Warner Music Group Revenue Flat In 2020
Warner Music Group posted their Q4 and full-year results this week showing that revenue was largely unchanged in 2020 for the world’s third-largest music group.
According to WMG’s financial statements, the company reported revenue of $4.463 billion for the full fiscal year, down slightly from $4.475 billion in 2019.
Revenue for WMG’s recorded music division was down by 1% for the year, sliding from $3.840 billion in 2019 to $3.810 billion in 2020.
WMG attributed the shortfall to declines in physical products that were not fully offset by “robust growth” in digital recorded music and music publishing. WMG also said that COVID-19 had an impact on their results and if they excluded segments most impacted by the virus, including artist services, expanded rights in recorded music and performance venue in music publishing, total revenue would have increased 3.6% in 2020.
A Digital Bright Spot
Digital revenue was the bright spot for Warner’s year-end results, up by 11% to $2.9 billion, while music publishing showed only modest gains, up by 2% to $643 million in 2020.
In 2020, WMG also pared its operating loss, reducing red ink in the metric from $356 million in 2019 to $229 million.
However, WMG’s net loss was $470 million compared to net income of $258 million in the prior year, which the company attributed to higher non-cash stock-based compensation expenses, and IPO-related costs.
“We’re proud of everything we’ve accomplished in the past year, despite the challenging conditions that the world has faced. We’re essentially flat against a record-breaking prior year and, during the quarter, we grew 11% on an as-reported basis, excluding the revenue streams most impacted by COVID,” said Steve Cooper, CEO, Warner Music Group. “We’ve had huge successes from global megastars and local hitmakers, breakout sensations and long-time legends. Our streaming growth has stayed strong, and we’ve also seen an acceleration in a whole spectrum of emerging revenue streams such as social media, gaming, and in-home fitness. In this increasingly complex environment, where music is woven into every aspect of our lives, our creative expertise and global reach are more valuable than ever.”
“Our results are underpinned by the continued momentum we are seeing in streaming and the operating leverage driven by our digital transformation and business optimization initiatives,” added Eric Levin, Executive Vice President and CFO, Warner Music Group. “As we look toward the future, we are confident in our long-term growth prospects, particularly as the areas of our business that have been most impacted by COVID return to normal.”