Sony’s recorded music revenues jumped by $451m YoY in calendar Q2, as streaming revenues rose 50.2%

Harry Styles' Fine Line was Sony Music's biggest revenue-generating project in calendar Q2 2021 – just as it has been in multiple previous quarters

Sony Music’s quarterly recorded music revenues rose by 48.2% year-on-year in calendar Q2 2021 (the three months to end of June). In fact, they were up by a massive USD $451 million versus the same period in 2020.

This increase came off the back of an uncharacteristically soft quarter for Sony in calendar Q2 2020, when – hit by the effects of the pandemic – it turned over $936 million from recorded music.

Yet that doesn’t take anything away from the strength of Sony’s latest quarter, in which the firm generated $1.39 billion from recorded music.

Calendar Q2 2021 saw Sony’s recorded music operation generate $996.4 million from streaming alone – an all-time high, and brushing the magic billion dollar mark for the first time.

This recorded music streaming revenue haul was up by a whopping 50.2% year-on-year, versus the $663.4 million the firm posted in calendar Q2 2020.

These figures arrived today (August 4) within Sony Group Corp’s latest quarterly financial results for calendar Q2 2021 (the company’s fiscal Q1).

Sony Music Entertainment‘s biggest revenue-generating artist projects in the quarter globally – excluding Japan – were, in order:

  • Harry Styles, Fine Line
  • Lil Nas X, various singles
  • Polo G, Hall Of Fame
  • Lil Tjay, Destined 2 Win
  • The Kid LAROI, F*ck Love
  • Doja Cat, Planet Her
  • Luke Combs, What You See Is What You Get
  • Doja Cat, Hot Pink

Sony Music Publishing logo

Sony’s results also reveal how the company’s global music publishing operation – including Sony Music Publishing and Sony Music Publishing Japan – performed in the latest fiscal quarter.

Sony’s music publishing operation globally generated $430.4 million in the three months to end of June 2021 – up 48.9% YoY vs. the $289.0 million it generated in calendar Q2 2020.

Of that $430.4 million quarterly publishing revenue in Q2 2021, streaming generated $215.6m, revealed Sony’s figures today.

Combined, Sony’s global music publishing and recorded music operation generated $1.82 billion in calendar Q2 2021.

(All YoY percentage rises/falls published above are calculated at the US dollar-converted level.)

See below for the breakdown of Sony’s quarterly figures in Yen, as published by Sony Group Corp today.

MBW’s USD calculations are based on Sony’s recalculated gross revenue figures for each quarter in the past 12 months.

The way Sony calculates its recorded music streaming figures for the 12 months to end of June 2021 now sees it count additional gross revenues paid over by streaming platforms, including a portion of those destined for its partner labels.

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

  • 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

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/ATV.

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