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AT THE HALF:
U.K. MARKETSHARE

How are the British major labels faring marketshare wise at 2018's halfway point? Year-on-year, Universal is up, and Sony and Warner are down, while the independent sector—including “fourth major” BMG—is up by 2.6%.

Universal’s H1 2018 share is 35%—a rise of 0.7% from 2017’s H1 figure of 34.3%. It took a 35.3% slice this last quarter ending 6/30, which is up 0.5% on Q1 driven by best-sellers from Post Malone, Sam Smith and Drake.

Sony’s H1 2018 figure is 22.3%, which is down 1.4% from the first half of last year, when it had big success with breakout artist Rag’n’Bone Man and a strong international release schedule. Over the last three months, Sony had a 21.9% share of the U.K. market, which is down 0.8% on Q1. Its Sony’s Q2 2018 successes include the #1 selling U.K. artist album with George Ezra (Columbia), which is now certified platinum, and top singles from Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa, Ezra and Sigala and Paloma Faith, alongside breaking act Tom Walker (Relentless).

Warner Music’s H1 stat is 18% — down 1.8% on H1 2017 when Ed Sheeran took over the world. Year-to-date, the label has had the best-selling album with The Greatest Showman soundtrack (Atlantic), with Sheeran and Dua Lipa also appearing in the Top 5. Singles wise, Rudimental, Jess Glynne and Macklemore, Dua, Sheeran,Portugal, The Man and Marshmello & Anne-Marie all make the Top 10 best sellers tally. WMYUK took a 17.8% share of the U.K. market in Q2, which is down 0.5% on Q1.

The independent sector made the biggest gains this last quarter, rising by 0.8% to 25% from Q1’s 24.2%. That’s a H1 figure of 24.7%, which is up 2.6% from H1 2017. Releases from Arctic Monkeys (Domino), Kylie Minogue (BMG) and Lil Dicky (BMG) are largely to thank for that. It's worth noting that the hottest new acts in Blighty right now—Jorja Smith and Rex Orange County—are also independent.

As a reminder, numbers are calculated using the AES (Album Equivalent Sales) metric. That comprises physical and digital album sales, track-equivalent albums (where 1k streams = one album) and budget albums.

 

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