Sony-BMG's Stellar Q3: Sales Flat

This is what passes for good news in the music business today: Sony-BMG’s sales didn’t decrease during Q3. Sony (SNE) said its JV with Bertelsmann sold some $1.47 billion worth of music in the last 3 months of 2007, essentially unchanged from last year.

The label’s profits did decrease 12%, from $236 million from $208 million, but it blamed the drop on restructuring charges and an “industry-wide legal settlement”. We can’t recall offhand but we assume this has to do with the remnants of the Napster litigation from many moons ago.

So why did the label thrive (relatively speaking) while the rest of the business falters? Pretty women who sing, apparently. Sony-BMG says it was helped in large part from sales of new albums from Alicia Keys, Carrie Underwood and Celine Dion.

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