Sony’s global music operations — Sony Music Group and Sony Music Japan — benefitted from a strong release schedule and positive foreign exchange effects as revenues grew 20.9% in the quarter ended June 30, 2022, the company announced Friday (July 29).
Total revenue was 308.1 billion yen ($2.38 billion converted at the average exchange rate during the quarter). Operating income improved 10.1% to 61 billion yen ($471 million).
Changes in currency exchange rates played a significant part in the year-over-year gains — from the prior-year quarter, the average yen-to-dollar exchange rate grew from 109.5 to 129.4 and the average yen-to-dollar rate improved to 131.9 to 138.0. That appreciation caused foreign exchange to account for 35.9 billion of the Sony Music’s 53.2-billion yen revenue gain. Removing that foreign exchange impact, revenues would have improved 6.8%.
In recorded music, total revenues improved 31.4% to 199.6 billion yen ($1.54 billion).
Strong subscription streaming growth was credited for helping drive growth. Streaming revenues grew 27.5% to 139.1 billion yen ($1.08 billion). Physical revenues improved 23.2% to 25.6 billion yen ($198 million). And the broad “other” category — including merchandise, licensing and live revenues — climbed 79% to 27.3 billion yen ($211 million) on the strength of artists returning to touring after a relatively slow quarter a year earlier.
In music publishing, total revenues improved 33.8% to 63 billion yen ($487 million). Sony Music Publishing topped Billboard’s last Publisher’s Quarterly ranking with a 22.65% share of the Hot 100 and a 24.67% share of top radio airplay in the first quarter — activity that would have driven some of the second quarter’s royalty collections.
Sony’s quarter was helped by an especially strong release schedule that included Harry Styles’ Harry’s House, which achieved 521,000 album equivalent units in the U.S. in its first week of release and landed all 13 tracks in the Hot 100. Other titles in Sony Music Entertainment’s top ten albums in the quarter were Future’s I Never Liked You; Doja Cat’s Planet Her; Lil Durk’s 7220; Lil Nas X’s Montero; Harry Styles’ 2019 release Fine Line; Tyler, The Creator’s Call Me If You Get Lost; The Kid Laroi’s F*ck Love 3+: Over You; Camila Cabello’s Familia; and Tool’s Fear Inoculum.
Revenues in Sony Music’s visual media and platform segment fell 19.7% to 42.8 billion yen ($330 million). Excluding visual media and platform, the two music division’s revenues grew 32% to 262.6 billion yen ($2.03 billion).
Looking forward, Sony Music increased its forecast for fiscal 2022 revenues 3.2% to 1.28 trillion yen ($9.89 billion). It left unchanged its forecast for fiscal 2022 operating income at 230 million yen ($1.78 billion).