SONY MUSIC CRACKS THE $10B MARK IN FISCAL 2022

Sony Music has reported two firsts for the fiscal year ending 3/31: The division topped $10b in revenue for the first time in its history, and it’s Sony's leading profit generator.

Sony Music’s revenue of 1.38 trillion yen—about $10.4b—in fiscal 2022 was up 24%, with streaming revenue up 30% to 751.6b yen. Recorded Music rose 32% to 885.14b yen over the previous 4/1-3/31 period. Streaming accounted for 5999b yen. Physical product brought in 109b yen. Music Publishing was up 38% to 276.7b yen. Operating income of 263b yen represented a spike of 23%.

While the increase in streaming revenue was the driver, foreign exchange rates had both positive and negative effects on the results; the average yen/dollar exchange rate per quarter in FY2022 bounced between 129.4 to 141.7, with the average for the year landing at 135.4 yen to the dollar.

The year’s performance owed to a consistent run of hit songs; on average for the full year, Sony labels had 43 of the songs on Spotify’s weekly Top 100, a significant rise from FY2021. Bestsellers included Harry StylesHarry’s House, Beyoncé’s RENAISSANCE, SZA’s SOS and Future’s I Never Liked You.

The fourth quarter—1/1-3/31—was consistent with the three periods prior. Revenue was up nearly 20% to 342b yen for the entire division, with Recorded Music (222.6b yen) increasing 26% and Publishing (66b yen) rising 22%. Streaming revenue in Q4 grew 23% year over year for Recorded Music and 29% for Music Publishing. Top sellers in the quarter included releases by SZA, Miley Cyrus, P!nk, Depeche Mode and Måneskin.

In a presentation to stock analysts, Sony stated, “We aim to continue to grow faster than the market and maintain a higher growth rate and profit margin than our competitors by strengthening relationships with influential artists, discovering and nurturing new talent, expanding our lineup through The Orchard and AWAL and growing our business in emerging markets.”

The company anticipates “a more severe economic slowdown” in the coming 12 months and has lowered sales forecasts. Sony is predicting that the music unit, which includes the Japanese gaming platform, will pull in 1.41 trillion yen in FY2023.

In related news, we're told Tim Ingham has calculated Sony's potential earnings through fiscal 3014 using only an abacus and a Ouija board.

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