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Surging Disney/ Hollywood showed the biggest overall growth year to year with a 2.4% rise, boasting the two top-selling albums of the half-year in High School Musical (2.6m) and Lyric Street’s Rascal Flatts (2m).
SIX MONTH SCORECARD
UMGD, Warner Bros. Top Marketshare Leaders At Half-Year Mark
While it may sometimes seem like the record business is running on fumes, the year’s six-month marketshare report shows, at least digitally speaking, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Warner Bros. Records is the marketshare leader in new releases (6.3%), though it’s down .5% from same time last year. IDJ is just a split hair behind the Burbank Bunny at 6.3%.

UMGD was once again the top distributor for total album sales (31.7%), though they were down .3% from last year’s midyear totals. WMG was the only music group to show growth for total marketshare, at 19.2%, up 2.6% from midyear 2005. 

Surging Disney/Hollywood showed the biggest overall growth year to year with a 2.4% rise, boasting the two top-selling albums of the half-year in High School Musical (2.6m) and Lyric Street’s Rascal Flatts (2m). Atlantic, at 2.3%, is right behind the Mouse house, thanks to #3 James Blunt via a deal with Custard (1.7m) and #7 T.I. on Grand Hustle (1.3m).

While total album sales are down approximately 4% January-June, the total is slightly up if digital downloads are figured in as 10 equaling one album. Overall music sales, including albums, singles, music video and digital tracks, were up 24%.

Elsewhere, only the digital realm offered good news, as digital-track sales increased by almost 80% over last year, while average weekly track sales were up to 11 million, from 7 million in 2005. Digital album sales are up more than 125% to 15 million compared to the first six months of last year.  Overall music purchases in 2006 are expected to break 1 billion in sales for the second consecutive year.

Here are some other interesting factoids:
  • Mass merchant marketshare is up to 40%, with nontraditional sales outlets accounting for more than 10% of total album sales, both all-time highs.
  • Five genres have experienced sales increases over last year: soundtracks and Christian/gospel were up double-digits, while classical, Latin and metal were also up. Experiencing double digit declines were R&B, rap and alternative, with jazz just behind them.
  •  If EMI and WMG had joined forces at the beginning of ’06, the combined company would be a solid #2 at 29.3%, three points above Sony BMG and 2.4% below UMG.
  • Other best-sellers include Geffen’s Mary J. Blige (#4, 1.5m), Arista’s Carrie Underwood (#5, 1.5m), UTV’s Now 21 (#6, 1.4m), Columbia’s Dixie Chicks (#8, 1.3m), Decca’s Andrea Bocelli (#9, 1.1m) and IDJ’s Nickelback (#10, 1.1m)

BIG FOUR (total marketshare)

Music Group              2006              2005              +/-UMGD                       31.7%           32.0%        -.3%
SONY BMG             26.3%            27.8%        -1.5%
WMG                       19.2%            16.6%          +2.6%
EMM                       10.1%            10.3%           -.2%

MAJOR LABELS (new releases)

                         Y-T-D ’06    Y-T-D ’05       +/-
Warner Bros.
         6.3%            5.8%           +.5
Island Def Jam      6.2%              6.2%           --
Atlantic                  6.0%             3.7%        +2.3
Columbia               5.5%             5.9%        -.4
Interscope A&M    5.4%            10.1%      -4.7
Disney/Hollywood   5.1%             2.7%     +2.4
RCA Music Group   5.0%           5.0%         --
Universal                  4.9%             5.1%        -.2
Geffen                    3.3%              2.8%       +.5
ZLG                        3.0%             2.6%       +.4
Epic                        2.9%              5.1%     -2.2
RCA Nashville      2.5%                2.5%       --
Virgin                     2.0%              .3%        +.7
Capitol                   1.9%              3.1%     -1.2

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