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Also showing a major growth spurt—just as it is absorbed by other BMG labels—is Arista, which jumps up 53.1% to a 4.9% share, thanks to OutKast and the new monster from Usher, as
well as hits from Sarah McLachlan and Dido.

MARKETSHARE UPDATE: Q1

Consolidations in the Biz Change the Balance, and Arista Goes Out With a Bang
As the first quarter comes to a close, we find that BMG and Sony, whose joint-venture merger plan is still under review by the European Commission, are still the two label groups whose marketshare percentages have changed most dramatically when compared to figures from a year ago.

BMG is up 28.5% over last year to 20.3% of the non-catalog market as of March 28, thanks in large part to Kenny Chesney (BNA), OutKast (LaFace/Arista) and Evanescence (Wind-up) having the #2, #3 and #4 top-selling albums of the year so far. Sony, meanwhile, still regaining its footing after a major restructuring under chief Andrew Lack, has given back 20.5% of its share since last year, dropping to 12%.

Together, however, BMG and Sony would have the largest marketshare in the U.S. At 31.1%, the merged company would beat Universal Music Group by nearly three points, as things stand now. At 28.3%, UMG’s share is relatively stable, having diminished just 6% over the past year.

Warner Music Group, having just gone through a major East-Coast consolidation, with further restructuring ongoing, also stands relatively tall at 13.8%, having shrunk 9.2% since last year. EMI, however, is the second-greatest gainer at the group level, having gained 14.4% over the last 12 months to a 10.8% share—thanks largely to the continued success of Norah Jones, whose sophomore album is currently the year’s best-selling album. (Her 2002 debut, remarkably, is still #27).

At the label level, Capitol shows the greatest improvement, raising its share a whopping 75% to 3.5% on the strength of albums from such artists as Chingy, Westside Connection and Coldplay, as well as the Now 15 compilation.

Also showing a major growth spurt—just as it is absorbed by other BMG labels—is Arista, which jumps up 53.1% to a 4.9% share, thanks to the aforementioned OutKast, and the new monster from Usher, as well as hits from Sarah McLachlan and Dido. Talk about going out with a bang.

RCA/J, one of the heirs to Arista’s assets (all now once again under label founder Clive Davis’ control), also makes a major move upward, gaining 37.5% to a 4.4% share. Driving the growth are albums from Alicia Keys (J), Ruben Studdard (J), Maroon 5 (Octone/J), Rod Stewart (J) and Clay Aiken (RCA).

MUSIC GROUP MARKETSHARE (%, Non-Catalog)

Group/Label

Now

Year Ago

+/

1

UMG

28.3

30.9

-8.4%

2

BMG

20.3

15.8

28.5%

3

WMG

13.8

15.2

-9.2%

4

SONY

12.0

15.1

-20.5%

5

EMI

10.8

9.4

14.4%

TOP 10 LABELS (%, Non-Catalog)

Label

Current

Year Ago

+/

1

IDJ

6.8

6.7

1.5%

2

Columbia

6.7

6.8

-1.5%

3

Int./A&M/DW

6.5

8.5

-23.5%

4

Warner Bros.

5.6

5.4

3.7%

5

Arista

4.9

3.2

53.1%

6

Universal

4.6

4.6

0.0%

7

RCA/J

4.4

3.2

37.5%

8

Epic

3.9

6.9

-43.5%

9

Atlantic

3.6

4.7

-23.4%

10

Capitol

3.5

2.0

75.0%

"I wish you guys wouldn't spend so much time talking about who has how much or who's in what place," complained one label exec. "The important thing is that we're bringing something meaningful into people's lives. Hey, what's the date today?"

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