Warner Music Group Logo

Warner Music Group reported its latest quarterly financials last night, with revenues up to $815m in the final quarter of 2013, and losses narrowing to $37m – although the revenue rise was due to the acquisition of Parlophone Records. WMG’s digital revenues rose from $255m in the final quarter of 2012 to $276m in the corresponding quarter last year. CEO Steve Cooper talked to analysts about the digital transition from downloads to streams, pointing to the fact that as Apple’s share of the smartphone market pales next to Android’s, so “85% or 87% or 90% of the smartphone population is blocked out of the Apple ecosphere… I would expect that because of the declining percentage of the smartphone universe and because of the gaining traction of streaming, that we should expect to see ongoing choppy waters relative to these à la carte downloading services”. But Cooper praised the impact of streaming, predicting that both the ad-supported and subscription elements to streaming services “should prove to have viable long-term sustainable economic models”.

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