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2021 MIDYEAR MARKETSHARE

In order to get some perspective on the marketshare standings as of July 1, we need to dolly back to early January. At that time, many in the biz believed that John Janick’s Interscope Geffen A&M, which had just wrested the 2020 championship trophy from Atlantic while racking up its highest-ever share with 10.2% overall, had an excellent shot to repeat in 2021. The prognosticators had no way of knowing that IGA, whose success during Janick’s eight-year reign had been powered by a steady string of extra-base hits, would have its 2021 leadoff batter, Geffen rookie Olivia Rodrigo, hit it out of the park with her very first single, “drivers license,” the runaway #1 song of the year so far. Should it end the year on top, Rodrigo would become the first solo female to achieve this milestone since Adele with “Rolling in the Deep” in 2011. What’s more, the 18-year-old singer/songwriter’s debut LP, SOUR, moved 1.37m units in its first six weeks, making it the year’s second-biggest album, with a strong shot at ending the year at #1.

Rodrigo joins Billie Eilish, whose sophomore LP comes out later this month, as an IGA supernova at the prong of Janick’s bifurcated attack, which brings together young stars from a variety of A&R sources, including Lil Durk, the late Juice WRLD, Moneybagg Yo, Rod Wave, Machine Gun Kelly and DaBaby with core artists like Eminem. As a result, IGA boasts 14 of the Top 50 albums at midyear, helping extend the label group’s halftime lead over Atlantic to 1.2%, along with a stunning 11.9% in current share and a market-leading 9.9% of overall vinyl sales.

Durk and Rod Wave are both signed to Todd Moscowitz’s Alamo, which moved from Interscope to Sony—including its roster and catalog—in late June. All existing and future releases from Alamo will now go to Sony, but Alamo’s accrued marketshare YTD stays with IGA. 

The #1 LP at midyear, with 2.11m, was Dangerous: The Double Album, released by the gifted country artist Morgan Wallen on 1/8—the same day “drivers license” dropped—via a partnership between Big Loud and Republic. With 11 albums in the six-month Top 50, Republic trails only IGA, while Team Lipman leads the streaming-songs Top 50 with 13 entries. Republic’s impressive half year is attributable to a plethora of big-time scorers: Wallen, the late Pop Smoke, The Weeknd, Taylor Swift (with three LPs north of 500k), Ariana Grande and Post Malone, plus #1 streaming act Drake, who’s prepping the follow-up to 2018’s Scorpion.

Jeff Vaughn and Michelle Jubelirer’s CMG is holding serve at #4 overall and current, thanks in no small measure to the 2015 JV deal made by Motown’s Ethiopia Habtemariam and former head Steve Barnett to bring aboard Coach K and P’s Atlanta hit factory, Quality Control. They're also understandably stoked about platinum Vaughn inkings Mooski and Toosii and the consistent delivery of the freshly reconfigured Virgin. Ron Perry’s surging Columbia, with five Top 50 albums and six Top 50 streaming tracks, is in fifth place in both overall and current, with Lil Nas X’s debut LP coming and a new single from The Kid LAROI f/Justin Bieber that looks like a giant.

Aaron Bay-Schuck and Tom Corson’s reawakened Warner—paced by Dua Lipa’s #6 LP and #2 streaming single—is deadlocked with Columbia for fifth place overall, bolstered by its deep catalog. Warner trails only IGA, Atlantic and CMG in that sector, which accounts for around two thirds of overall marketshare. Peter Edge’s RCA is nipping at 5% behind superstar-in-waiting Doja Cat, who has a growing new album and two of the label’s three Top 20 streaming songs, along with SZA at #6.

The rest of the field—11 labels in all—is bunched between 2.5% and 1%. Standing out from the crowd are Sylvia Rhone’s Epic (2.5%), with three Top 50 LPs; Jeff Harleston’s Def Jam (2.3%), with the #3 album from Bieber; Mike Dungan and Cindy Mabe’s UMG Nashville (2.1%), with Chris Stapleton on both Top 50 charts; and Randy Goodman’s Sony Music Nashville (2.0%), with the #8 and #35 LPs from Luke Combs.

Looking at the big picture, no label has a snowball’s chance in hell of catching IGA in the next six months, so we’re awarding the 2021 championship to Janick’s elite squad right now, while Atlantic and Republic (8.3% overall; a second-place 10.8% current share) are locks for silver and bronze. For Sir Lucian Grainge’s mighty UMG, with its towering marketshare—38.6% overall, 39.5% current—and three of the industry’s top four labels, the timing couldn’t be better as the music group’s 9/21 IPO looms.

WALLEN FOR THE WIN
"Dangerous" nudges "SOUR." (12/1a)
CHART FINAL: 2021'S BIGGEST BOW
Big numbers for 30. (11/29a)
IGA UPS MORRIS
good 4 him (12/1a)
ADELE IS HEADING TO LAS VEGAS
Viva, Ms. Adkins (12/1a)
PUTTING THE POP
IN POPCORN
Putting the audio into audio-visual. (11/30a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
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