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WMG Revenue Stream Drops As Digital Sales Grow

By: Bruce Houghton

In SEC filings this morning, Warner Music Group reported revenue of $752 million, a decline of 13% from the prior year quarter...

... (-12% on a constant currency basis). Full year 2010 revenue declined 7% to $2,984 million (-9% on a constant currency basis). Despite declining revenue, cost cutting helped grow the company's cash war chest to $430 million, perhaps in anticipation of a bid EMI.

Slow Digital Growth & Big Severance Packages:

Quarterly digital revenue grew 7% from the previous years quarter to $197 million or 40% of recorded music revenue and 26% of total revenue. Full year 2010 digital revenue rose 8% to to $759 million.

Hefty severance packages cut into profits as WMG trimmed its over-staffed executive suites which cost the company $54 million ($46 million in the recorded music division, $2 million in music publishing and $6 million in corporate) last year. That's on top of $23 million of severance charges in the prior fiscal year ($18 million in recorded music, $2 million in music publishing and $3 million in corporate).

Read the full SEC filing here.


About the Author:
Bruce Houghton is a 25 year music industry veteran who owns booking agency Skyline Music and the tour marketing company Skyline Innovations.

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