Digital revenues climb 16% year-over-year
Warner Music Group saw a slight decline in overall revenue for the quarter ending Dec. 31, the last fiscal period before its recent acquisition of the Parlophone Label Group.The label group claimed total revenue of $769 million for the quarter, down 0.8% from the year-earlier quarter, a discrepancy the company pinned to the physical success of 2011’s chart-topping Michael Buble Christmas collection. However, digital revenues were up 16%, totaling $255 million and representing 33.2% of total revenue, also an increase. “We are pleased with the start we’ve had to our fiscal year,” WMG chief exec Stephen Cooper said in a statement. “We continue to make progress throughout our organization while maintaining our focus on long-term artist development.” Digital gains offset by slumps in physical revenue and nondigital arenas form a consistent pattern. Digital publishing revenue was up 27%, yet publishing overall dipped by 4%. Recorded music revenues were flat despite a 16% digital gain. Synch revenues were down 4.3% due to lower videogame revenue. Operating income was up 31% to $51 million, while net loss climbed 204% to $80 million, attributable to a loss on the extinguishment of debt in connection with a November debt refinancing. The label’s major sellers included releases by Bruno Mars, Led Zeppelin, Buble, Johnny Hallyday and a Generation Goldman tribute album. Come the next quarterly report, WMG’s finances should see major changes, with the company having spent $765 million to purchase Parlophone from Universal Music Group, bringing such artists as Radiohead, Coldplay, Kylie Minogue, Gorillaz and David Guetta into the fold.