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As WMG Prepares For Handover, Digital Now More Than 30 Percent Of All Sales

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Warner Music Group’s losses widened and revenues were up slightly in Q1, the company’s next to last quarter before it gets taken over by part-shareholder Access Industries, the diversified group owned by Russian-American industrialist Len Blavatnik, whose offer of $3.3 billion in cash (at $8.25 per share, a 34.4 percent premium over WMG’s average half-year price of $6.14), was accepted last week. But the other big news from WMG’s Q1 is that digital is now over 30 percent of all sales.

Digital revenue was $220 million, or 32 percent of total revenue, up 9 percent from last year. The company saw improvement across in global digital downloads and streaming. However, that growing strength was partially offset by further declines in global mobile revenue.

In a sign of the industry’s anemic sales picture overall, revenue from WMG’s Recorded Music segment was up 2.2 percent, despite the good year by label artists Bruno Mars, R.E.M., Cee Lo Green and Lupe Fiasco. Within that category, digital revenue was $205 million, a 6.8 percent gain. Digital was 37.3 percent of total Recorded Music revenue in Q1, up slightly from Q110’s 35.7 percent share of the segment’s business. More to come