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The Magic Kingdom had the year’s top two albums in Disney Records’ High School Musical soundtrack (3.7m) and Lyric Street’s Rascal Flatts (3.5m), along with the Hannah Montana soundtrack at #8 (2 million), contributing to a year’s best 2.6% rise in new release marketshare to 5.5% (and a fifth place finish).

2006 WRAP: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY

UMG, Columbia Top Marketshare Derby, Disney Has 1-2 Album Sellers
As a year, 2006 was certainly one. On the one hand, U.S. music sales were pegged at $1.2 billion, exceeding the beeelion barrier for the second consecutive year, up almost 20% from 2005.

Of course, most of that increase was due to a whopping 65% rise in digital sales to 582 million. Meanwhile, those round things with the hole in the middle remain in freefall, as album sales dipped another 5%, so no one was cracking out the champagne. For a full chart, click here.

Still, it was a pretty good year for some industry peeps.

Doug MorrisUniversal Music Group was once again the marketshare leader in total albums (31.6%), virtually even with last year, as was Sony BMG,  #2 overall (27.4%). Warner Music Group was up slightly and third in total albums (18.1%), followed by EMI (10.2%).

Steve Barnett’s Team Columbia topped the individual label marketshare tally for both new releases (7.3%) and total (7.2%), besting #2 Antonio “L.A.” Reid’s Island Def Jam in new releases (6.2%) and Warner Bros. overall (6.1%).

Barnett’s success came from a variety of artists old and new, including double-platinum superstars Dixie Chicks and Beyonce, as well as Bob Dylan, John Mayer, John Legend and the current chart-topping Dreamgirls soundtrack.

The year’s other big label winner was Bob Cavallo’s Buena Vista Music Group. The Magic Kingdom had the year’s top two albums in Disney RecordsHigh School Musical soundtrack (3.7m) and Lyric Street’s Rascal Flatts (3.5m), along with the Hannah Montana soundtrack at #8 (2 million), contributing to a year’s best 2.6% rise in new release marketshare to 5.5% (and a fifth place finish).

All three of BMG’s divisions—Clive DavisRCA Music Group, Barry WeissZomba Label Group and Joe Galante and Butch Waugh’s Nashville—were up for new releases, thanks to the continuing American Idol phenomenon (Carrie Underwood, Daughtry), Justin Timberlake and Tool and Kenny Chesney, respectively.

The division of Universal into separate fiefdoms headed by Sylvia Rhone (Motown) and Monte Lipman (Republic) paid some early dividends, with the combined labels showing an uptick thanks to acts like Chamillionaire, Akon and Blue October on the Motown side and Hinder, Prince, Godsmack and Jack Johnson for Republic.

Jimmy Iovine’s perennial Interscope juggernaut experienced a rare down year, dipping 3% to 5.6% in new releases and down 2.2% to 4.6% overall, which is what you get when you don’t have new releases from 50 Cent or Eminem, who instead put out a mixtape compilation.

The top album of 2005, Mariah Carey’s Island/IDJ comeback The Emancipation of Mimi, sold almost 5 million copies compared to the 2006 champ High School Musical’s 3.7 million. 50 Cent also moved 4.9 million of his G Unit/Aftermath/Interscope Massacre album in 2005.

This year, Musical and Flatts were followed by Arista Nashville’s Carrie Underwood (3m), Roadrunner/IDJ’s Nickelback (2.7m), Jive/ZLG’s Justin Timberlake (2.4m), Custard/Atlantic’s James Blunt (2.1m), Columbia’s Beyonce (2m), Disney’s Hannah Montana soundtrack (1.9m), Open Road/Monument/Columbia’s Dixie Chicks (1.9m) and Universal Republic’s new rock artist breakthrough of the year, Hinder (1.8m).

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