Warner Music Revenues Flat for Fiscal 2020, Streaming Up in Q4

Image from Warner Music Group


Warner Music Revenue Shows Minor Movement But Streams Show Increase

The music giant Warner Music Group, which went public early in the year has reported revenues were essentially flat for the fiscal 2020. Owning that the impact of COVID-19 and several of the bigger names on the label not releasing or performing music this year. 

Speaking on the report Steve Cooper, CEO of Warner Music Group said: “We’re proud of everything we’ve accomplished in the past year, despite the challenging conditions that the world has faced.” He continues, “We’re essentially flat against a record-breaking prior year and, during the quarter, we grew 11% on an as-reported basis, excluding the revenue streams most impacted by COVID.”

Although the impact on touring the current pandemic has had on the industry as a whole Warner Music Group’s revenue overall was up by 9%. 

Total revenue decreased by 0.3% year-on-year to $4.5 billion with streaming playing a key factor in driving revenue, which increased year-on-year by 11.2%. 

Recorded music revenue for 2020 was down 0.8% at $3.8 billion. Physical sales dropped significantly by 22.4% to $434 million. Recorded music digital revenue grew by 9.6% to $2.6 billion and represented a whopping 67% of total recorded music revenue. A clear increase on prior years 61.0%. 

The fourth quarter revenue was also flat, up a tiny 0.2%. Digital revenue up 15.4% year-on-year, while recorded music physical was flat. 

The top performing WMG artists were Dua Lipa, Saweetie, Lizzo, Charlie Puth, Anitta, Tones and I, Cardi B and Roddy Ricch. The companies other large artists such as Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and Coldplay didn’t release music or tour this year. 

Music publishing revenue was up 2.2% year-on-year at $657 million whilst music publishing sync revenue was flat. US revenue declined by 1.1% and international revenue increased by 0.2%. 

Some interesting figures throughout, particularity around streaming. A lot of conversation is going to open up around how streaming profits are shared in the next few years. Especially if they continue to grow in such a steady rate. 


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