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Sony generated $2.15bn from recorded music and publishing in calendar Q3 – up 16.4% year-on-year

Sony generated .15bn from recorded music and publishing in calendar Q3 – up 16.4% year-on-year

Sony’s global music rights operation – across recorded music and music publishing – generated USD $2.152 billion in the three months to end of September 2022.

Sony generated $2.15bn from recorded music and publishing in calendar Q3 – up 16.4% year-on-year

That’s according to MBW’s calculations based on Sony Group Corp’s calendar Q3 (fiscal Q2) 2022 results, as announced by the Japanese firm earlier today (November 1).

The $2.152 billion figure was up 16.4% year-on-year (vs. calendar Q3 2021) at US dollar-converted constant currency.

In monetary terms, Sony’s overall music rights operation (recorded music plus music publishing) generated approximately $303 million more in calendar Q3 2022 than in the prior-year quarter.

[Note: Corporately speaking, Sony Group’s global music operation includes recorded music, plus music publishing, plus ‘Visual Media & Platform’. The final category primarily covers mobile games and animation projects, and has been omitted from the revenue calculations in this analysis.]

Sony’s recorded music operation

Sony’s global recorded music operation generated USD $1.621 billion in calendar Q3 2022, up 14.2% YoY versus the equivalent quarterly period of the prior year.

Within that calendar Q3 2022 global recorded music result, streaming generated $1.099 billion, up 6.8% YoY.

(This ‘streaming’ number covers both subscription and ad-funded streaming revenues generated by Sony’s global recorded music operation.)

Sony saw a slight YoY fall in quarterly revenues for physical music sales (down 4.2% YoY to $176m).

Sony’s ‘Other’ fiscal category within recorded music, however, jumped considerably year-on-year (+$92m YoY to $242.8m).

This latter category (‘Other’) includes license revenue (public performance, broadcast and sync), merchandising and live performance income. (It also likely includes a one-time legal settlement in the relevant quarter – see below).

According to Sony Corp‘s results, Sony Music Entertainment‘s ten biggest recorded music projects in calendar Q3 2022 quarter (ex-artists signed in Japan), in order of global revenue generation, were:

  1. Beyoncé, RENAISSANCE
  2. Harry Styles, Harry’s House
  3. Future, I NEVER LIKED YOU
  4. Doja Cat, Planet Her
  5. Ozzy Osbourne, Patient Number 9
  6. Lil Durk, 7220
  7. Chris Brown, Breezy
  8. Harry Styles, Fine Line
  9. Michael Jackson, Thriller
  10. The Kid LAROI, F*CK LOVE 3+: OVER YOU

An important one-time

Sony noted in its filings today that both its recorded music business and its music publishing business benefitted from one-time litigation settlements during the three months ended September 30, 2022.

The firm confirmed that the impact of these lawsuit settlements on its calendar Q3 financials – across recorded music and publishing and net of expenses – was +5.7 billion Yen (around +$41 million).

Sony’s Music Publishing operation

Sony’s global music publishing operation – led by Sony Music Publishing – generated $531.8 million in the three months to end of September this year.

That quarterly revenue figure, at the US dollar level, was up 23.8% year-on-year.

It is believed that this was the first time in history that Sony’s global music publishing operation has posted a $500 million-plus quarter.

Sony’s global music publishing operation derived $305.3 million of its quarterly revenues in the calendar Q3 2022 period from streaming.

That publishing streaming figure was up 41.8% year-on-year.

Sony’s global music profits

Sony Corp also today issued some profit numbers for its corporate Music division in the three months to end of September 2022.

(The following figures include Sony’s operations across Recorded Music, Music Publishing plus Visual Media & Platform. Sony doesn’t break out profits for its corporate Music division in the same way it does revenue, so for divisional operating income VM&P cannot be extracted/omitted.)

In calendar Q3 (fiscal Q2) 2022, Sony’s corporate Music division posted a quarterly operating income of 78.73 billion Yen (USD $570m).

That represented an operating margin of 21.9%, from total divisional quarterly revenues of 359.32 billion Yen (USD $2.60bn).

Sony Corp has today increased its FY forecasts for its global music division following its fiscal Q2 / calendar Q3 results.

It told investors today it was increasing its forecasts – reported in Japanese Yen – “due to the impact of foreign exchange rates and the stronger-than-expected sales from streaming services in Recorded Music”.

Note: All YoY percentage rises/falls published in this story are calculated at constant currency at the US dollar-converted level. MBW uses Sony’s own quarterly average currency rates for these calculations.

See below for the breakdown of Sony’s latest (fiscal) quarterly figures for music in Japanese Yen, as published by Sony Group Corp today.

For this analysis, MBW has calculated Sony’s financials from Japanese Yen into US dollars at the following prevailing exchange rates in each quarter, as provided by Sony Corp:

  • Calendar Q1 2020: 109.0 Yen per USD
  • Calendar Q2 2020: 107.6 Yen per USD
  • Calendar Q3 2020: 106.2 Yen per USD
  • Calendar Q4 2020: 104.5 Yen per USD
  • Calendar Q1 2021: 105.9 Yen per USD
  • Calendar Q2 2021: 109.5 Yen per USD
  • Calendar Q3 2021: 110.1 Yen per USD
  • Calendar Q4 2021: 113.7 Yen per USD
  • Calendar Q1 2022: 116.1 Yen per USD
  • Calendar Q2 2022: 129.4 Yen per USD
  • Calendar Q3 2022: 138.2 Yen per USD

By applying these exchange figures to each applicable period, we effectively get a US-leaning constant currency picture of Sony Music’s performance.

This isn’t a perfect system; it risks overplaying Sony Music Entertainment’s global business slightly by converting a chunk of revenues from Sony Music Entertainment Japan (which would usually be straight-reported in Yen) into US dollars.

But it provides us with a cleaner reflection of the performance of New York-based Sony Music Entertainment outside of FX distortion, because the company had to convert its US currency into Yen in the first place for Sony Corp’s results. The same is true for US-based Sony Music Publishing.

MBW believes this currency exchange system is the yardstick used internally at Sony Music Group‘s HQ in New York.

Sony’s own description of its three corporate music divisions is as follows:

  • Recorded Music – Streaming includes the distribution of digital recorded music by streaming; Recorded Music – Others includes the distribution of recorded music by physical media and digital download as well as revenue derived from artists’ live performances;
  • Music Publishing includes the management and licensing of the words and music of songs;
  • Visual Media and Platform includes the production and distribution of animation titles, including game applications based on the animation titles, and various service offerings for music and visual products.

Within / covering the first two divisions listed above:

  • Sony Music Publishing, run by CEO & Chairman Jon Platt, is Sony’s US-headquartered music publishing operation.
  • Sony Music Entertainment, run by CEO Rob Stringer, is Sony’s US-headquartered recorded music operation.
  • And Sony Music Group – also run by Rob Stringer, as Chairman – is Sony’s US-headquartered umbrella group for both Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Music Publishing.

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