Top Hits By Bruno Mars, Rihanna In Q4 Help Keep Publisher At No. 1 For Third Straight Quarter

EMI Music Publishing ended 2010 on a roll, snaring the largest share of the 100 most popular U.S. radio airplay songs among all music publishers in the fourth quarter.

And for the first time since Billboard began compiling its quarterly publishers airplay chart in 2005, an independent publisher-Kobalt Music Group-beat out one of the four majors to finish in fourth place.

In the three months ending Dec. 31, EMI captured a 19.1% share of the top 100 airplay songs, up from 18.1% in the prior quarter and the 18.9% it garnered in fourth-quarter 2009.

EMI had shares in 41 of the top 100 radio songs for the quarter, including the top four songs, ranked in order: Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are," Rihanna's "Only Girl (In the World)," Nelly's "Just a Dream" and Usher's "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love," featuring Pitbull.

Radio airplay was calculated based on the overall top 100 detecting songs from 1,516 U.S. radio stations that Nielsen BDS monitored electronically for the period of Oct. 1-Dec. 31. The Harry Fox Agency researches the publishers' split for each track to calculate their share of those songs.

Universal Music Publishing Group held onto second place for the second quarter in a row, tallying a fourth-quarter share of 13.7%. While that's down from the 16.8% the company had in third-quarter 2010, it's better than the 13.1% UMPG tallied a year earlier.

Universal songwriters had a share of 36 of the top 100 radio songs, including "Just the Way You Are," "Just a Dream," "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" and Trey Songz' "Bottoms Up," featuring Nicki Minaj at No. 8.Sony/ATV Music Publishing ranked third with a 12.7% share, down from 14.4% in the third quarter and well below the 20.5% it had in fourth-quarter 2009, when it ranked first. In fact, its fourth-quarter share was the smallest quarterly tally Sony/ATV has turned in since first-quarter 2007, when it had a 7.5% share.

Sony/ATV had a share of 27 of the top 100 songs. The highest-ranking title was Enrique Iglesias' "I Like It," featuring Pitbull, at No. 11; other songs included Taylor Swift's "Mine" (No. 12); Flo Rida's "Club Can't Handle Me," featuring David Guetta (15); and Ke$ha's "We R Who We R" (16).

Coming in fourth was Kobalt, with an 11.9% share, becoming the first indie publisher to finish in the top four after surpassing Warner/Chappell Music, which came in fifth with 11.2%. But Kobalt's share actually dropped from the third quarter, when it had 12.1%, but marked an improvement from its 8.3% share in the year-earlier period.

Kobalt snared a share in 16 of the top 100 songs for the quarter, including "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love," Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" at No. 6, Taio Cruz's "Dynamite" at No. 7 and "Club Can't Handle Me."By slipping into fifth place, Warner/Chappell's fourth-quarter share of the top 100 songs fell from its 12.7% share in the third quarter but rose from its year-earlier 9.8% share.

Warner/Chappell garnered a share in 33 top 100 songs, including "Just the Way You Are," "Teenage Dream," "Bottoms Up" and Perry's "Firework" at No. 14.

Bug Music managed to reclaim the No. 6 ranking during the fourth quarter, as it garnered a 4.4% share, improving from 4.2% in the third quarter and 4.1% in fourth-quarter 2009. Bug snared a share of nine of the top 100 songs, including "Just the Way You Are," "Club Can't Handle Me" and Mars' "Grenade" at No. 24.

BMG, which continues to build its song portfolio through acquisitions like its recently completed purchase of Chrysalis Music, saw its share of the top 100 songs slide to 3.1% from 5.2% in the third quarter. BMG claimed a share in 12 of the top 100 songs, including Rascal Flatts' "Why Wait" at No. 30 and the Script's "Breakeven" at No. 48.

Downtown Music Publishing returns to the top 10 publishers chart for its second consecutive quarterly showing-and only its second since the chart's inception-with a 2.5% share, up from 1.1% in the third quarter. Downtown captured a share of six of the top 100 songs, including "Teenage Dream," "Dynamite" and Neon Trees' "Animal" at No. 10.

Two indie publishers make their quarterly publishers chart debut in the last two top 10 slots. Los Angeles-based Music Asset Management ranked ninth with a 2.4% share, based solely on its share of the No. 5 song, Far*East Movement's "Like a G6," featuring Cataracs & Dev.

Rounding out the top 10 is New York-based Ultra International Music Publishing with a 1.7% share. Ultra had a share of four songs in the top 100, including "Only Girl"; "Firework"; Pitbull's "Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor)," featuring T-Pain; at No. 64; and "Stereo Love" by Edward Maya & Mika Jigulina at No. 67.

Among country music publishers in the fourth quarter, Sony/ATV ranked first with a 15.1% share of the top 100 country songs at 191 stations monitored by Nielsen BDS. That marked an improvement from the 12.6% that Sony/ATV captured in the third quarter when it ranked second.

The top songwriter of the fourth quarter was Martin Karl "Max Martin" Sandberg, who ranked first for the second consecutive quarter based on his co-writing credits for five top 100 songs: "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love," "Teenage Dream," "Dynamite," P!nk's "Raise Your Glass" at No. 9 and "California Gurls" by Perry featuring Snoop Dogg at No. 35.