It was a gamble that’s paid off handsomely. Should you look hard enough in Warner Music Group’s fiscal filings, you’ll spot that Access withdrew $925 million in cash dividends from the company in the first eight months of 2018 — including a whopping $500 million lump sum in August.
It’s been able to do so because, driven by streaming, Warner’s annual revenues have grown by 29% since 2012. Plus, the company recently sold its 2% stake in Spotify, cashing in $504 million. (25% of this Spotify shares windfall was subsequently paid to artists, leaving Warner with $378 million.)
The truth behind the truth, then: The music industry, which many wrote off as a dead duck, is now, once again, making exceedingly rich people significantly richer. Ask the guy worth $17.9 billion, and he’ll tell you: We’re officially back in business.