WMG'S ROBUST Q3

Warner Music Group celebrated its recovery from the pandemic and its first year as a publicly traded company by announcing solid year-over-year financial stats.

Revenue was up 32.7% to $1.34b in the quarter that ended 6/30, driven by a 28.9% spike in digital revenue of $928m and a 155% jump in physical retail to $130m, driven by global vinyl sales.

Streaming revenue grew 32.6% in WMG's fiscal Q3, helped by emerging streaming platforms such as Facebook, TikTok and Peloton.

“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,” WMG CFO Eric Levin said.

Operating income was $162m, compared to an operating loss of $433m in the prior-year quarter. Net income was $61m, compared to a net loss of $519m in the prior-year quarter.

Music-publishing revenue was up 26.8% to $189m, of which nearly 60% came from digital. Sync revenues and mechanical revenue were also up as film and TV resumed production.

“We’re proud of everything we’ve accomplished during our first year as a publicly traded company,” said WMG CEO Steve Cooper, referencing the company’s 6/3/20 IPO. “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.”

Cooper singled out the success stories of Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, David Guetta, Bela Poarch and Gabby Barrett in a conference call with investors and analysts during which he emphasized that WMG is a "tech-enabled, digital-first company." He touted the recent acquisition of 12Tone, Warner's network of media brands such as UPROXX and its position at "the center of social media, gaming, digital fitness and music."

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