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Music Publishers in 2016 Q3: Who’s Soaring & Who’s Slipping?

Sia's "Cheap Thrills" pushes the publisher to a 10-point lead over Warner/Chappell.

After spending the first half of the year fighting off a market-share surge from Warner/Chappell, Sony/ATV re-­established a 10-plus percentage point lead as the top music publisher in the third quarter of 2016. The ­company, whose 27.9 percent share was up slightly from the second quarter’s 26.6, placed 49 titles among the top 100 radio songs for the second quarter in a row. Its top song was also the No. 1 radio hit for the ­quarter: Sia‘s “Cheap Thrills.”

Warner/Chappell holds at No. 2 but drops five-plus percentage points from its second-quarter 23 percent, and its placements in the top 100 radio songs fell to 45 titles from 49. Its top third-quarter track was Twenty One Pilots‘ “Ride.”

Kobalt squeaks past Universal Music Publishing Group to take No. 3, which it last reached in third-quarter 2015. Its 14 percent tops UMPG’s 13.3, although the latter placed more songs in the top 100, with 38 to Kobalt’s 34. Justin Timberlake‘s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!,” the No. 2 song for the quarter, was the top performer for both publishers.


BMG, at No. 5, had its third consecutive quarterly share decline, slipping to 5.4 percent (down from 10.3 percent in fourth-quarter 2015) on 24 titles in the top 100; SONGS holds at No. 6 on a slight percentage bump, from 2.7 to 2.8 percent. The top song for both BMG and SONGS was Rihanna‘s “Needed Me.” Words & Music/Big Deal had a slight increase thanks to Shawn Mendes‘ “Treat You Better”; Round Hill/Big Loud Shirt dropped to 1.7 ­percent from its second-quarter 2.3 percent.

Imagem made the rankings for the second quarter in a row and doubled its share to 1.4 percent from its second-quarter 0.7 thanks to The Chainsmokers‘ “Don’t Let Me Down.” Black River Entertainment returns to the list with a boost from the quarter’s No. 20 song, Kelsea Ballerini‘s “Peter Pan.”

Music Publishers in 2016 Q3: Who's
Music Publishers in 2016 Q3: Who's

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 5 issue of Billboard.