×

Sony Music Generates Nearly $4 Billion in 2017, Streaming Up 32%

The Sony Corporation’s music operations reported a $350 million in operating income on revenues of $1.9 billion for the company’s fiscal third quarter, it announced early Friday morning.

Recorded music accounted for $1.14 billion, visual media & platform brought in $599 and Sony/ATV Music Publishing $162 million), accounting for double-digit growth in all three categories.

Streaming contributed 43%, with some $492m) coming from the format in the quarter, a 32.1% gain.

Top sellers included Pink’s “Beautiful Trauma,” Chris Brown’s “Heartbreak on a Full Moon” and Camila Cabello’s recently released “Camila.” Looking ahead, the company pumped up new albums from Justin Timberlake (out today), Lanco and Jack White as among its hot hopefuls for the current quarter.

Despite the strong results, many were stunned by the announcement that Sony Corp. chief Kaz Hirai, a strong proponent of the company’s entertainment properties, will hand the over the CEO reins to his top lieutenant as he transitions to a new role as chairman. Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony Corp.’s chief financial officer, who is much less experienced in the entertainment world, will take over as president-CEO as of April 1.

“As the company approaches a crucial juncture, when we will embark on a new mid-range plan, I consider this to be the ideal time to pass the baton of leadership to new management, for the future of Sony and also for myself to embark on a new chapter in my life,” Hirai said in a statement.

Hirai’s resignation means that Sony’s entertainment assets are losing possibly their loudest and most powerful advocate within the company, and raises questions about their future in an era where consolidation, often on a colossal scale, is the trend of the day. Under Hirai, Sony had made an overture for some of Fox’s assets before Disney produced a bigger bid; without him at the helm, the fate of Sony’s own content businesses is uncertain.

However, sources said Hirai has indicated to insiders he intends to remain involved with Sony’s U.S.-based entertainment businesses in his new chairman role.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Monkees/Badfinger/Nazz Supergroup Takes Beatles' 'White Album'

    Monkees/Badfinger/Nazz Supergroup Gets Back to '68 by Touring Beatles' 'White Album'

    The 50th anniversary re-release of 1969’s “Abbey Road” may be just days away, but that doesn’t mean Beatles fans have been there and done that when it comes to celebrating ’68. Todd Rundgren, the Monkees’ Mickey Dolenz, Badfinger’s Joey Molland and several other name musicians of a certain vintage are teaming up to go out [...]

  • Rob Cowan, Greg Silverman'The Conjuring 2'

    Greg Silverman’s Stampede, School of Rock Team for Unscripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Greg Silverman is partnering with School of Rock through his content creation company Stampede. The collaboration with the music school will create exclusive content, starting with the development of an unscripted series.  School of Rock operates a network of performance-based education franchises that offer students of all ages guidance [...]

  • 'Downton Abbey' Music Gets 'Bigger, Better,

    As 'Downton Abbey' Hits the Silver Screen, the Music, Too, Gets 'Bigger, Better, Grander'

    When “Downton Abbey” fans hear that familiar strings-and-piano theme, a Pavlovian response ensues: Get to the television immediately, because you don’t want to miss a minute of the addictive Crawley family melodrama to follow. This week, with the “Downton Abbey” movie reaching theaters on Friday, fans can’t wait for their fix of Lady Mary and [...]

  • Saweetie

    Saweetie's 'My Type' Is a Smash, but Is it Too Provocative for Top 40?

    Saweetie’s “My Type” is a smash. The high-energy, up-tempto, bad bitch anthem has proven to be an undeniable force. Having won the hearts of TikTok users, radio (rhythmic, urban and now Top 40, logging more than 81,000 combined spins, according to Mediabase) and streaming, where BuzzAngle Music records 160 million U.S. streams to date and [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Peter Coyote Riffs on 'Country Music' and How He Admires and Challenges Ken Burns

    Though an instantly recognizable face from films such as “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “A Walk to Remember” and “Erin Brockovich,” it is Peter Coyote’s voice — a coolly authoritative baritone with a Zen master’s holy roll — that has endeared him to documentary lovers and makers. Alrhough director-writer Alex Gibney used Coyote’s wisened narration for “Enron: [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Reaches Deal With Record Labels on Music Videos

    SAG-AFTRA has reached an agreement with the major record labels on a three-year successor contract to their music video agreement. The union announced Friday that the deal achieves important economic and safety gains for performers working in music videos. Details of the new agreement will not be released until after it is reviewed by the [...]

  • Album Review: Samantha Fish’s ‘Kill or

    Album Review: Samantha Fish’s ‘Kill or Be Kind’

    At a time when rock music remains in a deep recession — to put it politely — there are few more encouraging sights to see than a badass, slide-guitar-wielding female from Kansas City lobbing some blueswailing rock and roll. That’s exactly what Samantha Fish has been serving up for the better part of a decade, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content