Music publisher Warner Music marked a significant milestone in the evolution of the music industry by revealing that streaming revenue overtook digital download revenue for the first time ever.
Commenting on his company’s Q1 2015 earnings, Warner Music CEO Stephen Cooper said: “Notably, in this quarter we saw continued growth in streaming revenue which surpassed download revenue for the first time in the history of our recorded music business. Our commitment to being at the forefront of industry change as well as our ongoing investment in artist development is the foundation of our continued success.”
Surprisingly digital revenues on the whole were flat year on year, with physical being the growth driver. For the record (no pun intended) classic rock still seems to be where the serious action is, with Kid Rock and Led Zeppelin flagged up as strong contributors. But within digital it seems that streaming services such as Spotify are the way forward.
In tenuously linked news Zenith Optimedia has announced Google extended its lead at the top of the list of major media owners thanks to its strength in Mobile. Google is now 136% bigger than Disney in second, up from 115% a year earlier. It is also bigger than the second-largest and third-largest (Comcast) combined.
The fastest growing member of the list, however, was Facebook, which Zenith also attributed to mobile, and the next fastest growing was also a digital media company – China’s Baidu.
“The rapid growth of digital media and emerging ad markets has strengthened the position of media owners such as Google, Facebook, Baidu and Globo, at the expense of traditional media owners in developed markets,” said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith Optimedia’s Head of Forecasting. “The top digital media owners currently maintain a strong grip on the digital ad market, but they face the constant threat of displacement by disruptive innovators.”