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10-MONTH MARKETSHARE

 

With two months left in 2021, a half-dozen labels—three from UMG, two from WMG and one from Sony Music—are locks to finish the year above 6% in overall marketshare. Each of them has a particular reason to observe a winning season with the requisite champagne-swilling locker-room celebration.

As in sports, it’s hard to repeat in music, which makes the back-to-back championships pulled off by John Janick’s Interscope Geffen A&M historic and dynastic. IGA remains the only label above 10% in total activity, while it reaches a lofty 11.4% in current. Rookie of the year Olivia Rodrigo has no less than four Top 50 song entries YTD, including #2 and 3, alongside the #2 album. Moneybagg Yo (#14), the late Juice WRLD (#16, 25 and 47), Billie Eilish (#15 and 38), Roc Nation’s J. Cole (#20) Machine Gun Kelly (#31) and Hall of Famer Eminem (#50) give IGA 10 of the Top 50 albums YTD.

IGA maintains a one-percentage-point lead over Atlantic, which stays at #2 in total activity despite having just three Top 50 albums and seven Top 50 songs. Catalog is propping up the company’s overall performance, with a 9.3 share in that metric, four tenths of a point south of IGA.

Monte Lipman’s Republic (#3 overall with 8.3%, #2 current with 10.6%) has three of the Top 10 albums, enjoying nine in the Top 25 and 11 in the Top 50. Morgan Wallen holds serve at #1, followed by Drake (#3), The Weeknd (#9 and 22), Taylor Swift (#12, 23 and 30), Ariana Grande (#17), Post Malone (#18) and Island’s Elton John (#45). The label also boasts 10 Top 50 songs.

And the hits just keep coming for Ron Perry’s surging Columbia (6.9% overall), which has been en fuego throughout the second half. Big Red Hot has racked up nine Top 50 singles, including Lil Nas X at #6 and 27, breakout newcomer The Kid LAROI at #7 and 26, BTS at #10, Polo G at #13, Lil Tjay at #21 and 24kGoldn at #24. LNX, The Kid and Tjay also have Top 50 albums, as does Harry Styles, while Polo G has a pair. With the mighty Adele coming on 11/19, led by a massive single, 7% or more seems attainable by year’s end, adding some drama to the late fourth quarter.  

Lil Baby, via Ethiopia Habtemariam's QC/Motown, is the flagship act of Jeff Vaughn and Michelle Jubelirer’s CMG (6.8%) as his best-selling album of 2020 holds steady at #11 nearly 20 months after release. His joint LP with Alamo’s Lil Durk is #29. CMG’s deep catalog is a major contributor; at 7.2% in the standings, the company is tied with Columbia in the #4 slot.

Claiming the #7 album and #1 single YTD, Dua Lipa is the big story for Aaron Bay-Schuck and Tom Corson’s Warner (6.3%). The Bunny also landed singles from Saweetie, CJ and Yung Bleu in the Top 50. Warner’s number includes the share of Espo’s Warner Music Nashville. Fun fact: Fleetwood Mac’s #40 album came out four years before Aaron was born; Tom was a high school senior at the time.

Looking at the rest of the field, only The Orchard, Sony’s Brad Navin-led indie-distribution arm, tops 5%, although Peter Edge’s RCA is flirting with that benchmark, thanks primarily to a breakout year from Doja Cat. There’s a big gap between the #7 and 8 companies and Sylvia Rhone’s #9 Epic—with Top 40 albums from GIVĒON, Travis Scott and DJ Khaled—at 2.4%, a tenth of a point above Def Jam, the home of superstars Justin Bieber and Ye, soon to be headed by Tunji Balogun. In Music City, Mike Dungan and Cindy Mabe’s UMG Nashville (2.1%), paced by Chris Stapleton, and Randy Goodman’s Sony Music Nashville (2.0%), with the #10 and 35 albums from Luke Combs, remain locked in a back-and-forth battle.

For every hungry competitor aiming to slice off a bigger piece of the marketshare pie, the rallying cry is “Wait till next year.”

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