What the Major Labels Made In 2018: Billboard Estimates Their Individual Revenues

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Ariana Grande performs onstage during the Sweetener World Tour - Opening Night at Times Union Center on March 18, 2019 in Albany, New York. 

Because the three majors report only their overall recorded-music revenue, there is much speculation about what their owned labels earn individually. In an effort to shed light on the subject, Billboard has estimated their 2018 U.S. revenue.

These estimates are limited to reliable third-party U.S.-only data sources and do not include synchs, merch or 360-deal revenue. Each label’s total was calculated with the data used to compile Money Makers and with Nielsen Music Connect’s unit counts for each delivery format (CDs, streams, etc.). Video and programmed streams were interpolated using on-demand audio-streaming market share, and a multiplier was used to account for the difference between the RIAA’s and Nielsen’s wholesale sales totals.

A - This counts the old RED-distributed labels’ revenue before being combined with The Orchard and not the new RED label-services revenue.
B - Double counted also under Columbia
C - Double counted also under Columbia
D - Distributor of Capitol Christian-signed artists and independent labels and artists
E - Distributor of indie labels and indie artists
F - Distributor of indie labels and indie artists
G - As of 2019, no longer counted under Republic
H - Doesn’t include Alternative Distribution Alliance
I - Distributed label, not owned

This article originally appeared in the July 20 issue of Billboard.


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