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STREAMING RISES 27% AT SONY IN Q1

Sony released its quarterly results today and streaming revenues were up nearly 27%, while the operating margin rose more than 18%. In this day and age, is it possible that a single, massive hit could drive a company’s profit margin?

Sony’s Recorded Music revenues topped $1.02b in the period between 4/1 and 6/30, up 11.5% when compared with 2018.

The company says the strong results come from releases across multiple genres: Khalid’s Free Spirit, P!nk’s Hurts 2B Human, Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars and music from Travis Scott, Chris Brown and Luke Combs. But Columbia’s smash “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X is clearly the difference maker.

In the quarter, “Old Town Road” was #1 in the U.S. for 12 of those weeks and in the first week of Sony’s Q1, the song was streamed a record 143m times. The arrival of the Billy Ray Cyrus remix that pushed the song into fourth gear was early in the quarter followed by multiple remixes.  

The entire music division saw a sales rise of 10.6% at constant currency to $1.84b. The operating profit of $348.3m was up 18.4%.

Now that EMI has been absorbed within Sony/ATV, Music Publishing revenue rose more than 80% to $357.5m in the quarter.

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