Music Publishers' 4th Quarter Report: Top 3 Companies Have the Same No. 1 Song

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Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers arrive at Hot 99.5's Jingle Ball 2016 at the Verizon Center on Dec. 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. 

In a rare occurrence for the Publishers Quarterly, the three major music publishing companies in the United States -- Sony/ATV, Universal Music Publishing Group and Warner/Chappell -- have a share in the same top song: "Closer," by The Chainsmokers, which has six authors and is also the top radio song for the fourth quarter of 2016.

The track helped Sony/ATV hold the No. 1 spot in market share for the 18th consecutive quarter. Although the company dropped two points to 25.86 percent from 27.87 in the third quarter, it placed 54 titles among the top 100 radio songs, five more than in the third quarter.

Warner/Chappell holds at No. 2 with 19.01 percent market share and 46 songs (up from 17.49 and 45), and the publisher’s Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots was the top songwriter for the quarter, placing three tracks in the top 100. Meanwhile, Universal climbs one spot to No. 3 with 14.13 percent and 41 songs, up from 13.31 and 38 in the third quarter. Kobalt slipped four percentage points to fourth place with a 9.6 percent share and 25 titles, down from 34 in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, BMG landed at No. 5, SONGS Music Publishing at No. 6 and Words & Music/Big Deal in the seventh spot. All three improved their market share, with BMG generating 6.86 percent (up from 5.38), SONGS with 5.41 percent* (way up from 2.83) and Words & Music growing to 2.75 percent (up from 2.04). The top ten was rounded out by Pulse Publishing Administration with 1.32 percent, Imagem reaching 1.13 percent and Ole Media Management with 1.03 percent.

SOURCE: The rankings measure the market share of publishing administrators and are based on Nielsen Music rankings of the top 100 radio airplay songs for the quarter and song splits compiled by The Harry Fox Agency. Nielsen detected play on 1,769 pop stations and 298 country stations between Oct. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016. For the songwriter rankings, the number of spins each song received during the quarter is divided evenly among its songwriters, then the total spins for each top 100 song in which a songwriter has a share are tallied. The Top 10 Songs chart lists as each song’s publishers only those that are on the Top 10 Publishers list.

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 11 issue of Billboard.

*Correction appended: An earlier version of this story incorrectly put SONGS Music Publishing's market share at 4.9% and then 5.33% when it should have been 5.41%. Both the article and the Top 10 Publishers graphic have been updated to reflect this change.