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Warner Music Posts $1.48B Revenue as Publishing Growth Can’t Offset Lower Profits

todayFebruary 9, 2023

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Warner Music Group’s net revenues fell nearly 8% to $1.48 billion, despite growth in streaming revenues and its music publishing business, as the company suffered from a tough comparison to the year-ago quarter, it reported on Thursday.

WMG reported net profits declined by 34% to $124 million compared to the year ago period when the company reported $188 million in net income. This quarter, which ended Dec. 31, 2022, had one fewer week than the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2021, which resulted in outsized earnings in the year-ago period.

Executives said that beneath those headline figures, the company saw a 9% growth in music publishing revenue, 13.2% in music publishing streaming revenue and 11% increase in operating income.

“The foundations of this company are strong, and our addressable market is continuously growing,” Warner’s new CEO Robert Kyncl said in a statement. “Music’s value, power, and ubiquity are among the many reasons I decided to join WMG and lead the next phase of our evolution. As we navigate a challenging business environment, we expect to have a strong release schedule in the second half of 2023 while managing our costs throughout.”

The company’s music publishing division contained most of the quarter’s highlights, with revenues up 9.2%, or 14.2% in constant currency, driven by increases in digital and performance revenue. Digital revenue increased by 12%, or 15.5% in constant currency, and streaming revenue increased 13.2%, or 16.8% in constant currency, on growing streaming and timing of new digital deals, the company said. Digital revenue now represents 59.6% of total music publishing revenue, up from 58.1% last year. Performance revenue increased thanks to continued growth from the hospitality industry, concerts and live events, while mechanical revenue was flat. Synchronization revenue declined on lower commercial licensing activity in the U.S.

In the recorded music division, revenue fell 10.6%, or 5.6% in constant currency, on lower digital, physical and artist services and expanded rights revenue. While streaming revenue was down 6.7% in the quarter, when adjusted for the impact of the extra week in 2021, WMG said recorded music’s streaming revenue was up half a percent, impacted by al ighter release schedule and a slowdown in ad-supported revenue due to macroeconomic conditions.

  • WMG revenue fell 7.8%, or 2.7% in constant currency, compared to the year ago quarter, which had an extra week
  • Digital revenue decreased 5%, 0.9% in constant currency
  • Streaming revenue decreased 4%
  • Music publishing revenue increased 9.2%, or 14.2% in constant currency
  • Music publishing streaming revenue grew 13.2%, or 16.8% in constant currency
  • Recorded music streaming revenue decreased 6.7%, or 2.6% in constant currency, on a lighter release schedule impacted by the fewer number of weeks in the quarter
  • Net income was $124 million this quarter, down 34% from $188 million one year ago
  • Adjusted net income of $110 million was down 51% from $223 million in the year ago quarter

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todayFebruary 9, 2023

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