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Publisher’s Quarterly: Kobalt Surges, Sony/ATV Stays On Top in Second Quarter

The second quarter of 2018 served as a shakeup of the status quo, with several publishers making strides while others underwhelmed.

Sony/ATV Music Publishing is safely back on top of the publisher rankings of the top 100 radio songs in Q2 2018 for the third quarter in a row, and 23rd of the past 24 quarters. In the quarter ended June 30, Sony/ATV racked up a 25.81 percent market share, with a share in 58 songs for the period, the same amount as in Q1. Its top song for Q2 was “The Middle,” by Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey.

For the quarter overall, “Meant To Be” by Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line was the No. 1 song in terms of radio airplay. The top songwriter was Ed Sheeran, who had a hand in writing two of the top 100 radio songs: the No. 8 song, “Perfect,” in which he was sole writer; and the No. 37 song, “Shape Of You,” in which he was a co-writer.

Kobalt Music Group racked up a 19.06 percent share, significantly up from the 11.68 percent it had in the prior quarter. In having a share of 40 of the quarter’s top 100 radio songs, its performance was good enough to rank No. 2, the first time it has held that spot since Q4 2014. Like Sony/ATV, Kobalt’s top song for the quarter was “The Middle.”


Universal Music Publishing Group held its own with a 17.21 percent share, down slightly from the first quarter’s 17.59 percent share, but still good enough to remain No. 3. For the third quarter in a row, UMPG’s top 100 song count has improved, growing to 52 in Q2, up from 48 titles in Q1 and 46 songs in Q4 of 2017. Its top song was the No. 1 song overall, “Meant To Be.”

After riding high for three years, consistently turning in a better than 17 percent market share and ranking No. 2 for 10 of those quarters — and even coming in No. 1 in Q3 2017, breaking Sony/ATV’s run — Warner/Chappell Music stumbled to a No. 4 ranking in Q2, with 15.65 percent share. The publisher placed 50 songs in the quarter’s top 100, down from 55 in the prior quarter and 57 in Q4 2017, with its top song being “Meant To Be.” In better news, Warner/Chappell was still the No. 1 publisher among country songs, with 26.03 percent share, the fourth consecutive quarter it held the top spot for that genre.


At No. 5, BMG posted a 6.54 percent share, an improvement from Q1’s 5.93 percent. Likewise, the 25 songs it claimed — including “Meant To Be” — was better than the 23 songs it claimed in Q1. Round Hill (2.36 percent, No. 6) and Pulse Music Group (1.28 percent, No. 8) both posted better showings than in Q1, when their shares were 1.71 percent and 1.21 percent, respectively. Round Hill’s top song was “Meant To Be,” while Pulse’s top song was the quarter’s No. 3 overall, Camila Cabello??’s “Never Be The Same.”

Meanwhile, both Big Deal (1.57 percent, No. 7) and Big Yellow Dog (1.27 percent, No. 9) return to the top 10. Big Deal — with its top song Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood,” which ranked No. 11 for the quarter — had missed out on of the top 10 in Q1 after making the rankings in 14 consecutive quarters, mainly under the name of Words & Music, the company in which it acquired a stake. This marks Big Yellow Dog’s first top 10 appearance since Q2 of 2016.

ole came in at No. 10 with 0.98 percent and six songs in the top 100, including its top-performing song, “Singles You Up” by Jordan Davis, the No. 43 song for the quarter.

Publisher's Quarterly: Kobalt Surges, Sony/ATV Stays On Top in Q2 2018 | Billboard
Publisher's Quarterly: Kobalt Surges, Sony/ATV Stays On Top in Q2 2018 | Billboard

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