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TALE OF THE TAPE: 2016 FINAL MARKETSHARE


Not these guys again! Like Saban and Belichick.

Columbia is the undisputed SPS champ in the final standings of 2016. The Rob Stringer-led company came out on top despite a slight dip in its streaming share—resulting from the limited availability of Beyoncé (whose Lemonade has only been streamable as a Tidal exclusive) and Adele (whose 25 was held back from all streaming services for its first seven months). In any case, both superstars delivered at retail in a major way.

Republic’s streaming percentage, meanwhile, rocketed to 10.4, best in the biz, thanks to the combined thrust of Drake, The Weeknd, Ariana Grande and Island's Shawn Mendes, along with the massive accompanying radio push. Interestingly, Republic’s streaming share is a whopping 1.6 percentage points higher than the company’s SPS figure—close to a 20% differential—which indicates that Monte Lipman and his team are way ahead of the field in terms of the sales-to-streams transition. The primary contributor to this enviable status is Slim and Baby’s Cash Money, whose 3.3% steaming share is nearly double its 1.9% SPS number; indeed, Sultan of Streams Drake would command nearly 2% of the streaming pie on his own.

Edge and Corson’s RCA turned in another solid year, with strong numbers in all segments, while Janick and Berman’s Interscope showed a strong finishing kick—and its urban repertoire points to favorable numbers for 2017. Capitol’s streaming numbers were down during what was admittedly an off-cycle year for the Steve Barnett-led company, whose release schedule was light on urban music, but Capitol did lay the groundwork for star-in-waiting Lil Yachty.

Some takeaways: L.A. Reid’s Epic, Steve BartelsDef Jam and Cameron Strang’s Warner/Reprise experienced significant marketshare growth in distinctly different ways. Epic did it in combined streaming and sales, Def Jam rode the streaming horse across the finish line, and Warners took the old-school tack of selling over their weight in retail albums—climbing to a robust 7.4% in TEA share, with Prince the top contributor, as his two top-selling albums--#8 The Very Best of Prince and #20 Purple Rain—moved north of 1.5m units combined. That was only part of the strongest year of the Blavatnik era for Warner Music Group, rendering the term “Big Three” more legitimate and less hyperbolic than it has been since the phrase was coined in 2012.

Although the two top Nashville labels, Sony and Universal, continued to lag behind pop and urban in the streaming sector, certain country artists started to put up sizable numbers. Leading the way was Sam Hunt, whose Montevallo registered 399m streams in 2016, tops in the genre, while Between the Pines tracks were streamed 284m times, the third-highest tally. Sandwiched between the Hunt titles was Thomas Rhett’s Tangled Up, with 305m. 

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