Harry Styles tops Sony's biggest sellers again - Fine Line has now been dominant for over 18 months

Harry Styles tops Sony's biggest sellers again - Fine Line has now been dominant for over 18 months

Sony Music had a strong three months as it pulled in £1 billion in recorded music revenue.

According to figures for parent Sony Corp’s fiscal Q1 to June 30, recorded music revenues were up 54.8% year-on-year to 151.9bn yen (£999 million)

Recorded music streaming increased by 58.4% year-on-year in the quarter to 109.1bn yen (£717m).

But the standout result could be the performance of Harry Styles’ Fine Line (Columbia). First released in December 2019, Harry Styles’ second album was once again Sony Music’s biggest-selling recorded music project for the quarter based on revenue.

Music Week has been tracking the performance of the album at Sony. As well as finishing as the biggest-selling music project at the major during its fiscal 2020 (ending March 2021), it has now been No.1 for Sony Music for six out of seven quarters. 

The only quarter it missed No.1 was Sony’s fiscal Q3 2020 (the final three months of the year), when AC/DC’s Power Up came out on top thanks to strong physical sales bringing in global revenue. Even then, Harry Styles was at No.2 for the quarter.

In the UK, Fine Line is the third biggest seller of the first six months of 2021 with 109,010 sales (Official Charts Company). Its total sales to date are 482,886 (including 338,060 from streams and 125,120 from physical copies), compared to 359,746 for Harry Styles’ self-titled debut.

The Grammy and BRIT-winning single Watermelon Sugar has racked up 1,481,542 chart sales, according to the Official Charts Company. It peaked at No.4 in the UK and made No.1 in the US Hot 100.

“Harry Styles’ album continues to motor, demonstrating the lasting impact of an album when it resonates with fans in the streaming market,”  said Charles Wood, Sony Music UK’s VP of market planning and media, in Music Week’s Q2 analysis.

Physical music also had a good quarter at Sony (the year-on-year comparison is with the quarter last year when Covid first hit retailers). Physical revenue was up 63.8% year-on-year to 20.8bn yen (£138m).

Sony Music Publishing revenues in the quarter totalled 47.1bn yen (£309m), up 51.6%.

Read our Harry Styles cover feature here - and click here for our interview with co-writer Kid Harpoon on Watermelon Sugar.

Click here for the latest on the vinyl boom.


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