In a first quarter defined by continuity, Sony/ATV Music Publishing extended its market share lead for the 19th straight period, having kept the top spot since it became a shareholder in — and took over administration for — EMI Music Publishing in the third quarter of 2012. And for the second successive period, the top three music publishers — Sony/ATV, Warner/Chappell Music and Universal Music Publishing Group, respectively — all own a stake in the top song, Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” as does BMG. (Last quarter, the top song was the Chainsmokers’ “Closer.”)
Sony/ATV had 53 of the top 100 radio songs, one fewer than last quarter, while Warner/Chappell was No. 2 for the eighth period in a row with 49 songs, up from 46. Also, for the fifth straight quarter, UMPG (40), Kobalt Music Group (30), BMG (24) and SONGS Music Publishing (eight) finished Nos. 3 through 6, with all but UMPG down slightly from the last quarter. The top songwriter was again Warner/Chappell’s Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots, whose group had three songs in the Top 100, led by “Heathens” at No. 33.
Sony/ATV held a commanding market share lead over Warner/Chappell Music, 25.49 percent to 19.61 percent. While Warner/Chappell was the No. 2 publisher again, it displaced Sony/ATV at the top of the country publishers’ rankings in the first quarter for the Top 100 country songs, the second time it has done so since Sony/ATV began handling EMI. In third overall, UMPG had a nice uptick to 14.89 percent from the 14.13 percent it had in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Ed Sheeran and Drake Help Sony/ATV Keep No. 1 on UK Singles Chart for Entire Year
Meanwhile, for the third consecutive quarter in a row, Words & Music/Big Deal came in at No. 7 with a 2.58 percent share, led by its top song, Shawn Mendes’ “Mercy.” Major Bob Music makes the top publishers chart at No. 8 for the first time since the second quarter of 2013, with five songs placing in the top 100; its top song, Jon Pardi’s “Dirt On My Boots,” came in at No. 21. Rounding out the top 10, Clearbox Rights ranked No. 9 with 1.35 percent, while Round Hill Music came in at No. 10, with 1.29 percent.