Warner Music Group posted another strong quarter in the fiscal Q1 of 2020, with revenue of $1.26 billion, a 4% jump year over year, led by a 17% surge in streaming revenue. The company’s net income also climbed 40% from $86 million a year ago to $122 million in the quarter ending Dec. 31.
Led by acts like Lizzo, Coldplay, Twice and Ed Sheeran, the company’s recorded-music operation again clocked $1.08 billion in revenue, up 4%. Growth in digital and artist services and expanded-rights revenue was partially offset by a decline in physical and licensing revenue, according to the announcement. The increase in artist services and expanded-rights revenue was attributable to higher touring and advertising revenue. The decline in physical revenue reflects industry trends and timing of releases. The decline in licensing revenue reflects the impact of foreign exchange rates and timing.
Warner Chappell Publishing, under the new management team of Guy Moot and Carianne Marshall, racked up a 5% gain to land at $173 million, although operating income slipped 36% to $14 million compared to $22 million in the prior-year quarter due to revenue mix, timing of A&R investment and higher overhead, according to the company’s statement.
“Our Q1 results were very strong. We achieved the highest quarterly revenue in our sixteen-year history as a stand-alone company. We’re especially pleased with this result considering the strength of the prior-year quarter,” said Steve Cooper, Warner Music Group’s CEO. “The combination of our creative expertise, global expansion, commercial innovation and financial discipline makes us very confident about our long-term growth prospects.”
Digital income was up 12.6% to $633 million, with $589 million from streaming and $44 million from downloads and other digital (which, in line with the rest of the industry, saw a steep 33.3% drop). Operating income rose 12% to $165 million, while operating income before depreciation and amortization totaled $236 million, up 9.8% from $215 million the prior-year quarter.