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Publishers Quarterly: UMPG Tops Hot 100 While Sony/ATV Rules Radio

Dua Lipa
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Dua Lipa at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Jan. 26, 2020.

Since the advent of the Hot 100 publisher rankings in the first quarter of 2019, Sony/ATV and Universal Music Publishing Group have been fighting fiercely for market share with the former coming out on top three out of the last four times. In the first quarter of 2020, however, UMPG beat its rival for the second time since the chart launched, with a 20.93% share, compared with Sony/ATV's 18.81%.

Sony/ATV extended its dominance among the quarter's top 100 radio airplay songs, however, ranking No. 1 for the 10th consecutive quarter on the Top 10 Publishers (Radio Songs) chart. (It has been No. 1 in 30 of the last 31 quarters.)

Roddy Ricch's "The Box" is No. 1 on the Top 10 Publishers (Hot 100 Songs) chart, with the most points for the quarter ending April 2, while Post Malone's "Circles" is No. 1 on Radio Songs chart. The top songwriter for the period on both charts: Toni Watson, aka Tones and I, who is credited as the sole writer for her hit "Dance Monkey," the No. 11 radio airplay song and No. 8 Hot 100 song.

Among Hot 100 songs, UMPG claimed a share in 54 titles, with Future's "Life Is Good" (featuring Drake) as its top track; it also raised its market share nearly half a percentage point from the 20.45% it posted in the previous quarter, when it had 51 Hot 100 songs. Sony/ATV's market share fell more than 2% from the 21.12% share that earned the company the top ranking in fourth-quarter 2019, claiming a share in 52 of the first quarter's Hot 100 titles, including "Life Is Good."

Sony/ATV's preeminence on the radio airplay chart came despite a nearly 4% decline in market share to 21%, down from 24.93% in Q4 2019. In placing first, Sony had a share in 53 of the top airplay songs, one fewer than Q4, with "Circles" its top track.

In the rest of the Hot 100 rankings, Warner Chappell ranked third with a 17.99% share, slightly ahead of Kobalt's 17.94%, but more than three percentage points higher than the 14.90% share it had in fourth-quarter 2019. That came largely from its share of 48 of the quarter's Hot 100 titles, including a share in "The Box" — up from 39 songs last quarter. Kobalt, whose top song was also "The Box," saw its market share grow nearly three percentage points from 15.09%, even though the number of songs in which it had a share fell from 46 to 40.

BMG came in fifth with a 7.09% share, up from 6.34% in Q4, its highest percentage since Billboard began tracking Hot 100 market share last year. The publisher had a share in 22 songs on the chart, with "Dua Lipa's "Don't Start Now" its top song. Pulse Music came in at No. 6, with its 2.13% moving it up two slots in the rankings from last quarter's 1.21%, with "Life Is Good" its highest-ranked of six songs in the quarter. The No. 7 publisher, Round Hill Music (1.57% market share), and No. 8 peermusic (1.41%) both debut on the Hot 100 list, with the former's top track Maren Morris' "The Bones" (No. 19) and the latter's its share in "The Box."

Big Machine came in at No. 9 with a 1.21% share and five songs among the Hot 100 tracks, including the No. 10 track, Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber's "10,000 Hours," while Downtown's 0.91% share was good for 10th, representing its fifth consecutive appearance on the ranking. The Jonas Brothers' "What A Man Gotta Do," the No. 35 song, was its top song placement in the chart.

Moving over to the Top Airplay rankings, Warner Chappell climbed to No. 2 on the radio airplay chart, with a share of 46 songs including the No. 2 track, Maroon 5's "Memories." The company, also lately the traditional leader in the country radio publishers' ranking -- a distinction it earned once again in Q1 -- continued improving its market share to 18.63%, up from 16.13% in first quarter 2019 and 14.86% in third quarter 2019. But its song placement in this quarter fell from the 49 songs it had in Q4, when it was ranked third.

UMPG dropped to third with an 18.58% share, down from 18.81% last quarter, despite placing only one fewer song (52) than industry leader Sony/ATV, with both claiming a share in "Circles." Kobalt also dropped a spot, coming in fourth with 15.97% and a slice in 40 songs in the chart, down from 16.35% and 41 songs in the last quarter. While a distant fifth, BMG improved its market share for the fourth consecutive quarter, growing to 6.43%.

Big Machine marked its fourth consecutive appearance on the radio airplay rankings with a 2.33% market share at No. 6 -- its highest yet. At No. 7, Round Hill earned its third consecutive appearance, with a 2.3% share and eight songs on the chart, including "The Bones."

Pulse Music landed at No. 8, up to 1.88% from 1.29% the prior quarter. Downtown made its fifth straight appearance, at No. 9 with 1.69%, and peermusic, with a single tick under 1%, returned after a three-quarter absence at No. 10. Both Pulse and Downtown placed six songs in the chart, while peermusic snared a slice of five. Their top songs on the chart, respectively, were Harry Styles' "Adore You" (No. 13); the Jonas Brothers' "Sucker" (No. 20); and "The Box" (No. 18).

This article originally appeared in the May 23, 2020 issue of Billboard.

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