This is a familiar tale by now: a major label announces its latest quarterly results, with revenue increases that would have been pie in the sky during the music industry’s 15-year decline, and with streaming as the prominent driver of that growth. Sony Music’s figures for the third quarter of 2017 – its fiscal Q2 – fall neatly into that pattern.
The label group’s revenues grew by 37.5% year-on-year to $1.86bn, while its operating profit grew by nearly 97% to $292.9m. Within these figures, recorded-music revenues grew by 21.6% to $983.6m, while publishing income grew by 25.1% to $175.7m.
Streaming alone generated $477.5m of recorded-music revenues for Sony last quarter, accounting for 48.5% of its recorded income.
So, despite a 10.1% drop in physical sales and a 10.2% dip in download sales, Sony Music’s overall revenues are on the up, and strongly so.
Bear in mind that one of the wrinkles in the way Sony Music declares financials is that its numbers include its ‘Visual Media & Platform’ business, which includes animation and related mobile games in Japan.
So the story here isn’t entirely about ‘music’, but Sony will still be highly pleased with the progress of its recordings and music divisions.