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NEW FOR '03: MARKETSHARE UPDATE
UMG Leads, Others Follow
In our first year-to-date marketshare snapshot of 2003, Universal Music Group surprises no one by leading the pack with a jaw-dropping 32.8% share of current (non-catalog) albums. This is new for ’03 because the last time we said that, it was still ’02.

UMG’s massive slice of the industry pie is now within one point of being double that of its closest competitor, Sony Music, which logs a 16.8% share through the seventh week of the year, ending Feb.16. It is also now within half a point of claiming an entire third of the U.S. recorded music business.

UMG’s continuing dominance is being driven by rap phenom 50 Cent, whose Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (Interscope) is the top album of the year at over 1.6 million after less than two weeks on sale (through Feb.16). That album has the distinction of being the only million-seller of the year so far, and has sold more in 2003 than any other music group’s top two albums combined.

Sony’s top seller so far is the Dixie Chicks’ Grammy-winning Home (Open Wide/ Columbia/CRG), which moved some 740k through the 16th. Third-place BMG, with 15.5% of the market, can thank Avril Lavigne for her Let Go (Arista), which sold 658k.

Fourth-place Warner Music Group, meanwhile, scores 15.3%, thanks to the resurgence of Kid Rock’s Cocky (Lava/ Atlantic). And bringing up the rear, EMI’s 9.1% (up from 8.2% for ’02), gets a healthy boost from subtle-pop princess Norah Jones’ Grammy-sweeping debut, Come Away with Me (Blue Note). The left-field multi-platinum smash sold 795k through Feb. 16.

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