Warner Music Group posts $1.38bn in calendar Q1 revenue, up 13.2% YoY – Music Business Worldwide

Warner Music Group generated USD $1.376 billion in the first three months of 2022.

That figure was up 13.2% year-on-year at constant currency, the firm told investors today (May 10).

Warner revealed these numbers as part of its fiscal Q2 (calendar Q1) financial results.

Those results also revealed a few other interesting figures across both WMG’s recorded music and music publishing operations.

Recorded music

WMG’s recorded music division saw its revenues hit $1.147 billion in the calendar Q1 period, up 11.4% YoY at constant currency.

Interestingly, Warner noted to investors today: “Consistent with the prior quarter, the quarter included the impact of a new deal with one of our digital partners affecting Recorded Music streaming revenue.”

Discounting this impact, said Warner, total recorded music revenue was up 14.8% YoY at constant currency.

Recorded music streaming revenue contributed $776 million, up 9.9% YoY in constant currency.

If that YoY streaming growth seems like a lower percentage than expected, it’s because it is: Warner told investors that “adjusted for the impact of the new deal with one of our digital partners”, its quarterly recorded music streaming revenue would have been up 15.0% at constant currency.

Quarterly physical music sales weighed in at $122 million, up 8.0% YoY at constant currency. Warner said this physical growth was “primarily due to an increasing demand for vinyl”.

Major sellers in the quarter included Ed Sheeran, Michael Bublé, Dua Lipa and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

[Click on the tables below to see a more in-depth figures from Warner’s fiscal Q2 / calendar Q1 results.]

Music publishing

Warner’s music publishing division – Warner Chappell Music – saw its global revenue hit $230 million in calendar Q1.

That figure, said Warner, was up 23.0% YoY at constant currency, and was “driven by growth across all revenue lines”.

Music publishing streaming revenue increased 23.2% YoY at constant currency, said Warner.

Added WMG: “Synchronization revenue increased due to higher commercial licensing activity. Performance revenue increased as bars, restaurants, concerts and live events continued to recover from COVID disruption. Mechanical revenue increased, driven by strong physical sales.”

Warner Music Group (company-wide)

As mentioned, Warner Music Group’s global revenue in calendar Q1 stood at USD $1.376 billion, up 13.2% YoY at constant currency.

Adjusting for that streaming “new deal”, said Warner, WMG-wide revenues would have been up 16.1% YoY at constant currency.

Operating income (see below) was $166 million in calendar Q1, compared to $151 million in the prior-year quarter.

OIBDA (Operating Income Before Depreciation and Amortization) was $255 million, an increase from $228 million in the prior-year quarter, and OIBDA margin increased 0.3% to 18.5% from 18.2% in the prior-year quarter.

Warner said these increases in operating income and OIBDA were “primarily due to increased revenue”.

Steve Cooper, CEO, Warner Music Group, said: “Warner Music Group’s unique combination of scale and agility gives us, our artists, and our songwriters an edge in music’s ever-expanding universe of opportunity.

“We continue to build our unparalleled artist development expertise, our differentiated approach to global expansion, and our ground-breaking commitment to innovation at the intersection of music, gaming, social and fitness.

“We’re equally excited about the amazing new releases we have lined up for the rest of the year, and the possibilities on the horizon.”

“We continue to build our unparalleled artist development expertise, our differentiated approach to global expansion, and our ground-breaking commitment to innovation at the intersection of music, gaming, social and fitness.”

Steve Cooper, Warner Music Group

Eric Levin, CFO, Warner Music Group, added: “The underlying health and resilience of our business is reflected in the diversified revenue growth that we delivered in the second quarter.

“While our core business continues to flourish, new growth vectors are constantly emerging.  We look forward to driving value for our shareholders and are well-positioned to capitalize on the robust trends taking place in our industry.”

Music Business Worldwide

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