Warner Music streaming revenues leap up 20% YoY in calendar Q1

Warner Music Group had a flat year in calendar 2020 – but the company’s 2021 is already off to a flyer.

Today (May 4), WMG announced its fiscal results for the three months to end of March (its fiscal Q2, but calendar Q1).

Quarterly recorded music revenues – including streaming, digital and physical sales, and ancillary income – surged above a billion dollars at $1.059bn, up 16.8% (or 12.9% in constant currency).

Within this recorded music figure was $722 million from streaming, a number which was up by 23.2% YoY (or 20.3% at constant currency) in comparison to calendar Q1 2020.

Warner said this bump in streaming revenue partly reflected “accelerated revenue growth in emerging streaming platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, and Peloton”.

Another important element of Warner’s recorded music tally, physical music sales, were up 25.5% YoY (or 19.2% in constant currency) to $118 million in the quarter.

Warner said that its biggest-selling artists for recorded music in the quarter included Dua Lipa (pictured), Michael Bublé, Ed Sheeran, Ava Max and Japanese rock band The Yellow Monkey.

WMG’s music publishing operation – Warner Chappell Music – grew its revenues to generate $192 million in calendar Q1 2021, up 15.7% YoY (or 11.6% in constant currency).

The star performer for Chappell in the quarter were its digital revenues, which climbed by $30m vs. the same period of 2020.

Overall Warner Music Group revenues – across recorded music, music publishing and more – hit $1.250 billion in the quarter, up 16.7% YoY (or 12.8% in constant currency).

Steve Cooper, CEO, Warner Music Group, said: “Following a strong first quarter, I’m happy to report that our momentum continued in [fiscal] Q2, and our business is stronger than ever. Despite the ongoing pandemic, we generated double-digit revenue growth in both Recorded Music and Music Publishing.

“Our success was driven by chart-topping new releases from our incredible artists and songwriters, as well as bold and imaginative execution from our world-class operators. We’re excited about the rest of year, as we have a fantastic slate of new music coming from established superstars and emerging talent.”

“I’m happy to report that our momentum continued in [fiscal] Q2, and our business is stronger than ever.”

Steve Cooper, Warner Music Group

Eric Levin, Executive Vice President and CFO, Warner Music Group, added: “In the second quarter, the continued strength of our core streaming business was bolstered by impressive growth in revenue from emerging streaming platforms, which drove healthy margins and free cash flow.

“We look forward to delivering long-term value as we continue to invest in culture-shifting talent, innovative technology, and dynamic new partnerships.”Music Business Worldwide