Sony/ATV Tops Country's Third Quarter

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Keith Urban performs with John Mellencamp  onstage at the 49th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 4, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Warner/Chappell puts in a strong showing, with a stake in 48 of the top 100 songs.

As it did for the overall top 100 radio songs, Sony/ATV leads country radio for the 13th consecutive quarter. It had a 1.4 percent rise in market share from the second quarter, to 22.6 percent from 21.2, but down from its recent peak of 26.9 in the third quarter of 2014. It had a stake in 43 of the top 100 country tracks, including the No. 1 tune: Keith Urban’s “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.”

Warner/Chappell finished a close second, up more than three percentage points from Q2, to 21.5 percent and a share in 48 of the top 100 songs. Of all the publishers, it had a stake in the most songs from the country radio top 100: 48, including the No. 2 song, Thomas Rhett's "Crash and Burn."

Universal Music Publishing Group came in at No. 3 with 10.5 percent, down from 14.1 percent in the second quarter. UMPG had a share in 30 songs from the top 100, including the No. 3 track, Sam Hunt's "House Party."

Among the indies, the No. 4-ranked BMG had the biggest boost, with a two-percentage-point-plus gain thanks in part to Brett Eldredge’s “Lose My Mind,” the No. 6 song. 

Elsewhere, Round Hill Music/Big Loud Shirt -- the former bought the latter's catalog a year ago and then formed a joint-venture -- came in fifth, with a 4.8 percent share, share down slightly from the prior quarter’s 4.9. 

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Words and Music Copyright Industry, which like the three majors have made the country Top 10 publishers since Billboard began tracking this category in the first quarter of 2010, came in No. 6 with 4.5 percent, up from 3.4 in the prior quarter. It had a stake in nine top 100 songs, including the No. 4 title, Chris Janson's "Buy Me A Boat."

Black River Entertainment, which debuted in the rankings in the fourth quarter of 2013, makes its ninth consecutive appearance with a 3.9 percent slice of the pie, down from 4.7 in the prior quarter. It had 10 songs in the top 100, including a stake in "John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16."

Kobalt came in No. 8, with a 2.8 percent share and six songs in the Top 100, including a stake in Urban’s No.1 song. 

Clearbox Rights makes its fourth appearance with a 2.1 percent showing, down form the 3.4 percent it had in its debut on the country rankings in the third quarter of 2014. It also had a stake in the top song.

Finally, Downtown Music Publishing rounds out the Top 10 with a 1.8 percent ranking, down from the prior quarter when it debuted with 2.2 percent.

The rankings measure the market share of publishing administrators and are based on Nielsen Music rankings of the top 100 country radio airplay songs for the quarter and song splits compiled by The Harry Fox Agency. Nielsen detected play on 224 country stations. For the songwriter rankings, the number of spins each song received during the quarter is divided evenly among its songwriters, and then their total spins for all the songs they have a share in are tallied.

This article was originally published in the Nov. 28 issue of Billboard.