Illegal downloading affects profits at Sony's Irish arm
THE biggest names in music might continue to draw epic crowds in Ireland, but the rise of piracy and illegal music downloads has put a dampener on profits at the Irish arm of Sony's global record label.
Accounts just filed show Sony Music Entertainment Ireland notched up revenues of just €19.9m in the 16 months to last March, about €1m lower than the firm's turnover in the 12 months to December 2007.
The operating profit figures make for even starker reading, with less than €870,000 earned over the 16-month 2008/2009 period against more than €1.5m earned in the 12 months of 2007.
The company's Irish directors point to "increased competition in the entertainment sector, illegal downloading, physical piracy and downward price pressure" as the reason for the poorer performance.
They do find a silver lining though, stressing that "although the physical market continues to fall year on year, the directors expect that digital sales will continue to grow very strongly".
The filings come a year after Sony and three fellow record labels, Warner, EMI and Universal, settled a legal action against Eircom, who they said was not doing enough to clamp down on illegal online downloads.