The marketshare figures for how the British labels fared in 2016 are in, with Jason Iley's Sony and Max Lousada's WMG improving, while David Joseph's market-leader Universal is slightly down. Ted Cockle's Virgin EMI is still the top performing imprint, followed by the RCA Label Group, newly helmed by David Dollimore. Read on for the stats, as well as a few determining factors.
Numbers are calculated using the AES (Album Equivalent Sales) metric. That comprises physical and digital album sales, track equivalent albums (where 1k streams = one album) and also include budget albums.
Highest riser Sony U.K. ended 2016 at 24.3%—up 2.0% on 2015 —thanks to big sellers from Elvis Presley, David Bowie and Little Mix, as well as the acquisition of previously independent label Ministry of Sound in August. RCA takes second place in the individual label group tally with 8.0%, while Elvis label Sony Music CG is third at 7.6%.
Warner U.K. is up 0.3% year-on-year to 17.5% in 2016, with Coldplay and Jess Glynne (released in 2015) its biggest album sellers, as well as a Parlophone-released Best Of Bowie. Atlantic is its market-leader at 5.0%.
UMG U.K. is still way ahead of the pack at 35.0%, but is down 0.4% on 2015. Ball and Boe's Together, issued by Decca, was its surprise year-end blockbuster, selling 512k over the course of eight weeks to take third place on 2016's best-sellers, and accompanied by Justin Bieber and Drake in the Top 10. Virgin EMI rules the individual label group at 11.0% (down 0.2%), with Island at 6.6% and Polydor 6.3%.
What Sony gains the indies lose: independent companies took 23.2% last year, down from 25.2% in 2015.
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