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FULL STREAM AHEAD: Q1 MARKETSHARE TAKEAWAYS

See below for Q1 label marketshare and Top 10 releases, as well as Top 25 YTD albums and streams.

Streaming has injected enormous new energy—and money—into the marketplace, and the labels that have fully committed to the new paradigm are reaping the benefits. In Drake, Post Malone and The Weeknd, Monte Lipman’s Republic has three of the streaming era’s biggest stars, while Shawn Mendes, on David Massey’s Island, is primed to explode with his sophomore LP, expected in Q2. Together, the 2018 albums from these four heavyweights may well enable Lipman to close the nearly two-percentage-point gap with Craig Kallman and Julie Greenwald’s Atlantic. John Janick’s Interscope has a triumvirate of its own in Kendrick Lamar, the star-studded Black Panther sound-track and rock hitmakers Imagine Dragons.     

Steve Barnett, whose Capitol has gained more than a percentage point in total share and a stunning 2.3% rise in streaming share, has the biggest album of Q1 with Migos, and Caroline’s XXXtentacion recently scored a #1 debut, while Sam Smith’s sophomore LP continues to sell, as does Capitol Christian’s NF. Breakthrough rookies Khalid and SZA, along with G-Eazy, continue to have a huge impact for Peter Edge’s RCA, providing Nipper with a robust balance of new and established artists like Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown.

Recently installed Chairman Ron Perry is beginning to apply a similar strategy in his revitalization of Columbia, aggressively inking commercially potent acts including LSD (Labrinth, Sia and Diplo’s project), Gessafelstein, Crush/DCD2’s MAX and King Princess (on Mark Ronson’s Zelig label), who should collectively bring off-cycle Columbia back into the thick of it. Also under new management are Warner Bros. Records—which is starting to click as Tom Corson begins his second quarter as co-head (Aaron Bay-Schuck will arrive later this year) behind Dua Lipa, Lil Pump, Bebe Rexha and Blocboy JB—and Def Jam, whose new ruler Paul Rosenberg is getting boosts from Logic and Jhené Aiko as he builds his team and polishes the iconic nameplate. Sylvia Rhone’s Epic, which has been ahead of the curve with next-gen hip-hop stars like Future, DJ Khaled, Travis Scott and 21 Savage, is currently being paced by newly minted pop star Camila Cabello.

Randy Goodman’s Sony Nashville, which has broken Kane Brown, and Mike Dungan’s UMG Nashville, which is having massive success with Chris Stapleton, are practically neck and neck at the quarter pole. John Esposito’s WMG Nashville made a major score, snagging superstar Kenny Chesney, and Thomas Rhett is rolling at Scott Borchetta’s BMLG.

As for the Big Three, Sir Lucian Grainge’s UMG presently controls five-eighths of the business, while Sony’s Rob Stringer begins his second year at the helm and WMG recorded-music chief Max Lousada passes the six-month mark. 

 

 

 

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