Warner Music Group Institutes a Regular Quarterly Cash Dividend for Shareholders

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Warner dividend

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Photo Credit: Mackenzie Marco

Warner Music Group institutes a regular quarterly cash dividend for shareholders at $0.17 per share on class A and class B common stock.

Warner Music Group (WMG) has announced its Board of Directors instituted a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.17 per share on WMG’s class A and class B common stock. The bonus is payable beginning September 1, 2023, to stockholders on record as of the close of business on August 24.

This news follows the major label posting its Q2 financials for 2023 with a nine percent year-over-year boost and a nearly 12 percent quarterly spike — vastly improved over Q1 2023’s “challenging” under performance.

Recorded music in the digital category, including streaming, raked in $846 million in Q2, up six percent yearly and quarterly, while physical media generated $126 million, or about seven percent quarterly, and slightly increased year-over-year.

WMG also reported $218 million in artist services revenue in Q2, up 15 percent year-over-year and 66 percent quarterly, and $92 million in licensing revenue (a 23 percent year-over-year increase but a six percent quarterly downturn).

“We do not have a new deal with Spotify,” says Robert Kyncl, WMG CEO, clarifying that labels do not contractually obligate DSPs to increase their prices. “They are free to raise prices at any time without any contractual change. It’s not required in order to do so.”

Meanwhile, Kyncl calls streaming services’ recent price hikes “an encouraging start” and indicates that WMG artists are preparing to release AI content in the near future.

“Working with our artists and songwriters, we are leaning in, moving fast, and working with a network of partners, including both generative AI engines and distribution platforms,” says Kyncl. “Many Warner artists are already exploring impactful ways to use generative AI to create, augment, and remix their music. We have some great examples from big names on the way later this quarter.”

As WMG sees an upturn in recorded music revenues after a rocky first quarter, coupled with continued complications in the industry arising from the pandemic, seeing new ways that artists can utilize AI with their full consent and cooperation is an exciting prospect.