Arctic Monkeys' 'very strong' album sales drive revenues at Domino Recordings

Arctic Monkeys' 'very strong' album sales drive revenues at Domino Recordings

Arctic Monkeys’ catalogue has become a sales phenomenon for Domino.

While the band have not released an album in the last two years, the indie said that the sales of their six long-players helped the company’s financial performance in 2019. 

Because of Covid-19, Domino pushed back many of its new releases in 2020, though it continues to benefit from streaming revenue and physical sales from Arctic Monkeys. The indie said overall streaming revenues have increased during the pandemic.

According to documents lodged at Companies House, Domino Recordings’ revenues decreased by 11.08% year-on-year to £18.074 million last year. Pre-tax profit edged down to £2.01m in the 12 months to August 31, 2019.

The company blamed the fall in turnover to “cyclical factors” – but noted the success of Arctic Monkeys’ album sales last year.

“2019 saw a weaker album release schedule, with none of the company’s more established artists having an album release in the year,” stated the company’s strategic report. “This weakness in the company’s new album release schedule was supported by strong back catalogue sales as a result of continued growth of streaming services revenues globally, with particularly strong sales from the Arctic Monkeys’ back catalogue following the release of their last studio album in 2019.”

Arctic Monkeys have career album sales (all with Domino) in the UK of 5,361,282, according to Official Charts Company data. The band recently passed a billion views for Do I Wanna Know? on YouTube

2013’s AM and debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not have become streaming perennials.

According to the Official Charts Company, AM has sales to date of 1,304,096 (including 343,190 from streams). Last year it registered 86,495 sales, with a further 57,994 sales this year. It was No.62 overall for artist albums in the first six months of this year.

Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not has sales of 1,943,725 (including 268,828 from streams). Last year it registered 77,876 sales (including an impressive 13,606 physical copies), with a further 56,503 already this year. It was No.66 overall for the first half of 2020. 

The band’s second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, continues to perform strongly. It has sales of 1,075,963 (158,686 from streams). Last year it sold 43,355 copies and is heading for a similar total in 2020 (33,842 units so far).

Despite critical acclaim for both, 2009 album Humbug (413,833 sales to date) and 2011’s Suck It And See (410,725) have never had quite as much impact. But they continue to sell with Humbug racking up 13,404 sales last year and Suck It And See on 16,475 sales in 2019.

Piano-based concept album Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino is the lowest seller for the band (212,940 sales to date), but the 2018 album release has clearly helped maintain interest in their catalogue. It sold 25,704 copies last year.

In its strategic report, Domino noted that Covid-19 has made it “increasingly difficulty to market and promote new releases”. As a result, the company has postponed the majority of its new releases scheduled for the second half of 2020. 

“This had led to a reduction in new release revenue and the associated costs,” said Domino’s strategic report. “However, due to the strength of the company’s digital subscription revenues from its back catalogue, which have improved compared to pre-lockdown levels. The company’s cashflow and profitability will not be adversely affected.”

UK revenues were 28.7% of the total last year, compared to 31% in 2018.

Domino employed 46 staff in 2019 (45 in 2018). It released 29 albums last year (30 in 2018).

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