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NEAR TRUTHS BY I.B. BAD

THE DIRTY DOZEN
There’s a group of gunslingers at the top seven labels who are dead-serious about their marketshare numbers. These players—we’ll refer to them as the Dirty Dozen—are ultra-competitive and would do almost anything to gain half a point in the yearly race for frontline and TEA honors. So when there is a major shift, as happened recently with the reorganization of UMG East, one can only imagine the volume level of the cheering coming out of the offices of certain label heads, and the amount of squealing coming out of the offices of the rest.



At the core of this reorg was the dissolution of IDJ, which immediately shook up the frontline and overall/TEA marketshare standings, the primary beneficiaries being Monte Lipman’s Republic on the East Coast and Steve Barnett’s Capitol Music Group in L.A. Thanks to picking up Island, with its 1.2% year-to-date frontline share, Republic vaults to 8.1%, while CMG, which gains the .59% of Motown, rises to 8.3%, second only to Rob Stringer’s Columbia, which had been running away from the competition prior to the shift and still stands at a robust 8.8%. (It’s worth noting that the frontline share of the entirety of Warner Music Group is less than Columbia’s.)

But the overall/TEA contest couldn’t be any tighter, with Columbia at 8.1% to Republic’s 8.0% following the addition of Island’s 2.1%, while CMG is #3 with 7.5% after adding Motown’s .21%. And don’t count out the Janick-Berman IGA machine, currently #4 with 7.3%. Making the situation even more dramatic, Republic has a Taylor Swift album scheduled, while Columbia may get one from Adele.

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