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Publishers Quarterly: It’s the Lizzo and Harry Show as UMPG, Sony Split Top Honors

"About Damn Time" finished first on Top Radio Airplay and No. 2 on Hot 100 Songs. "As It Was" did the flip side.

For the second consecutive quarter, Sony Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing Group split the top honors in the publisher’s rankings. Sony topped the Top Radio Airplay category with a more than seven percentage point lead over No. 2 UMPG, while the reverse occurred in the Hot 100 Ranking: UMPG squeaked to a No. 1 finish, surpassing Sony by close to one percentage point.

This is each publisher’s second quarter in a row atop those categories. 

Harry Styles‘ “As It Was” was the No. 1 song on the Hot 100 for the second quarter in a row and held steady as the No. 2 song on Top Radio Airplay for the same period. Lizzo‘s “About Damn Time” finished first on Top Radio Airplay and No. 2 on Hot 100 Songs, and was the top song for each of the big three publishers in all but one category. Third-quarter top 10 publishers with a stake in “As It Was” are UMPG and Pulse, while UMPG, Sony and Warner Chappell Music each have a share in “About Damn Time.”

Kate Bush‘s Stranger Things-fueled resurgence continued as her Sony-published “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” finished No. 3 on Hot 100 Songs, No. 7 on Top Radio Airplay, and because she is the track’s sole songwriter, established her as the top Hot 100 songwriter of the quarter. 

Styles and his main co-writer Kid Harpoon (born Thomas Edward Percy Hull) took top songwriter honors in the Radio Airplay category for authoring "As It Was" and their credits as two of the three songwriters of another Top 10 Radio Airplay hit, "Late Night Talking."

In Top Radio Airplay, Sony improved its industry leading market share by more than five percentage points over its 25.62% second-quarter showing, even though its song count fell slightly from 64 to 63 tracks. Lizzo's "About Damn Time" was Sony’s top song on both the Hot 100 and Radio Airplay charts.

No. 2 UMPG's Radio Airplay market share also grew more than 1.5 percentage points quarter-to-quarter and raising its song placements from 54 to 56.  While "About Damn Time" was also UMPG's top track on the Top Radio Airplay chart, Styles' "As It Was" was its No. 1 track in the Hot 100.

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UMPG held on to its No. 1 Hot 100 Songs ranking for a second quarter, even though its market share was down half a percentage point from its second-quarter 31.25% market, and its song count fell from 67 to 60.

As it did with its Radio Airplay showing, Sony increased its market share by slightly more than five percentage points over its 24.69% second-quarter market share. Its song count also rose from 62 to 64.

Warner Chappell, Kobalt and BMG, respectively ranked No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 on both the Top Radio Airplay and the Hot 100 publisher rankings -- an order that has remained for seven consecutive quarters in the Hot 100 rankings and two in a row for Top Radio Airplay.

In Radio Airplay, Warner Chappell's market share dropped slightly more than two percentage points from last quarter, and its song count from 54 to 48. But the publisher improved its Hot 100 market share by more than one point over the second quarter's 14.66%, despite its song count dropping from 53 to 49. Warner Chappell’s top song on both charts was "About Damn Time." Warner Chappell Nashville also gave up its status as the No. 1 country music publisher for 22 consecutive quarters. It slipped to No. 2 behind Sony.

Kobalt held on to No. 4 in both rankings, despite losing market share. For Top Radio Airplay it fell from 14.945% to 13.21% quarter to quarter. For the Hot 100, it dropped more than three percentage points from 11.97% to 8.60%. Likewise, its song count is down for the Hot 100 chart from 53 to 49 while holding steady at 43 for the Top Radio Airplay chart. Jack Harlow's "First Class," which was No. 4, was its top Airplay song while Steve Lacy's "Bad Habit" at No. 5 is its top Hot 100 song.

BMG also saw market share declines in both rankings, falling to 3.12% from 4.48% in the second quarter for the Top Radio Airplay chart; and to 2.17% from 3.58% for the Hot 100 chart. Its top song on both charts was Harlow’s “First Class,” which was the No. 7 song on the Hot 100.

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In the second half of the rankings, Hipgnosis and Pulse Music Group held steady in the No. 6 and No. 7 spots, respectively, for the fourth straight quarter on the Top Radio Airplay rankings, and traded places in the Hot 100 from the second quarter. Both also lost market share from the prior quarter.

While Hipgnosis managed to hold onto its sixth place ranking in the Top Radio Airplay chart, its market share fell to 1.77% from 2.65% in the second quarter. In the Hot 100, it fell to 2.01% from 2.76% in second quarter, which led to the publisher falling from No. 6 to No. 7. Glass Animals' "Heatwave" was its top song in both charts and finished No. 12 on both.

Pulse Music also dropped market share, falling to a 2.07% share in the Hot 100 from 2.76% in the second quarter but still went up one spot in the rankings to No. 6.; while over in the Top Radio Airplay rankings its tally fell to 1.6% from 2% in the second quarter. Its top song was Styles' "As It Was."

On the Radio Airplay chart, three publishers came close to tying: Pulse's 1.607% was closely followed by No. 8 Concord with 1.597% and No. 9 Downtown at 1.593%. Round Hill Music rounded out the rankings with 1.05%. For the Hot 100, the same three publishers held down the last three spots albeit in different positions with Round Hill at No. 8 Concord at No. 9 and Downtown at No. 10.