Last quarter, Sony/ATV Music Publishing either owned or had a share in nearly 50% of the overall top 100 detecting songs. This quarter, that number is up to nearly 60%. In fact, in second-quarter 2013, Sony/ATV, which administers EMI Music Publishing, garnered the highest market-share total since Billboard began tracking those songs seven years ago.
For the quarter, Sony/ATV chalked up a 28.7% share — improving by more than six percentage points over the 22.4% it tallied in the first quarter and more than double the 12.4% it had in second-quarter 2012.
What accounts for the surge? Owning or having a stake in 57 of the top radio songs, which reflects 10 additional songs as compared with the 47 it placed in the top 100 in the prior quarter. Sony/ATV’s holdings include the top three positions in the top 100 detecting songs: Rihanna’s “Stay,” featuring Mikky Ekko; Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors”; and P!nk’s “Just Give Me a Reason,” featuring Nate Ruess.
On June 29, 2012, Sony Corp. of America and a consortium of investors completed the acquisition of EMI Music Publishing, leading to Sony/ATV’s domination of the market-share rankings for the last four quarters. Sony/ATV is also the top-ranked country music publisher for the top 100 country radio songs, with 24.1% in the second quarter.
Radio airplay was calculated based on the overall top 100 songs with the most detections from 1,548 U.S. radio stations that Nielsen BDS monitored electronically for the period of April 1-June 30. The Harry Fox Agency researches the publishers’ split for each track to calculate their share of those songs. For the country ranking, BDS monitored 208 U.S. country stations.
After finishing third for the last two quarters, Universal Music Publishing Group captured the No. 2 ranking with a 17.1% share, up from the 16.5% it had in first-quarter 2013 and a significant improvement over the 11.3% it posted in second-quarter 2012. For the quarter, UMPG claimed 39 of the top 100 radio songs, an improvement over the 37 it placed in the prior quarter. Its top songs include “Mirrors,” Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” (the No. 4 song) and Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie” (No. 6).
Warner/Chappell Music pushed into third place with a 16.0% slice of the pie, up from the 14.2% it had in the second quarter when it was ranked fourth, but down from the 17.1% it had in the corresponding period last year. For the quarter, Warner/Chappell claimed 36 titles among the top 100 radio songs, the same amount as in the prior quarter. Its top titles were “Mirrors,” “Just Give Me a Reason” and “When I Was Your Man.”
By coming in fourth, Kobalt Music Group suffered a whopping decline of nearly 10 percentage points, finishing the quarter with 7.8%, down from the 17.3% it had in the first quarter. In the year-earlier corresponding period, it had a 16.7% share. The 7.8% showing ended an 11-consecutive-quarter run of double-digit market share for Kobalt. The last time Kobalt had less than 10% was in second-quarter 2010, when it posted an 8.3% share.
Its plunge in market share can be attributed to placing fewer titles in the top 100 radio songs (20 versus 29 last quarter), as well as lower rankings of its top songs. Last quarter, Kobalt claimed Nos. 2, 3 and 5 songs; this time around, it claims Icona Pop’s “I Love It,” featuring Charli XCX (No. 8); Maroon 5’s “Daylight” (No. 9); and the Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” (No. 13).
BMG Chrysalis, with a 6.0% share, came in fifth again, the ranking it has held since Sony/ATV began administering EMI Music Publishing. But its share dropped from the previous period’s showing of 7.2%, as did its placement of tracks in the top 100 radio songs. In the first quarter, it placed 19 songs in the top 100; this time it has 15, including “When I Was Your Man,” Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack” (No. 10) and Ariana Grande’s “The Way,” featuring Mac Miller (No. 18).
Inside Passage Music returns to the top 10 for the second time, with its market share growing to 4.4% from 2.7%, fueled by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us” (featuring Ray Dalton) at No. 5. The duo’s “Thrift Shop” (featuring Wanz) falls from No. 4 to No. 11.
Words and Music Copyright Administration moves up to No. 7 with a 2.0% share, double the 1.0% share it had in the prior quarter when it ranked No. 10. Words and Music placed four songs in the top 100 radio songs: “Heart Attack”; Tim McGraw’s “Highway Don’t Care,” featuring Taylor Swift (No. 29); Brad Paisley’s “Beat This Summer” (No. 31); and George Strait’s “Give It All We Got Tonight” (No. 62).
Likewise, Big Loud Bucks, which serves as administrator for such pubberies as Big Loud Shirts Industries and Big Loud Mountain, placed four songs in the top 100 to come in at No. 8, down from No. 7 in the prior quarter as its market share dips to 1.4% from 2.6%. Its top songs were Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” (No. 12); Blake Shelton’s “Boys ‘Round Here,” featuring Pistol Annies & Friends (No. 34); and Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” (No. 56).
Downtown Music also suffered a market-share decline, from 2.2% to 1.4%, dropping to the No. 9 ranking from No. 8. The company had four spots in the top 100 radio songs this time versus eight previously; its top songs include “When I Was Your Man” and Phillip Phillips’ “Home” (No. 59).
Finally, Major Bob Music debuts in the top 10 with a 0.9% showing, thanks to claiming the No. 42 song, the Band Perry’s “DONE.”