Global recorded-music and music publishing market share results for 2018

Music & Copyright‘s annual survey of the recorded-music and music-publishing sectors has revealed the changes in global market share for the three major music groups and the independent sector. Recorded-music leader UMG maintained the top spot, with an increased share of digital sales fully offsetting a decline in the company’s share of physical sales. UMG also increased the gap on second-placed SME, with the latter suffering a fall in both its digital and physical shares. WMG’s share of digital sales edged down last year, but a higher share of physical sales boosted the company’s overall recorded-music market share. A repeat of last year saw independent record companies collectively account for the biggest share. Sony was unable to repeat the record year of 2017 for music publishing, with the company suffering a dip in share. UMPG registered the highest share gain of all the major music publishers, but the collective share of the independent sector accounted for the biggest share of the music publishing pie.

Share gains for UMG and WMG at SME’s expense
UMG had a 29.8% share of combined physical and digital recorded-music trade revenue last year, up from 29.7% in 2017. For digital revenue only, UMG’s share increased, to 32.4%, from 32%, while its physical share was down, to 23.4%, from 25.4%.

Record companies, physical- and digital-revenue market shares, 2017 and 2018
Source: Music & Copyright

SME was the second-largest record company, although its combined physical/digital market share was down last year, to 19.9%, from 21.9% in 2017. For the second consecutive year, SME registered a year-on-year fall in both physical and digital market shares. Furthermore, the company’s share of all recorded-music trade revenue, which includes licensing and other revenue as well as income from physical and digital music sales, was down to 20.5%, from 22.3%.

Record companies, total recorded-music-revenue market shares, 2017 and 2018
Source: Music & Copyright

The smallest of the three majors, WMG, experienced a reversal of its 2017 results, when the company’s digital share was up and its physical share down. Last year. WMG’s digital share slipped slightly, to 17.7%, from 18.1%, while its physical share grew to 13.4%, from 12.8%. Overall, WMG’s combined physical/digital share increased, to 16.5%, from 16.2%, and its total revenue share was also up, to 16%, from 15.8%.

Aside from the changes in the majors’ shares, independent record companies’ combined physical/digital revenue share was higher than the leader last year, at 33.8%. The independent company sector increased its share of both physical and digital revenue, but there remained a sizable difference between its physical and digital shares.

Another positive year for music publishing
In line with the way in which Music & Copyright determines global recorded-music market shares, music publishing market shares are also based on revenue received by each company. Music & Copyright has calculated that global music publishing revenue grew 11.4% last year, to $5.47bn, from $4.92bn in 2017. Sony was unable to repeat its record performance of 2017 and suffered a decline in global publishing share last year, to 26%, from 27.3%. Sony took the top spot in 2013, following the purchase of EMI Music Publishing (EMI MP) by a Sony-led consortium in 2012. Sony acquired an approximate 60% of the interest in EMI MP in November 2018. In addition to revenue from EMI MP, the company’s publishing share includes Sony/ATV earnings as well as income from Sony Music Publishing Japan.

Music-publishing companies, revenue market shares, 2017 and 2018
Source: Music & Copyright

UMPG was the second-largest music publisher last year. Music & Copyright estimates the company’s share increased, to 20.2%, from 19.5% in 2017. Furthermore, UMG registered the biggest share growth of the three major publishers. Third-placed Warner/Chappell’s share was up last year, to 12.3%, from 12%. The collective share of independent music publishers was also up, rising to 41.4%, from 41.2%.

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