News December 21, 2018

Warner Music Group generated $4b in revenue in 2018, “We’re on a great run”

Staff Writer
Warner Music Group generated $4b in revenue in 2018, “We’re on a great run”
Image: Chelsea Lauren

(WMG) ended a strong year of growth with a report that revenue grew by 12% to over US$4 billion spearheaded by streaming and publishing.

The figure was $3.58 billion in 2017.

Net income doubled to $307 million, from $149 million.

“We’ve had another terrific year and revenue exceeded $4 billion for the first time in our 15-year history as a standalone company,” said CEO Steve Cooper.

“We continue to invest in our business for the benefit of our recording artists and songwriters and to fuel our long-term growth.”

Recorded music income rose 11.3% (or 8.5% in constant currency) to $3.36 billion.

Streaming services contributed $1.73 billion of this figure, up by $391 million on FY 2017.

Digital, which made up 60.1% of revenue, brought in $2.019 billion, while the rest of the breakdown saw physical at $630 million; artist services and expanded rights at $389 million and licensing at $322 million.

Biggest sellers of the year included Ed Sheeran, The Greatest Showman soundtrack, Cardi B and .

The music publishing division Warner/Chappell generate $653 million through 2018. That was up 15.7% or an additional $81 million for the company.

That breaks down to $212 million performance, $237 million in digital, $72 million in mechanical (11.2%), $119 million in synchronisation (18.2%) and $13 million other (1.9%).

Net losses across the group shrunk to $13 million from $38 million in 2017.

The US accounted for 46.6% of Warner Music Group’s business (or $1.954 billion) while international was $2.259 million, or 56.4% minus $8 million in intersegment eliminations.

“The fact that we ended the year with over $500 million in cash, despite significant spend on A&R, marketing, M&A and dividends, is evidence of the underlying strength of our business,” added Eric Levin, Warner Music Group’s executive vice president and CFO.

“We’re on a great run and I’m looking forward to many more years of success.”

Warner Music Group also posted a strong Q4, posting revenue up 13.3%, digital revenue up 21.4% and publishing up 14.2%.

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