NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — Warner Music Group reported their first quarter financials for 2019, revealing just how robust the recovery of the label industry in the era of music streaming has been.
According to Warner, the music company’s revenue topped $1.2bn for the first quarter, up by 15% from the company’s first quarter in 2018.
As the company noted, part of their revenue growth was attributed to the acquisition of the European merch company EMP, and a change in the way revenue was reported. Still, revenue for all regions was up in the quarter, and digital revenue grew 17.6% and represented 52.1% of WMG’s total revenue for the quarter.
Recorded Music revenue grew $137 million or 15.2% for Q1. This includes a $76 million increase related to the acquisition of EMP and was partially offset by an $18 million hit related to concert promotion divestitures. Growth in digital, physical and artist services and expanded-rights revenue was partially offset by a decline in licensing revenue.
Music Publishing revenue rose $22 million, or 15.4%, but was partially offset by a decline in the mechanicals reflecting the continuing trend of music consumers away from physical product to streaming.
WMG hit it out of the park for net income in Q1, posting a gain of $86 million versus just $5 million in the prior-year quarter.
“I’m pleased that we are off to a great start for fiscal ‘19,” said Steve Cooper, Warner Music Group’s CEO. “We have best in class operators working with amazing music from our extraordinary artists and songwriters across a diverse set of genres, generations, and geographies.”
“Our first-quarter results are evidence that our long-term strategy is paying off,” added Eric Levin, Warner Music Group’s Executive Vice President and CFO. “Our Recorded Music business alone exceeded $1 billion in revenue, and we also had strong OIBDA and cash flow.”