Sony Music makes gains on dominant Universal in 2009

SME was the only music company to record an increase in market share for all sectors tracked by Music & Copyright in 2009. SME’s recorded music division narrowed the gap with the global leader UMG and although Sony/ATV remained the smallest for the four major publishers, it has closed in on third placed Warner Chappell.

UMG maintained its position as the largest recorded music company and music publisher for the fourth consecutive year in 2009, despite losing market share to its rivals. UMG’s share in terms of revenues generated from the sales of both physical and digital recorded music decreased to 27.7% from 28.6% in 2008. In contrast, SME saw its share increase to 23.1%, narrowing the gap with UMG to 4.6 percentage points.

For music publishing, Music & Copyright has calculated that Universal Music Publishing’s (UMPG) share of global publishing revenues decreased to 22.9% in 2009 from 23.2% in 2008. UMPG became the largest music publisher in the world following Vivendi’s purchase of BMG Music Publishing in 2007. Prior to UMPG taking the lead, EMI Music Publishing was the largest publisher in the world. It remained in second place in 2009 with an increased share of 19.3%.

According to Simon Dyson, editor of Music & Copyright, “2009 was a good year for SME with the company increasing its market share for both physical and digital sales, the only one of the four majors to do so. EMI’s publishing division also performed well last year, closing the gap with Universal.”

Totaling all the revenues received by the major music groups (recorded music sales, music publishing and general licensing including neighboring rights etc), Music & Copyright has calculated the figure for 2009 stood at US$22.15 billion, down 6.8% on US$23.77 billion in 2008. UMG was the leader in 2009 with a reduced market share of 27.2%. The overall successful year for SME saw it close the gap on UMG with an increased share of 20.9%.

Music & Copyright is a fortnightly research service published by Informa Telecoms & Media.

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