Digital revenue drives another year of growth for Warner Music Group in 2017

Warner Music Group posted its financial results for the fourth quarter and full financial year. The results showed another year where streaming helped drive growth for a major music company. Warner did not break out its streaming revenue, but the digital shares include that performance.

Quarterly revenue rose 9% to $917 million, up from $841 in its final quarter of 2016. Digital revenue increased 20% for the quarter, reaching $491 million. Recorded music revenue rose 9.9% to $767 million, including digital revenue of $442 million. The company noted that the digital growth reflected streaming’s continued role in the music industry.

Warner posted a net loss of $38 million in the quarter, growing from the Q4 2016 net loss of $3 million. The company credited the larger loss to higher than expected expenses, including investment losses from the write-down of digital investments.

Total revenue for the major label increased 10.2% across its 2017 fiscal year, reaching nearly $3.58 billion. Digital revenue totaled $1.87 billion, up 25% from almost $1.5 billion in 2016. For recorded music, the full-year revenue totaled $3.02 billion. Digital recorded music revenue was again a key driver, growing 24% to $1.69 billion. Warner reported a net income of $149 million, up from $30 million in the year prior.

“Our momentum is solid and sustainable,” WMG Executive Vice President and CFO Eric Levin said of the results.

Anna Washenko