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WMG POSTS DOUBLE DIGIT GROWTH

Warner Music Group had a good year: Recorded Music revenue  grew 10.4% (or 11.7% in constant currency) in the company’s fiscal year that ended 9/30 and Music Publishing revenue was up 9.2% (or 10.6% in constant currency).

Streaming revenue, which hit $1.34 billion, dwarfed the $350 million pulled in from downloads and other digital revenue. The total digital revenue of $1.69b is up from 2016’s $1.36b.

For the first time, digital represented more than half of Recorded Music’s revenue, hitting 56%. (Last year, it just missed at 49.9%).

Overall, WMG’s revenue reached $3.576b for the fiscal year, a 10% spike over 2016. Digital revenue reached $1.87b.

“We’ve now had five consecutive years of global revenue growth in constant currency, and the last two were up double digits,” said Steve Cooper, Warner Music Group’s CEO. “Our momentum reflects the tremendous talent and appeal of our artists and songwriters, and the strength of our worldwide operating team.  Investing to maintain our growth will remain a priority into 2018 and beyond.”

In a call with investors, Cooper said the company had invested $1.3b in A&R in the fiscal year. “We’re going to continue to take an aggressive approach to A&R,” he said. 

Domestic Recorded Music digital revenue was $893 million, or 67.2% of total domestic Recorded Music revenue, versus 63.2% in the prior year. Recorded Music’s operating income rose to $283m.

Major sellers included Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, the Hamilton Broadway cast album, Clean Bandit and Linkin Park.

Music Publishing digital revenue represented 32.7% of total Music Publishing revenue versus 26.9% in the prior year.

“Our momentum is solid and sustainable,” added Eric Levin, Warner Music Group’s Executive Vice President and CFO. “We continue to drive revenue growth, and turn it into cash, ending the year with $647 million on the balance sheet—the highest level ever in our history of being a standalone company.”

As an industry, Cooper predicted, “2017 is likely to see the strongest year-over-year growth in almost 20 years.”

 

 

 

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