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Warner Music Group

Streaming Revenue Topped $2.1bn For WMG In 2019

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NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — Warner Music Group Corp. today announced its fourth quarter and full-year results for 2019, showing solid revenue growth driven by music streaming.

For the fourth quarter of 2019, WMG reported revenue was up 8.2% and 11.7% for the full year. According to Warner, growth for the quarter came from recorded music digital and artist services and expanded rights revenue and in Music Publishing digital and synchronization revenue, but they noted that the results were partially offset by declines in recorded physical revenue and music publishing, as well as mechanical revenue.

Operating income hit $29 million, a marked improvement over the same period last year when WMG recorded operating income of $16 million. Warner cited headwinds that included higher product costs. Operating income for the full year hit $356 million, up from $217 million in the prior year.

WMG’s net income was up as well, and the label group recorded profits of $91 million compared to a net loss of $13 million in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted net income was $103 million compared to $10 million in the prior-year quarter. Warner said the increased profits were due to high operating income, and income gained from tax deferments.

For the full year of 2019, WMG notched up $258 million in net income, compared to $312 million in the prior year, which was propelled in part by a sale of Spotify stock.

Streaming music was a key driver in WMG’s success in 2019 and the company reported streaming revenue hit $2.13 billion this year, up from $1.73 billion the previous year.

Music Publishing revenue declined 1.5% in 2019, weighed by declines in continuing shift to streaming and a decline in licensing revenue related to changes in exchange rates among other factors.

“We are passionate champions for our recording artists and songwriters and work tirelessly to help them build long-term global careers,” said Steve Cooper, Warner Music Group’s CEO. “Their talent and our focus and dedication made for an excellent fiscal year, and we’re excited by the multitude of growth opportunities which lie ahead in 2020 and beyond.”

“Our revenue and OIBDA performance was strong,” added Eric Levin, Warner Music Group’s Executive Vice President and CFO. “With $619 million on our balance sheet at year-end, the cash-generating power of our business has never been clearer.”

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