The gargantuan success of Ed Sheeran’s ÷ and its predecessor X, along with the unwavering success of Bruno Mars, Twenty One Pilots, Japanese artist Kyosuke Himuro and the Hamilton musical soundtrack, had lead Warner Music Group to post a 10.7% year-on-year rise in revenues for its fiscal Q2.
Following the announcement of its “difficult” deal with YouTube, the major has released financial results for the period ending March 31, 2017. And surprise surprise, its overall revenue for the quarter of US$825m is thanks to – you guessed it – streaming.
In fact, $300m of the revenue generated from WMG’s recorded music division came from streaming – that’s up 45% (or US$93m) from streaming in the same period of 2016.
In March, Sheeran’s third LP ÷ smashed Spotify’s record for the most streams in a single week with 375 million globally. The record entered 14 global charts at #1. In Australia, it spent 8 weeks a #1, only to be dethroned last week by Bliss N Eso.
Sheeran also achieved a record in Australia with 18 songs in the ARIA Top 40 Singles chart in one week (16 from ÷ and two from his other two albums).
Other highlights from the quarter include:
– Operating income was US$78 million, compared to US$52 million in the prior-year quarter.
– A 10% rise in recorded music revenues to US$686m, up US$65m on the prior year.
– Download revenues dropped US$21m year-on-year to $100m.