OMG, UMG, WMG

Officially, as of February, Warner Music Group has become the latest to join the $1 Beeeellion club in streaming dollars.

Spotify and Apple pieces of the pie helped Warner accumulate $311 million in 2016’s 4th quarter, an increase of (ya ready?) 47%. Even more jaw dropping? That shakes out to a swift $3.4 million a day and 26 a week in streaming dollars. Warner joins Universal Music Group, the first to surpass the mighty 1 billion in streaming bucks annually, as of December 2015.

In a statement, Warner CEO Steve Cooper said “Our strong momentum continues with excellent first-quarter results including 11% constant-currency revenue growth on top of 11% growth in the prior-year quarter. While streaming continues to drive industry growth, we are outperforming the market thanks to extraordinary music from our artists coupled with first-class execution from our operators around the world.”

Sharing in the credit for Warner’s banner year? Bruno Mars, Michael Bublé, Twenty One Pilots, the Suicide Squad soundtrack… aaaaand the Hamilton original cast album. This win for Warner reflects an overall increase in revenue by a cool 60 mil.  As compared to streamings’ 50% share of revenue, physical sales hang tough at 36%. (Downloads round out the number).  Meanwhile, Sony clocks in at 39% streaming, and over 40% physical. From 2015 to 2016, Streaming at Warner increased by over 12 percent, while overall revenue showed an 8% bump.

The monthly numbers for Sony?  $124m overall, about 4 million daily with $167,000 coming in hourly from Apple & Spotify. This marks a 30% increase as compared to 2015. All that being said, it’s still all about Let’s Get Physical.  Physical sales remain the top revenue generator for Sony. Downloads meanwhile, have shrunk to just one fifth of Sony’s total cash. All in, Sony Music brought in $3.65 bil in 2016.

According to nonprofit IFPI, which provides research and insight into patterns and methods of music consumption worldwide, digital revenues now account for 45 percent of total revenues, compared to 39 per cent for physical sales. In addition, “Streaming remains the industry’s fastest-growing revenue source. Revenues increased 45.2 per cent to US$ 2.9 billion and, over the five year period up to 2015, have grown more than four-fold.”

Worth noting, Sony’s biggest sellers were A Pentatonix Christmas and Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker.  So, amidst all the cash cow numbers talk?  No better reminder of the soul behind this industry, and why we’re all a part of it.

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