Sony Sees Music Revenues Jump Thanks to Streaming

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Sony headquarters in New York City. 

Sony Corp., home to the world's second-largest record label and largest publishing company in Sony/ATV, announced a positive slew of numbers for its music division today.

The conglomerate, led by CEO Kaz Hirai, said its quarterly operating income came to $453 million (¥45.7 billion), down 48 percent on the same quarter of 2015. Net income reached $48 million, compared to $280 million in the same period last year.

Sales dropped nearly 11 percent to $16.1 billion in the last quarter, down from 1.89 trillion yen a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

Sony said it would book a net loss of $358 million in its profit for the full fiscal year that ends March 31. It slashed its forecast for full-year net profit to $573 million from an earlier estimate of $765.2 million. Sony recorded a net profit of $1.413 billion in the last fiscal year.

Sony's music division brought $1.4 billion in revenue, $164 million in operating income, with sales up 19 percent on a constant currency basis.

As the company writes in its earnings statement -- what has new become a standard refrain from major rights holders -- "recorded music sales increased primarily due to an increase in digital streaming revenues." The RIAA announced recently that, largely thanks to streaming, the U.S. recorded music industry had seen an 8.1 percent growth this year.

The company writes that its acquisition of the other half of Sony/ATV from Michael Jackson's estate was finalized last month, (September), for which it paid $750 million. 

Best-selling titles that the company cites include Celine Dion’s Encore un soir, Nogizaka46’s Hadashi de Summer and Kana Nishino’s Just Love.