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Record Label Market Share Year-End 2023: Republic Sets High Water Mark; RCA, Warner Finish Strong

Mr. Nimbus | 01/10/2024
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At the midyear point of 2023, Republic Records had put up a 12.46% current market share — defined as albums released in the past 18 months — which was a remarkable figure, and more than 4.5% higher than the second-largest label. Now, as 2023 has come to a close, Republic finished the year even higher, reaching an eye-popping 13.47% current market share for the year. That’s the highest full-year mark since at least 2015, when streaming began to lift the industry out of its post-CD doldrums, and more than 3% higher than its current share in 2022, which was a then-industry-leading 10.38%.

Republic’s high-water mark stems from a combination of both enduring releases dating back to the end of 2022 and massive albums from two of the biggest stars on the planet this year: Taylor Swift and Morgan Wallen. For full-year 2023, Swift and Wallen (signed through Republic’s deal with Big Loud, which on its own commanded a 2.33% current share) combined for seven of the top 10 albums in U.S. consumption units, according to Luminate, including four of the top five. With Metro Boomin’s Heroes & Villains ranking at No. 10, Republic had an astonishing eight of the 10 biggest albums in the United States in 2023. And Republic’s fourth quarter was even more dominant: In the final three months of the year, the label’s current market share ballooned to 16.79%, buoyed by new albums from Drake, Nicki Minaj and Stray Kids. That’s higher than the current share of the entire Warner Music Group across that three-month period, which stood at 15.50%.

Following Republic — which includes Island, Big Loud, Mercury Records, Cash Money and indie distributor Imperial in its market share — Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA) came in second in current share, at 8.80%, up from the 8.72% it tallied in 2022. The label — which also encompasses Verve Label Group — scored another big success with Olivia Rodrigo’s sophomore album GUTS. It also saw critical acclaim for Verve’s Jon Batiste, once again a Grammy darling, and continued its extremely strong recent track record of breaking new artists, with Gracie Abrams up for best new artist at this year’s Grammys — a category the label has won in three of the past four years.

The success of Republic and IGA helped parent company Universal Music Group roar back to a 35.84% current market share for 2023, jumping two points year over year from 2022’s 33.57%. In second, Sony Music Entertainment also grew year over year, up to 27.08% from 2022’s 26.99%, while Warner Music Group dipped to 16.95%, down from last year’s 18.30%. The indies, by distribution ownership, accounted for 20.13% current market share, down from 21.14% in 2022.

In third and fourth place in current share among frontline labels are a pair of Warner Music Group labels, Atlantic Records (6.83%, down from 9.15% in 2022) and Warner Records (5.96%, up from 4.86% in 2022). Atlantic (encompassing 300 Elektra Entertainment), which dipped from second to third place year over year, scored a big win with the Barbie soundtrack as well as No. 1s from Lil Uzi Vert and Jack Harlow, despite a two-plus point percentage drop in current share. Meanwhile, Warner Records — which includes Warner Latin, catalog label Rhino and parts of Warner Nashville in its share — surged from sixth place last year to fourth place this year with a more than 1% boost. Zach Bryan’s self-titled album and No. 1 Hot 100 single “I Remember Everything” led the way, with Bryan landing at No. 4 on Billboard’s year-end Artist 100 ranking and his “Something in the Orange” being the third-most-streamed song of 2023.

In fifth, Capitol Music Group also saw a big year-over-year boost in current share, from 4.97% in 2022 to 5.90% in 2023. The label — which remains in fifth place despite the jump in share and encompasses Motown/Quality Control, Blue Note, Astralwerks, Capitol Christian and indie distributor Virgin Music — enjoyed the breakout success of Ice Spice (signed in conjunction with 10K Projects) in the past year as well as a top 10 Hot 100 single from Toosii.

Sixth place in current share belongs to RCA Records at 4.70%, a one-spot jump over last year when it came in with 4.65%. The label, whose market share does not include any other labels or distributors, benefited from the enduring success of SZA’s multi-Grammy nominated S.O.S. album, the third-biggest project of 2023, as well as huge hits from Doja Cat, Tate McCrae and Ateez, the latter of which landed a No. 1 album in the fourth quarter. Dropping into seventh is Columbia at 4.67% of current share, down from fourth in 2022 when it had a 6.67% share. Columbia, which includes some labels from indie distributor RED in its market share, still racked up a big hit with Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers,” which spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 this year on its way to becoming the fourth-most-streamed song of 2023 and the most-heard song on radio in the United States, according to Luminate.

In eighth, Sony Nashville jumped a half percentage point year over year to 2.32% from 1.89% last year, with a big Luke Combs album helping it rise one spot from last year’s ranking. Meanwhile, Sony’s Epic Records slipped to ninth year over year, despite boosting its current share from 2.23% in 2022 to 2.30% in 2023 and scoring a pair of big projects from Travis Scott — whose Utopia album was the seventh-biggest of 2023, according to Luminate — and Tyla with “Water,” which roared into the Hot 100’s top 10 late in the year. Rounding out the top 10 is yet another Sony label, Sony Latin, which also had a huge year, upping its current share from 1.24% in 2022 to an impressive 1.95% in 2023.

In overall market share, Republic’s dominance with newer releases lifted it to the No. 1 slot over IGA, 9.83% to 9.65%, despite the latter’s industry-leading 9.93% share of the catalog market. Atlantic, at 8.09%, sits comfortably in third, while Warner Records and Capitol Music Group are neck-and-neck in fourth and fifth, with 6.68% and 6.66% overall share, respectively, with their catalog shares tied at 6.92%. Columbia’s 6.65% catalog share is enough to lift it into sixth in overall share, ahead of RCA, with the two separated at 6.14% and 5.16%, respectively, in overall share. Epic (2.61%), Sony Nashville (2.05%) and Def Jam (1.84%) round out the overall top 10 rankings.

Among the label groups, the weight of catalog once again lifts all ships, with UMG jumping to an industry-leading 38.46% overall market share, up from 37.54% in 2022. Sony also saw an increase year over year, ending 2023 at 27.18%, up from 2022’s 26.87%, while Warner dipped slightly year over year, to 18.62% in overall share in 2023 compared to 19.05% in 2022. The indies by distribution ownership also fell, to 15.74% from 16.54% in 2022.

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus




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