We now have some hard numbers to put to Warner Music Group's Edgar Bronfman, JR's claim that Spotify is "incrementally positive" to the label's bottom line. Specifically, revenue from streaming music grew 36 percent last quarter, thanks in part to Spotify's global expansion. That seems like a nice, big number but the cloud to that silver lining is that streaming music still only accounted for a measly $15 million of WMG's revenue, compared to the $205 million it got from digital sales from the likes of iTunes and Amazon. So while growth from streaming services is faster, it's also not having much of an impact — which should surprise precisely nobody. We don't yet know of iTunes Match made any significant impact on WMG's revenues, but even if it was a factor the company certainly wasn't as chuffed about it as indie service TuneCore is.
Overall WMG's total revenue stayed flat, which might bode well for the rest of the music industry. In the US, WMG says that unit sales from digital surpassed physical media sales for the first time — but unless something significantly changes in the revenue models from digital sales, it's likely that the major labels are still staring down a future of slimmer margins and perhaps smaller statures, gigantic mergers notwithstanding.