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Publishers Quarterly: Harry Styles, Latto Top Song Charts as UMPG & Sony Share Bragging Rights

Universal's 11 percentage-point market-share gain vaults it to the top of the Hot 100 ranking for the second quarter, while Sony retains its lead on Radio Airplay.

An 11 percentage-point surge by Universal Music Publishing Group resulted in a split decision for the top honors in Billboard’s second-quarter 2022 publisher rankings, while Atlanta rapper Latto’s “Big Energy” and Harry Styles’ “As It Was” took the No. 1 spots on the Top Radio Airplay and Hot 100 Songs publishers charts, respectively.

For the third time since Billboard began ranking the publishers of the top Hot 100 songs in 2019, UMPG finished first, with a whopping 31.25% market share, up from 20.40% in the first quarter of the year. That growth spurt was fueled by the publisher’s song count ballooning quarter to quarter from 46 to 67 songs. UMPG last topped the Hot 100 publisher rankings in the first quarter of 2020 and, before that, in the second quarter of 2019. Since then, UMPG has also led the Radio Airplay ranking once, in the first quarter of 2021.

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Universal’s music-publishing division finished at No. 2 on the second-quarter Radio Airplay ranking, boosting its market share from 21.74% in the first quarter to 22.39%, while its song count increased by one to 54.

Sony Music Publishing took No. 1 on Radio Airplay for its fifth consecutive quarter — and in 18 of the last 19 quarters — improving its market share to 25.62% from 24.67%, with a stake in 64 of the measurement period’s top songs, up from 57. The music publisher’s 2-plus percentage-point market-share gain, from 22.65% in the first quarter to 24.69%, and a song count boost from 58 to 62 tracks earned it second place in the Hot 100 category.

 

Publishers Quarterly, Market

Sony, UMPG and Kobalt have stakes in Latto’s “Big Energy,” which powered its way to the peak of the Top Radio Airplay chart, and UMPG and Pulse are the publishers of Styles’ “As It Was,” which was No. 1 on the Hot 100 ranking.

For the second consecutive quarter, Glass Animals frontman Dave Bayley, whose catalog is administered by Hipgnosis, ranked as the No. 1 songwriter on both charts, based on the strength of one song: the band’s long-charting hit, “Heat Waves,” which was No. 3 on the Hot 100 song publishers ranking and No. 4 on Top Radio Airplay.

In addition to the Styles track, new entries that made the top 10 of both the Radio Airplay and Hot 100 charts are Jack Harlow’s “First Class,” Imagine Dragons X J.I.D’s “Enemy,” and Doja Cat’s “Woman.” Dove Cameron’s “Boyfriend” makes its first appearance in the Radio Airplay top 10, while Future’s “Wait for U” (featuring Drake and Tems) and Lizzo’s “About Damn Time” debut in the Hot 100 top 10.

Publishers Quarterly, Market

Beyond the battle for the top two spots, Warner Chappell Music extended its dominance of country music publishing to the five-and-a-half-year mark, topping the ranking for a 22nd consecutive quarter. It reclaimed the No. 3 spot on Radio Airplay, up from fourth place last quarter, with a slight percentage gain from 15.51% to 15.58% and a song count that held steady at 54. The publisher’s top track was “Enemy,” which ranked at No. 3 on Radio Airplay. The song placed at No. 7 on the Hot 100 ranking, where Warner Chappell maintained its No. 3 standing among publishers, albeit with a small decrease in market share from 14.99% to 14.66%.

Harlow placed at Nos. 2 and 5 on the Hot 100 and Top Radio Airplay charts, respectively, with “First Class,” but Kobalt’s stake in the superstar rapper did not translate to a boost in the rankings. Quarter to quarter, the publisher held on to No. 4 on the Hot 100 ranking but fell from third to fourth place on the Radio Airplay chart, and in both cases, its market share fell, from 14.93% to 11.97% and from 16.77% to 14.94%, respectively. That is most likely due to Kobalt sharing publishing on “First Class” with Sony, Warner Chappell, BMG and Concord.

Round Hill’s market-share increase from 1.27% to 1.89% lifted the publisher from No. 10 to No. 8 among its Top Radio Airplay competition, largely due to the viral TikTok hit “To the Moon” by JNR Choi and Sam Tompkins.

Country music singer-songwriter Cody Johnson’s “Til You Can’t” helped vault Anthem Entertainment to No. 9 on the chart, the first time it has finished in the top 10 since the second quarter of 2018. And at No. 10, Songtrust makes its first-ever appearance on the Publishers Quarterly charts thanks to Em Beihold’s “Numb Little Bug.”