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Publishers Quarterly: Warner/Chappell Ends Sony/ATV’s 5-Year Reign

For the first time since Sony/ATV Music Publishing became the administrator of EMI Music back in the third quarter of 2012, the company has been displaced as the No.1 publisher by Warner/Chappell…

For the first time since Sony/ATV Music Publishing became the administrator of EMI Music back in the third quarter of 2012, the company has been displaced as the No.1 publisher by Warner/Chappell Music in Billboard‘s quarterly rankings of the top 10 music publishers, based on their market share of the top 100 radio songs for the third quarter.

Warner/Chappell ascended to the top spot by garnering nearly an five additional percentage points over the prior quarter to finish at 22.99 percent, up from Q2’s 17.19 percent. In doing so, it snared a piece of 55 of the top 100 radio songs as compared to the 49 titles it had the last time out.

Moreover, Warner/Chappell Music was the No. 1 country music publisher with a 25.72 percent showing in the third quarter, nearly double the 12.49 percent performance turned in by the No. 2 country publisher, Sony/ATV, for the top 100 country radio songs.

Universal Music Publishing Group also retained its hold on the No. 2 spot overall for the second quarter in a row, even though it lost almost a full percentage point in market share, decreasing to 20.37 percent from 21.19 percent in the second quarter. But it managed to retain a share in the same amount of titles as last quarter, with 53 of the top 100 radio songs.


After 20 consecutive quarters on top, Sony/ATV fell hard to third place with an 18.67 percent market share for the top 100 radio songs. In the third quarter, Sony/ATV had a share in 42 of the top 100 songs, down from the 49 songs it had in the prior quarter.

The top song for each of the top three publishers was Shawn Mendes‘ “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back,” which was the period’s top song. Words & Music/Big Deal, the No. 6 publisher, also snared a share of that song, making it one of five songs that company placed in the top 100.

Publishers Quarterly: Warner/Chappell Ends Sony/ATV's 5-Year Reign

Meanwhile, Jacob “JKash” Kasher Hindlin was the third quarter’s top songwriter, thanks to sharing writing credits on two songs in the top 100: Charlie Puth’s “Attention,” at No. 4; and Maroon 5‘s “Don’t Wanna Know” featuring Kendrick Lamar, at No. 37.

In other developments, BMG beat out Kobalt Music Group for the first time, coming in fourth with an 8.34 percent share, the same amount it had last quarter. Kobalt fell to 7.76 percent in the third quarter from the prior period’s 8.85 percent performance. Previously, the two had traditionally battled in most quarters since 2010 for the No. 4 and No. 5 spot, with Kobalt coming out on top each time. Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee‘s “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber, the No. 3 song for the quarter, was BMG’s top title over the period, while “Attention” earned that distinction for Kobalt. Both publishers had a share in 25 of the quarter’s top songs.


Spirit Music Group made the top 10 for the first time with a 1.15 percent showing, while Pulse Music Group, with 1.26 percent, finished in the top 10 for the second time since Billboard began publishing the rankings in 2006. Spirit, which ranked No. 8, had five of the top 100 songs, including a share in No. 9, Ed Sheeran‘s “Shape of You”; while Pulse, at No. 7, placed seven songs in the top 100, including its top song “Despacito.”

Rounding out the top 10, Downtown Music Publishing tallied 1.15 percent share with five of the period’s top songs, including the No. 10 song, Niall Horan‘s “Slow Hands”; while SONGS placed No. 10 with 1.01 share on the strength of five songs of its own, including French Montana‘s “Unforgettable” featuring Swae Lee.

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 11 issue of Billboard.