Warner Music has completed the set of major labels declaring their financial results for the second quarter of 2018, and it offered a similarly-positive growth story to its rivals. WMG’s revenues grew by 4.5% year-on-year to $958m, including a 16.1% rise in digital revenues to $576m. The label group reported a net profit of $321m compared to $143m in Q2 2017 – but this included a $317m gain (net of tax) that included the sale of WMG’s shares in Spotify.
In an update to that provided in WMG’s investor earnings call, the label noted that it has now sold its entire stake in Spotify for $504m, and that it will be paying $126m of those proceeds to artists in their 30 June royalty statements – including independent labels distributed by the company IF their deal terms include provision for that.
In the earnings call, WMG boss Steve Cooper hailed new competition in the music-streaming market. “While Apple and Spotify continue to grow their global subscriber numbers, Amazon and YouTube are both off to a great start with their premium services,” he said.
“This increased competition is good news for our business, and we’re happy to see other large tech companies, such as Facebook, begin to recognise the true value that music brings to their platforms… We’re hugely optimistic about the growth of subscription streaming, we know it has only just begun to fulfill its potential for global scale.”