Sony Music Entertainment just posted a strong increase in Q3 revenue, across both recorded music and publishing. Lil Nas X — inked to Columbia/Sony back in March of 2019 — helped to drive the results.
After an intense bidding war last year, Sony Music label Columbia Records inked Lil Nas X to a record deal. Now, that signing — though not cheap by any means — is starting to pay off. Just this morning, Sony Corporation’s music division reported solid profits during the third quarter of the current fiscal year, which ended on December 31st, 2019.
According to the recently released financial report, Sony Music Entertainment (SME), Sony Music Japan, and Sony/ATV Music Publishing collectively generated $1.966 billion between the start of October and the end of December, a roughly four percent increase from the $1.818 billion generated during the same three-month period in 2018.
Sony’s impressive overall music earnings resulted from growth in each of the field’s spheres, compared to 2018 figures. Recorded music generated $1.16 billion in Q3 2019, up from $1.04 billion in Q3 2018, and streaming revenue increased by about 16 percent, from $570 million to $670 million. Additionally, music publishing earnings rose from $269 million to $365 million.
Also worth noting is that Sony’s music division operating income declined significantly, from $1.34 billion to $332 million, chiefly because of bookkeeping changes brought on by last year’s acquisition of the remaining portion of EMI.
Aside from Lil Nas X, a number of high-profile artists are signed with SME, including Celine Dion and Harry Styles, all of whom released new tracks during the third quarter, thereby contributing to the continued growth of Sony’s music department.
Moreover, Sony Music Japan owns a substantial portion of Japan’s ever-growing music market and is second only to Avex’s labels, profit-wise.
Sony’s total third-quarter profits — $2.1 billion — were down from the $3.83 billion that came from the final three months of 2018. Even so, both executives and investors remained largely optimistic about the fiscal fourth quarter’s forecast.
Just recently, Lil Nas X scored a pair of Grammy wins — for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Music Video — and enjoyed heavy performance time during the telecast.