Sony recorded music revenues dip in fiscal 2018

Sony recorded music revenues dip in fiscal 2018

Sony Music’s recorded music revenues dipped 4.5% in fiscal 2018 to 426.9 billion yen (£2.96bn). 

Even a minor positive impact from currency exchange rates could not deliver a year-on-year increase in the period ending March 31, 2019.

Sony attributed the result to lower physical sales for recorded music and the impact of a new accounting standard. 

Streaming growth appears to have slowed at Sony. Revenue from streaming was up 15.3% to 227.5bn yen (£1.58bn) - some way off the increase of 40% for 2018. Streaming now accounts for 53.3% of recorded music revenues.

Physical music revenues slumped by 33.7% to 89.6bn yen (£621m). In the prior year, Sony Music actually increased physical revenues by 3.2%. Warner Music Group recently posted an increase in physical sales.

However, operating income was up 82% to 232.5bn yen (£1.6bn).

Sony’s publishing business was the strong performer this time thanks to the acquisition of EMI Music Publishing. Sony’s music publishing revenue increased 43.4% to 106.7bn yen (£740m).

Overall, growth at Sony Corp’s music division was flat at 795bn yen (£5.5bn) – an increase of 1.3% year-on-year.

Revenues are forecast to edge up by 2.8% for the next financial year. But profits are set to slide by 42% to 135bn yen (£936m).

After a strong Q2 and Q3 2018 performance in recorded music compared to 2017, the final three months of 2018 saw a year-on-year decrease. Sony’s Q4 2018 for recorded music was down 4.9%. Q4 streaming revenues were up 10.1% year-on-year.

Travis Scott’s Astroworld was Sony’s biggest ‘recorded music project’ for the financial year, followed by releases from Camila Cabello, Luke Combs, George Ezra, Calvin Harris and Khalid.

The major singled out noteworthy current and forthcoming releases for the next three months from Khalid, Pink, DJ Khaled, BTS, Bruce Springsteen, Calvin Harris, Chris Brown, Mark Ronson, Tyler, The Creator and Vampire Weekend.

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