Spotify, iTunes Expansion Helping WMG Hit Digital Music Milestones
Recent roll-outs to new countries of download and streaming services helped Michael Bublé‘s Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG) offset physical declines with digital growth in its October-to-December Q3.
—In recorded music (ie. sales of tracks to users), digital revenue grew 15 percent after iTunes’ expansion to 12 new European and 16 Latin American countries in 2011.
—In music publishing (ie. licensing to services), digital revenue grew faster, by 36 percent, on consumer adoption of Spotify, which rolled out to four new European countries and the States, and Deezer, which expanded from France to the UK and announced further globalisation plans.
The digital growth meant total, cross-platform quarterly revenue (both within each division and for their group as a whole) finished flat compared with the previous year – an encouraging achievement for an industry that has long sought the point where digital gains make up for physical’s downfall.
At home, Warner Music Group hit another milestone, as U.S. digital music unit sales surpassed those from physical for the first time. “We’ve crossed the threshold of 50/50 in the U.S.,” new CEO Steve Cooper told analysts. “The rest of the world is still about two thirds to a third.”
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