Sony’s global recorded music business had a remarkable quarter in the third calendar quarter, with streaming revenue surpassing the magic US $ 1 billion mark in the three months ending in late September.
That’s according to new Sony Music Group tax results released by its parent company, Sony Group Corp, in Japan today (October 28) and analyzed by MBW.
It was the first time in history, according to MBW calculations, that Sony’s recorded music revenue from streaming crossed the quarterly billion dollar mark.
At $ 1.03 billion, Sony’s quarterly music streaming revenue in the third calendar quarter was up $ 257 million, or 33% – a full third – from the equivalent figure in the same quarter of the year previous ($ 772.4 million).
Sony’s global recorded music division – through physical, streaming and other revenue streams – generated $ 1.42 billion in the third quarter of 2021 (Sony’s fiscal Q2).
That $ 1.42 billion figure was itself up $ 226 million, or 19.0 percent from total Sony recorded music volume in the previous year’s quarter.
Sony’s top revenue-generating global recorded music projects (outside of Japan) in Q3 2021 were, in order:
- Cat Doja, Planet she
- Kid LAROI, F * CK LOVE
- Lil Nas X, MONTERO
- Harry Styles, Fine line
- Polo G, Hall of fame
- Bob Dylan, Spring in New York: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 16 (1980-1985)
- John Mayer, sob rock
- Luke Combs, What you see is what you get
- Moneskin, Teatro d’ira – Vol. I
- Tyler the creator, CALL ME IF YOU LOSE YOURSELF
It should be emphasized here that Adele’s record Easy on me was released in the fourth quarter of the calendar, and so will his next new album (scheduled for November).
As a global Sony Music artist, Adele’s return came too late to affect Sony’s third quarter numbers on the calendar.
Sony’s global music publishing division – led by Sony Music Publishing, headed by chairman and CEO Jon Platt (pictured) – was also no slouch in the third quarter of 2021.
According to MBW’s calculations, Sony’s music publishing business posted $ 429.7 million in the quarter, up 21.5% year-over-year.
Sony’s parent company, Sony Group Corp, now usefully splits Sony’s music publishing revenue from streaming in its quarterly reports.
In the third calendar quarter of 2021, Sony’s music publishing revenue generated specifically from streaming was $ 215.3 million, up 41.7% year-over-year.
(It’s always hard to tell from these numbers whether Sony has received a one-time prepayment for a digital service in any given period – but, regardless, the signs look very positive.)
All of the above being true, we can calculate what Sony’s global music rights business has generated in the third quarter of the calendar.
(Sony Corp’s official âMusicâ segment includes both recorded music and music publishing divisions. But it also includes an additional âVisual Media and Platformâ division – hosting mobile video game releases – that we are reducing here.)
In the third quarter of the calendar, for recorded music and publishing, Sony generated $ 1.849 billion worldwide.
This was up 19.5% from the $ 1.547 billion jointly generated by these two divisions in the quarter a year earlier.
(All year-over-year rise / fall percentages published above are calculated in constant currency at the level converted to US dollars. MBW uses Sony’s quarterly average exchange rates for these calculations.)
See below for a breakdown of Sony’s quarterly figures in Japanese Yen, as released today by Sony Group Corp.
To note: MBW calculated Sony’s financial data from Japanese yen to US dollars at the following prevailing exchange rates for each quarter, as confirmed by Sony Corp:
- Calendar Q3 2020: 106.2 yen per USD
- Q4 2020 calendar: 104.5 yen per USD
- Q1 2021 schedule: 105.9 yen per USD
- Q2 2021 calendar: 109.5 yen per USD
- Q3 2021 schedule: 110.1 yen per USD
By applying these exchange figures to each applicable period, we effectively get a constant currency picture of Sony Music’s performance with an American trend.
It is not a perfect system; this may slightly overstate Sony Music Entertainment’s global business by converting a portion of Sony Music Entertainment Japan’s revenue (which would typically be reported directly in yen) into US dollars.
But it gives us a better reflection of how New York-based Sony Music Entertainment performed outside of FX distortion, as the company had to convert its US currency to yen in the first place for Sony Corp’s results. The same goes for Sony / ATV based in the US.
MBW believes that this exchange system is the benchmark used internally at Sony Music Group headquarters in New York.Music trade around the world