Sony Music Posts Double-Digit Q4 2023 Revenue Jump As Streaming Price Increases, Strong SZA Sales, and More Drive Growth

sony music earnings q4 2023
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sony music earnings q4 2023
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A live performance from SZA, whose SOS was identified in a Sony Music earnings report as the major label’s top-selling project of Q4 2023. Photo Credit: The Come Up Show

Thanks to streaming price increases, strong sales from artists including SZA, and favorable exchange rates, Sony Music Entertainment (SME) achieved a sizable revenue boost during 2023’s final quarter, according to a new earnings report.

The overarching Sony Group Corporation today posted its financials – including those of SME – for Q4 2023, or the third quarter of the fiscal year. Worth noting at the outset is that the conglomerate calculated an average exchange rate of ¥147.9 per dollar for the three-month stretch; the below conversions reflect the exchange rate at the time of writing, about ¥150 per dollar.

Sony Music Q4 2023 Revenue and Operating Income

Sony Group’s music operations generated $2.77 billion (¥417.65 billion) on the quarter, up 4.6% from Q3 2023 and 15.8% from Q4 2022. (Another $29.56 million/¥4.45 billion was chalked up to intersegment music revenue deriving from various Sony Group units.)

As usual, though, that sum encompasses recorded music, publishing, and the largely unrelated visual media and platform, which extends to mobile gaming and more. Excluding visual media and platform, Sony Music pulled in a total of $2.48 billion (¥372.63 billion) during the last three months of 2023, up 10.7% quarter over quarter (QoQ) and nearly 19% year over year (YoY).

Meanwhile, the revenue improvement drove an operating income spike for the music division (including visual media and platform), to the tune of $505.46 million (¥76.09 billion), up 20.8% YoY but down 6.1% QoQ, the document indicates.

“Profit contribution from Visual Media and Platform was a mid-single digits percentage of the operating income of the segment,” Sony Group communicated in its Q4 2023 earnings presentation.

Sony Music Q4 2023 Revenue – Recorded Music

Sony Music scored fourth-quarter revenue jumps on both the recorded and publishing sides, with QoQ boosts in each sub-category therein, per the report. Running with the former and its cumulative $1.90 billion/¥286.54 billion (up 12.9% QoQ and 19.9% YoY), physical sales including vinyl came in at $209.64 million/¥31.53 billion (up 51.3% QoQ and 1.5% YoY).

Bearing in mind the aforementioned price bumps, streaming, on the other hand, hiked 7.3% QoQ and 17.2% YoY to hit $1.24 billion (¥186.52 billion).

Rounding out Sony Music’s Q4 2023 recorded showing, the business attached $58.13 million/¥8.75 billion to permanent downloads (up 7% QoQ and 10.9% YoY) and $396.85 million/¥59.74 billion to a multifaceted other classification (featuring sync and public performance licensing revenue, merchandise, and more), for a 17.5% QoQ gain and a 45.9% YoY increase.

Sony Music Publishing Q4 2023 Revenue

Shifting to publishing, Sony Music Publishing and its $571.82 million (¥86.08 billion) outshined the prior-quarter total by 4.1% and topped the Q4 2022 counterpart by 16.1%. Behind the newest sum, streaming contributed $337.92 million/¥50.87 billion (up 5% QoQ and 22.4% YoY), with the remaining $233.96 million/¥35.22 billion resting in the other category (up 2.7% QoQ and 8% YoY).

Sony Music’s Top Q4 2023 Projects by Sales

By sales, Sony Music’s top-five projects of Q4 2023 were SZA’s SOS (2022), Travis Scott’s Utopia, Rod Wave’s Nostalgia, Doja Cat’s Scarlet, and Blink-182’s One More Time…, respectively. Perennial holiday favorite Mariah Carey secured the sixth spot on the same list, with A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector ranked ninth.