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STREAMING SURPASSES PHYSICAL IN WMG RESULTS

Warner Music Group’s results for its fiscal Q2, announced today, are generally upbeat.

Total revenue was up 10.0%, or 13.4% on a constant-currency basis, while digital revenue showed significant growth with 21.2%, or 25%, on a constant-currency basis. And OIBDA increased to $127m versus $121m in the year-ago quarter. But net income decreased year over year, $12m compared to $19m.

Specifically, recorded-music revenue grew 10.1% (or 13.1% in constant currency), while revenue at Jon Platt's Warner/Chappell rose 8.5% (or 13.4% in constant currency).  Growth in digital and sync revenue was partially offset by a decline in mechanical revenue, but that’s par for the course these days.  

CEO Steve Cooper led the cheering section. “These impressive results were driven by outstanding music from our artists and songwriters, the expansion in our global footprint, our leadership in the industry’s digital transformation and excellent execution globally,” he trumpeted. “We are now the first major music company to report that streaming is the largest source of revenue in our recorded-music business, surpassing our revenue from physical formats.  And this new milestone comes only four quarters after our streaming revenue first topped our download revenue.”

EVP/CFO Eric Levin could barely contain himself, adding, “I am very happy with our growth trends. Strong revenue and cash flow have enabled us to pay down $75m in debt so far this year.”

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