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WMG'S RECORD Q1

Streaming revenue topped $500m for the fourth consecutive quarter at Warner Music Group, as the company’s overall revenue rose 4.4% over Q1 in 2019 to $1.26b, setting a new record for the company.

Digital revenue represented $706m of the $1.26b total with streaming being responsible for $589m, a rise from $502m in Q1 2019. Digital revenue grew 12.6%

Net income was $122m vs. $86m in the prior-year quarter.  

“We achieved the highest quarterly revenue in our 16-year history as a standalone company,” said WMG CEO Steve Cooper.  “We’re especially pleased with this result considering the strength of the prior-year quarter. The combination of our creative expertise, global expansion, commercial innovation and financial discipline makes us very confident about our long-term growth prospects.”

Recorded-music revenue was up 4% to $1.1b; music publishing revenue was up 5% to $173m.

On a conference call with analysts, Cooper touted the global top-sellers such as Lizzo and Ed Sheeran as usual, but also gave props to strong showings by local artists, especially in Europe. He also gave shout-outs to Warner Chappell chiefs Guy Moot and Carianne Marshall for their global efforts that included signing songwriters from Colombia, Korea and elsewhere.

While they expect an appeal, the WMG was thrilled with the recent jury award of $1b in the copyright infringement case against Cox Communications. They expect trials with other four other DSPs to begin in the next 12 to 18 months.

“We are determined to preserve the value of music,” Cooper said.

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