Today (August 8), Warner Music Group CEO Robert Kyncl has praised the company’s strength across “many different territories, labels, and revenue lines” as it unveiled its Q2 performance. Note: this is WMG's fiscal third quarter, ending June 30.
So, with the caveat that the below is all reported in constant currency, where does it leave them?
TOTAL WMG RESULTS
Warner Music Group’s total revenue increased by 9.9% year-on-year to $1.564 billion.
In terms of recorded music revenue, Warner posted growth of 8.6% y-o-y to $1.282 billion. Recorded music streaming revenue, meanwhile, was up by 7.3% to $822 million – this was cited as being due to “a stronger release schedule and growth in ad-supported revenue recovered due to moderation in a market-related slowdown.”
WMG’s digital revenue increased 9.8% y-o-y, while streaming revenue increased 10.5%.
Music publishing revenue at Warner Chappell Music increased by 16.0% y-o-y to stand at $283 million. Music publishing streaming revenue also increased by 28.1%.
Warner Music Group’s Q2 operating income was $189 million, compared to $146 million in the prior-year quarter. Its OIBDA was $275 million (an increase of 20.1%).
Of this increase, Warner said: “The increases in operating income, OIBDA and OIBDA margin were primarily due to strong operating performance, lower variable marketing spend, savings from the previously announced restructuring plan (the ‘Restructuring Plan’) and the favourable impact of exchange rates, partially offset by revenue mix, incremental overhead in technology and the $10 million impact of the mark-to-market adjustment of an earn-out liability in the prior-year quarter related to an acquisition.”
As of June 30, 2023, WMG reported a cash balance of $600 million, a total debt of $3.988 billion and net debt – which is defined as total debt, net of deferred financing costs, premiums and discounts, minus cash and equivalents – of $3.388 billion.
We expect our momentum to build, led by our extraordinary music and inventive campaigns, as well as improving macro and industry trends
As previously mentioned, in terms of recorded music, Warner posted revenue growth of 8.6% y-o-y to $1.282 billion, with its digital revenue up 6.8% and streaming revenue up 7.3% to to $822 million.
Artist services and expanded-rights revenue increased 14.1%, which was said to be primarily down to an “increase in concert promotion and merchandising revenue.”
Licensing revenue increased 24.3%, with growth across sync, broadcast fees and other licensing.
Ed Sheeran extended his run of No.1 albums with – (Subtract) back in May. Released via Asylum/Atlantic, Sheeran’s sixth studio album was also his sixth consecutive No.1. To date it has sold, 146,090 copies according to Official Charts Company data.
WMG’s recorded music operating income was $207 million, which was up from the $166 million in the prior year quarter.
OIBDA increased 18.1% to $261 million (from $224 million in the prior-year quarter). OIBDA margin increased 1.7% to 20.4% from 18.7% in the prior-year quarter.
Music Publishing revenue at Warner Chappell Music increased by 16.0% in constant currency, to stand at $283 million. The increase was driven by “growth in digital and mechanical revenue”.
Publishing digital revenue increased 27.3%, and streaming revenue increased 28.1%. Warner said this reflected the “the impact of digital deal renewals and a revenue true-up of $9 million, partially offset by a $10 million quarter-over-quarter decrease in the impact of the CRB Rate Benefit”.
Music Publishing operating income was $50 million compared to $33 million in the prior-year quarter, and its operating margin increased 4.2% to 17.7%.
Music Publishing OIBDA increased 30.4% to $73 million and OIBDA margin increased 2.8 percentage points to 25.8% from 23.0%.
Speaking about the results, Kyncl said: “Our Q3 results were driven by a wide diversity of music, and our strength came from many different territories, labels, and revenue lines. We succeeded with artists and songwriters across the spectrum of genres and generations, with both new releases and catalogue projects. We expect our momentum to build, led by our extraordinary music and inventive campaigns, as well as improving macro and industry trends. We continue to invest in new creative talent, and evolve our expertise and resources, while collaborating with partners across the entertainment economy to drive long term success.”
Eric Levin, CFO, Warner Music Group, added: “In the third quarter, we delivered solid growth across key metrics which give us increased confidence in our full-year margin and operating cash flow targets. The market’s adoption of subscription price increases, combined with the ongoing evolution of our key partnerships, gives us tremendous optimism for the future of streaming growth.”