Sony Music's 2018 Sales Fall Flat as Revenue Drops Nearly 9% Over Last Year

Sony Music has published its full-year earnings report for its 2018 fiscal year.

For the fiscal year ending March 31st, 2019, the company brought in ¥427 billion ($3.8 billion) in recorded music revenue.  This figure represents an 8.6% drop year-over-year.  Sony attributed the poor results to a change in accounting and declining physical sales.

In its Q4 2018 (our calendar Q1 2019) report ending March 31st, 2019, Sony Music brought in ¥104.4 billion ($946.3 million) in recorded music revenue, down 5.1% over the same period last year.

The music division of Sony Corp. reported physical revenue plummeted 55.4% to ¥19.5 billion ($176.9 million).  Total digital revenue grew 3.4% to ¥64.6 billion ($585 million).  Of that amount, download revenue declined 31.6% to ¥9 billion ($81.5 million).  Streaming revenue grew 9.2% to ¥55.6 billion ($503.7 million).  Other revenue – including public performance, broadcast, and sync licensing along with merchandise – grew 15.9% to ¥20.3 billion ($184.1 million).

Breaking down Sony Music’s FY 2018 financial report, the major label reported ¥266.8 billion ($2.4 billion) in digital revenue, up 7.3% year-over-year.  Of that amount, download revenue fell 26.9% to ¥39.3 billion ($354 million).  Underscoring the medium’s growth has slowed, streaming revenue increased 13.2% to ¥227.5 billion ($2.1 billion).  Physical revenue continues on the decline, plummeting 50.8% to ¥89.6 million ($807.6 million).  Other revenue – including public performance, broadcast, and sync licensing along with merchandise – grew 8.5% to ¥70.6 billion ($636.5 million).

For its 2018 fiscal year, the major music label reported an operating income (profit) of ¥232.5 billion ($2.1 billion), up 82% year-over-year.

Speaking about its music division, Sony Corp. reported sales remained flat year-over-year.  Sony Music reported higher sales from its music publishing division, Sony/ATV, thanks to its acquisition of EMI Music Publishing.

In the music publishing side, Sony/ATV now owns and administers 2.45 million tracks, up from 2.3 million year-over-year.  EMI Music Publishing owns and administers 2.08 million songs, up slightly from 2.06 million.  In total, Sony now has the rights to 4.53 million tracks, up from 4.36 million year-over-year.

For the quarter ended March 31st, 2019, Travis Scott’s Astroworld emerged as the best-selling recorded music project.  21 Savage’s i am > i was, Khalid’s Free Spirit, Future’s Future Hndrxx Presents: The Wizrd, and Backstreet Boys’ DNA rounded out the top five.

For the fiscal year ended March 31st, 2019, Travis Scott’s Astroworld once again merged as the best-selling recorded music project. Camila Cabello’s Camila, Luke Combs’ This One’s For You, George Ezra’s Staying at Tamara’s, and Calvin Harris’ Calvin Harris Releases rounded out the top five.

 


Featured image by Sony Music.