Sony Music Surges to $1.85 Billion in Revenue After 43% Rise in Streaming

Looking solely at the music operations and excluding the visual media/platform mobile gaming operations, Sony’s recorded music and publishing operations for the Sony Music Group and Sony Music Japan, the company produced 203.6 billion yen ($1.85 billion) in revenue, a 26.6% gain over 2020’s second quarter when revenue totaled 160.9 billion yen ($1.515 billion).

Recorded music revenue totaled 156.3 billion yen ($1.42 billion) for the quarter, up 26% from 2020’s Q2 tally of 123.3 billion yen ($1.16 billion). Within the segment, streaming enjoyed growth of 43.7% to 113.3 billion yen ($1.03 billion) from last year’s total of 78.83 billion yen ($742.25 million), while sources indicate that the comeback of ad-supported streaming — which in the prior year was down due to ad spending drying up during the pandemic — was a big part of the surge. On the other hand, downloads continued to decline, falling 29.4% to 6.15 billion yen ($55.83 million) from 2020’s second quarter total of 8.7 billion yen ($81.96 million). But overall digital now totals 119.44 billion yen ($1.085 billion), up 36.5% from 2020’s second quarter total of 87.53 billion yen ($824.21 million).

Meanwhile, going against industry trends this year, Sony’s physical music declined 23% to 20.25 billion yen ($183.9 million) from last year’s total of 26.3 billion yen ($247.54 million), with the drop  likely due to the timing of the company’s release schedule. And finally other income streams, including synchronization garnered 16.61 million yen ($150.85 million), a 74.8% gain over the economically-scarred 2020 second-quarter when other income streams totaled 9.5 billion yen ($89.5 million).

As a percentage of recorded music income that breaks down as:

  • Digital: 76.4% consisting of streaming at 72.5% and downloads at 3.9%, versus last year when digital was 71%, with streaming at 63.9% and downloads at 7.1%
  • Physical: 13% versus 2020’s second quarter when it was 21.3% and other is 10.6%, versus last year’s corresponding 7.7%

Sony cited hit titles like Doja Cat’s Planet Her, Lil Was X’s MONTERO, John Mayer’s Sob Rock and Tyler, The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost, among others, as driving revenue during the quarter. The label also said it is looking forward to releases by Adele, 21 Savage, Ozzy Osbourne, Travis Scott and more.

Moving over to publishing, those operations produced a 26% gain to 47.31 billion yen ($429.7 million) from the corresponding period in 2020 when revenue total 37.56 billion yen ($353.67 million); and again surging steaming numbers made the difference as royalties from digital streaming services grew 47% to 23.7 billion yen ($215.3 million) from 2020’s second quarter total of 16.13 billion yen ($151.88 million). Other music publishing licensing revenue also showed strong growth as it totaled 23.61 billion yen ($214.41 million), versus 2020’s 21.43 billion yen ($201.79 million), or a 10.2 % increase.

Finally, the visual media/platform segment posted 64.93 billion yen ($589.76 billion) in revenue, and that’s down 3.9% from the year-earlier corresponding period when that segment tallied 67.54 billion yen ($635.92 million).

For the second quarter this year, this story uses an exchange rate of 110.1 yen to the dollar and for 2020’s second quarter an exchange rate of 106.2 yen to the dollar.

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