 2021.
Digital revenue represented 59.8% of total Music Publishing revenue versus 60.4% in the prior-year quarter.
Elsewhere in Warner Chappell‘s revenue tally, WMG reports that the publisher’s sync business was its second biggest earner, with revenues growing from $22m in calendar Q1 2020, to $34m in calendar Q2 2021, owed to “growth in motion picture and commercial income”, according to WMG.
Performance revenue of $27m was flat, blamed on the ongoing COVID impact on bars, restaurants, concerts and live events.
Steve Cooper, CEO, Warner Music Group, said: “We’re proud of everything we’ve accomplished during our first year as a publicly traded company.
“During a very challenging time, we’ve focused on investing in our core business and building an array of innovative growth opportunities.
“Outstanding releases from our artists and songwriters, coupled with imaginative execution by our operators, delivered excellent results in the third quarter.
“We’re looking forward to wrapping up our fiscal year with a slate of great new releases from established and emerging stars.”
“Outstanding releases from our artists and songwriters, coupled with imaginative execution by our operators, delivered excellent results in the third quarter.”
Steve Cooper, Warner Music Group
Eric Levin, CFO, Warner Music Group added: “The third quarter was highlighted by impressive streaming numbers, recovery in several areas that had been negatively impacted by COVID, and strong operating leverage that drove margin expansion.
“We continue to create value through our wide-ranging services to artists and songwriters, to drive shareholder return through our disciplined allocation of capital, and to deliver long-term growth through our digital-first approach to business.”Music Business Worldwide