Warner Music Group has published its numbers for the fiscal second quarter (ending 31st March 2019) and the headlines are that total revenue across all parts of the business was up 13.2% and that it saw net income of $67m compared to a net loss of $1m in the same period last year. Digital was, of course, key to this, seeing a growth of 20.8%.
Digital revenues for the period were $661m, up from $547m in a year ago. With total revenue of $1.09bn, digital accounted for 60.6% of the business. In the same period last year, digital was 56.8% of the business ($547m out of a total of $963m). Recorded music was the bulk of WMG’s income ($933m compared with $158m for music publishing) and digital accounted for the lion’s share of recorded ($597m = 63.9%) but was still under half of publishing income ($65m = 41.1%).
Warner also posted a drop in physical and licensing revenue on the recorded music side as well as a slip in mechanical, performance and synchronisation revenue on the music publishing side.
Overall, its recorded music business grew 18% (digital and physical) but its publishing operation dropped 9% in the period, something that a 14% rise in digital revenue here could not offset. Going even more granular, Warner’s streaming revenues were $537m in the period; but looking at the last two quarters combined, streaming income passed the billion-dollar mark ($1.039), up from $819m in the six months ending 31st March 2018. Income from downloads “and other digital” was $60m in the fiscal second quarter 2019, down from $76m a year earlier. On a six-month level, that was a drop from $153 to $121m. Downloading may be in sharp decline but it (along with “other digital”) still accounted for 11.1% of its earnings in the last quarter.