Sony Music Rolls to $7.7B in Annual Revenue Following 37% Jump in Streaming

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Propelled by continuing growth in streaming, Sony’s music operations — which include Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Music Publishing and Sony Japan — posted a whopping 29.1% increase in sales as revenue grew to 869.11 billion yen ($7.74 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2022 as compared with the prior year’s total of 673.13 billion yen ($6.34 billion).

When its visual media/platform, which offers mobile games, animation titles and various services for music and visual products, is added on, the segment reported 210.93 billion yen ($1.88 billion) in operating income on revenue of $1.1 trillion yen ($9.8 billion); and that represents about 14.1% increase over the prior year’s total of 184.8 billion yen ($1.74 billion) on revenue that grew 18.7% from 925.25 billion yen ($8.74 billion).

That gives the overall music segment a 19.2% operating margin, which is down slightly from the prior year’s 19.9%; and that was due to last year benefitting from the sale of shares in Pledis Entertainment; and a fourth quarter change in accounting in the prior year, as well as a decline this year in revenue at the visual Media/Platform operations. Taking into account those occurrences, on an adjusted basis, operating income is likely up well over last year’s tally.

Meanwhile, Billboard estimates that Sony’s music and visual media/platform segment produced 272.4 billion yen ($2.433 billion) in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or an 18.5% growth from the prior year when EBITDA totaled almost 230 million yen. That means the company’s EBITDA margin (as a percentage of revenue) is a strong 24.8%, the same as last year.

Breaking out the music slice of revenue, recorded music reached nearly 669 billion yen ($5.96 billion) while publishing revenue for the year grew to 200.33 billion yen ($1.784 billion). Within recorded music, streaming grew 37.2% to 462.37 billion yen ($4.12 billion) from the prior year’s numbers of 337.1 billion yen ($3.18 billion). In 2020, streaming grew 22.1% over 2019’s streaming total of 276.04 billion yen, so that means Sony’s streaming growth is accelerating instead of the typical smaller increases that usually happen as the mathematical baseline gets bigger.

Other formats broke out to:

Downloads declined to 28.23 billion yen ($251.34 million), which means digital totaled 490.59 billion yen ($4.37 million). That’s down 10.1% from the prior year when downloads totaled 31.39 billion yen ($295.9 million) while total digital in the prior year was 368.5 billion yen ($3.5 billion);
Physical fell by 3.1% to 94.76 billion yen ($843.83 billion from the year-earlier total of 97.75 billion yen ($921.3 million);
“Other” enjoyed a comeback to 83.425 billion yen ($742.9 million) after being impacted severely by the Covid pandemic during the year-earlier period when other revenue garnered 50.03 billion yen ($471.5 million).
As a percentage of revenue, that breaks out to streaming 69.1%; downloads, 4.2%, giving digital a total of 73.3%; physical, 14.2%; and other 12.5%. That compares to the prior year when streaming was 65.3%, downloads 6.1%, which means digital totaled 71.4%, while physical accounted for 18.9%, and other 9.7%.

Top sellers for the year included Adele’s 30, Doja Cat’s Planet Her and Hot Pink, The Kid LAROI’s F*ck Love 3+: Over You, Lil Nas X’s MONTERO, Harry Styles’ Fine Line, Polo G’s Hall of Fame, Luke Combs’ What You See Is What You Get, Travis Scott’s ASTROWORLD, and Rauw Alejandro’s Vice Versa. Sony Japan;’s top sellers for the year were SixSTONE’s City and four titles from Nogizaka46.

Looking ahead, Sony forecasts that the music segment, including the visual media/platform operation, will generate 1.24 trillion yen in its current year that began April 1 and as part of that the company forecasts operating income for the segment at 230 billion yen. Upcoming releases from 21 Savage, Arcade Fire, DJ Khaled, Future, Gavin DeDraw, George Ezra, Giveon, Harry Styles, Ozzy Osbourne, Tate McRae, Chainsmokers and Three Days Grace.

Over at Sony Music Publishing and Sony Japan publishing operation, the amount of copyrights the company administers grew to 5.46 million songs, up from 5.03 million songs at the end of the prior year.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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