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Thanks to Norah Jones, whose Not Too Late is easily the year’s best-selling CD to date, and owner of the best debut week of the year with 417k in February, Bruce Lundvall’s Blue Note label sported the biggest gain from 2006, up 2.3 to 3%.
QUARTER POUNDING: COLUMBIA, UMG HOLD SERVE
Columbia, UMG Remain #1, While Blue Note Rises, Thanks to Norah and Celtic Woman
Some truisms remain axiomatic, even in the current music marketplace, where sales are off more than 16% for the year. There are still 10 albums in the Top 10. Some music groups and labels are doing better than others. And finally, we remain clueless.

At the quarter mark of 2007, Steve Barnett’s Columbia Records and UMG remain the top dogs, leading their respective categories in new releases and total marketshare, respectively. Team Barnett’s been boosted by the Dreamgirls soundtrack, #8 year-to-date, as well as the lingering post-Grammy success for the 2007 Nominees album (#11), John Mayer (#16), Beyonce (#18) and Dixie Chicks. In all, the label boasts five albums in the Top 20, including Now 23 at #20.

Thanks to Norah Jones, whose Not Too Late is easily the year’s best-selling CD to date, and owner of the best debut week of the year with 417k in February, Bruce Lundvall’s Blue Note label sported the biggest gain from 2006, up 2.3 to 3%. The rise was also fueled by St. Patty’s Day sales for the almost-platinum Celtic Woman album.

Among the Big Four, UMG was again pretty dominant, its 30.5% down just .5 from 2006, with Sony BMG (23.4%, -1.4), Warner Music Group (14.7%, even) and EMI (10.7%, +1.7) playing catch-up.

With blue-eyed soul man Robin Thicke at #6 in the year’s top sellers, as well as Fergie (#13) and the Idol rejuvenated Gwen Stefani (#17), Interscope/A&M climbed back over RCA Music Group since the two-month standings. Meanwhile, Jason Flom’s newly consolidated Capitol Music Group (representing the merged Capitol and Virgin labels) jumped over Warner Bros. and Island Def Jam to nab #4, due in large part to red-hot newcomer Corinne Bailey Rae, whose self-titled debut is lodged at #7 on the year’s Top 10 albums.

Year-to-year gains were registered by Capitol Music Group (+1), Disney Records (+.4), with the continued strength of #15 Rascal Flatts and the #19 Jump In! soundtrack; and Zomba Label Group (+.6), bolstered by Justin Timberlake’s still-strong FutureSex/LoveSounds, the #5 album of the new year.

Sony BMG continues to dominate the year’s best sellers with four of the Top 10 (RCA/RMG’s Daughtry, Jive/ZLG’s Timberlake, Columbia/Sony Music Soundtrax’s Dreamgirls and Arista Nashville’s Carrie Underwood). UMG has three (Akon, Fall Out Boy, Thicke), while EMI has two (Jones, Corinne Bailey Rae) and WMG one (Nickelback).

Nickelback is #9 among this year’s best album sellers, and was #12 at this time last year.

This year’s top seller, Norah Jones, has moved 1.2 million units of her Not Too Late album. At this same time last year, Mary J. Blige’s Breakthrough topped the chart with 1.1m.

For a full Q1 marketshare breakdown, click here.

 

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