analysis

Charts analysis: Dave debuts at summit with biggest week one sale so far this year

The man from Streatham who needs no alias other than his real-life first name, Dave this week celebrates the release of the fastest selling album in almost two years.  His second full-length release, We're All Alone In This Together, debuts ...

Charts analysis: Ed Sheeran scores fifth week at singles summit

Only one man could stand in the way of this being a week of Dave domination and that man is, naturally, Ed Sheeran. Immune from events elsewhere, Bad Habits notches up a fifth consecutive week at No.1 although the single's chart sales head downwards at some rate of knots, shedding over 15% week-on-week to stand at 85,433 (77,557 of these from a still impressive 9.96m streams). Ed's single is the longest-running chart-topper by a British artist since Joel Corry and MNEK spent six weeks at the top with Head & Heart exactly one year ago. In every other respect however the week belongs to Dave. The release of his second album We're All Alone In This Together means most of its tracks occupy places as the most-streamed songs of the week. Earlier this year, Olivia Rodrigo landed three of the Top 7 and Dave this week betters this with three of the Top 6 singles of the week. His three permitted singles chart entries are the already-charting Stormzy collaboration Clash which rockets to a new peak of No.2 (53,056 sales) with Verdansk (No.4, 44,523 sales) and In The Fire (No.6 40,801 sales) following hard on its heels. Between them they take Dave's career total of Top 10 hits to a nice even 10.  Almost needless to say there are many other Dave tracks scattered around the streaming tables with System in particular popular enough to also theoretically qualify for the No.10 position. Three more cuts from the album (We’re All Alone, Lazarus and Twenty To One) also post numbers that would register Top 20 places at any other time.  The two remaining Top 10 hits not already mentioned are Stay by Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber (No.3, 47,358 sales) and Black Magic by Jonasu (No.5, 41,128 sales) both of which should rebound next week when things calm down a little. It hasn't quite had the instantaneous success of Montero (Call Me By Your Name) but Lil Nas X is enjoying his biggest hit since that No.1 smash as Industry Baby debuts at No.13 with 28,423 sales). Guest performer on the track is fellow American Jack Harlow who lands his second and biggest British hit so far, this following What's Poppin' which reached No.25 during an extended chart wander last summer.  As her new album Therapy debuts at No.2, Anne-Marie also has her fourth hit single of 2021 with Kiss My (Uh-Oh). Debuting at No.17 with 21,217 sales, the single also becomes the third collaborative hit in a row for a co-credited Little Mix. Their 40th chart entry means they now have two simultaneous Top 20 hits as featured guest stars. Heartbreak Anthem dips to this week’s No.7 (35,685 sales) but it means they become the first all-female act to spend over 100 weeks in the Top 10. Curiously, the release of Anne-Marie's album did not translate into consumption boosts for her other chart singles of the moment as both Our Song and Don't Play both shed sales and chart positions - the latter despite enjoying an ACR reset after the release of the KSI album (on which it also features) gave it a significant boost last week. Originally a No.37 hit back in June when released ahead of the Planet Her album, Need To Know by Doja Cat re-enters at No.29 (13,983 sales), taking over as her third permitted chart hit at the expense of last week's No.25 single You Right with which it swaps places. With the uncertain future of the British end of the X Factor franchise making headlines this week, it seems entirely appropriate that there are new entries for both former series winners Little Mix as well as an artist who first came to fame on the American version of the show. Camila Cabello makes her chart return after over a year away, landing herself a 16th chart entry as Don't Go Yet debuts at No.37 (10,339 sales). One of several new tracks added this week to his F**k Love mixtape, Not Sober enters at No.42 (9,814 sales) for Kid Laroi along with a co-credited Polo G and Stunna. Meanwhile there is a trifecta of new entries just outside the Top 60. Pain by TikTok discovery PinkPantheress is No.53 (8,433 sales), Woo Baby by Pop Smoke featuring Chris Brown is No.54 (8,407 sales) and 2055 by Jamaican-American Sleepy Hallow is No.55 with 8,336 sales.  Finally, David Guetta adds to his chart tally of the moment, his two current Top 10 singles joined by a further collaboration as the Whitney Houston-interpolating If You Really Love Me (How Will I Know) with Mistajam and John Newman makes its bow at No.66 (7,018 sales). The singles market dips 7.15% to stand at 22,109,866. Paid sales are up 2.8% to 397,994 but remain below the 400,000 mark for the third week in a row. Subscribers can access all the latest charts here.

Music Week's 2021 Q2 analysis: Industry weathers the Covid crisis as physical music bounces back

This time last year, the music business was still in uncertain territory as release plans were scrapped and campaigns had to be transformed. But 16 months on from the onset of the pandemic, for the first time we now have the sales and streaming data to compare one Covid quarter with another. And the results suggest that UK record labels (and their retail partners) have successfully adapted to the uncertainty and restrictions. In our exclusive online Q2 and half-year analysis, Music Week crunches the numbers and gets key insights from major label execs... TALENT As previously reported in our initial analysis for the half-year, Olivia Rodrigo was dominant. Drivers License (Geffen/Polydor) topped the singles chart (1,034,882 sales - Official Charts Company) and her streaming phenomenon Sour was the No.1 album for the period covering the first six months with 169,629 sales (a total based on just six weeks’ sales).  Universal Music UK had six of the Top 10 albums for the first six months, including the late Pop Smoke with streaming perennial Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon (Republic/Polydor) at No.5 (103,925 sales) and The Weeknd’s The Highlights (Republic/XO/Island) at No.7 (97,363). Catalogue titles from Queen and Elton John joined Lewis Capaldi’s two-year-old debut, Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (EMI), in the Top 10. During Q2, Justin Bieber (Def Jam/EMI) made an impact for the major with Justice at No.5 (54,837 of its 88,556 sales arrived in the second quarter). As well as Olivia Rodrigo, Polydor had the No.2 single of the first half of the year with Wellerman by Nathan Evans, 220 Kid and Billen Ted (712,507 sales). Universal Music UK declined to comment on their performance this quarter.  The Q2 figures highlight the impact of Rag’N’Bone Man’s return. Life By Misadventure (Columbia) made No.2 for the quarter (and No.11 for the half-year) with sales of 89,862 - the biggest for a UK album released so far this year. Comparisons with Rory Graham’s 2017 debut, Human, may be unfair given how much the market has shifted from a purchase to consumption model. “Rory has delivered an incredible piece of work with this album,” says Charles Wood, Sony Music UK’s VP of market planning & media. “It is real and heartfelt, and fans have responded to the honesty of the record. It’s clearly resonated with people, something that was exemplified by the emotional reaction to his incredible performance alongside Pink and the NHS choir at this year’s BRIT Awards.  “The music and Rory’s performance ability was put at the centre of the campaign, as well as building very strong partnerships with media, DSPs and physical retail to help us get this music out there. There’s a lot still to come with this record, we’re only just getting started.”  Wood notes the major’s success in the quarter with other new releases such as London Grammar’s No.1 Californian Soil (Ministry Of Sound), which finished Q2 at No.4 (56,078), as well as Harry Styles’ evergreen LP Fine Line (Columbia). “Harry Styles’ album continues to motor, demonstrating the lasting impact of an album when it resonates with fans in the streaming market,” says Wood. Fine Line was at No.13 in Q2 but is still at No.3 for the half-year (109,010 sales in 2021). Another streaming smash, Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia (Warner Records), actually improved on its Q1 result in the latest quarter (74,559 vs 68,296).  “One of the primary ambitions for Future Nostalgia was to establish the album in the market for a year and beyond,” says Derek Allen, SVP, commercial at Warner Music. “I think Warner Records has achieved that. With the help of strategically timed repacks and shrewd marketing, they’ve delivered an album that is riding high in the charts 16 months on from release. Add in BRITs and Grammy wins and you almost have the template for the perfect campaign!”     Warner has had a few ‘perfect’ campaigns over the years, including perhaps the ultimate album release in Ed Sheeran’s 2017 LP Divide (Asylum/Atlantic), which is still the No.10 album of 2021 (95,098 sales).  In Q2, the major made its mark with Royal Blood’s No.1 Typhoons (Warner Records) at No.7 for the quarter on 52,895 sales, while catalogue from Fleetwood Mac also continues to perform consistently on streaming and vinyl. 50 Years - Don’t Stop (Rhino) made No.8 in Q2 (52,258) and No.6 for the half-year (98,899). So it’s looking like a safe bet for a strong finish at the end of 2021.    After Q1 appearances by Celeste, Central Cee and Arlo Parks in the Top 100 albums, Q2 delivers just one big UK breakthrough from The Snuts. The band’s debut album WL (Parlophone) finished the quarter at No.32 with 30,891 sales.That means streaming star Central Cee has the biggest UK debut released this year. At the halfway point, the rapper’s mixtape Wild West (self-released with ADA) is at No.24 with 63,140 sales (36,414 of those in Q2). Hyundai Mercury Prize nominee Celeste is close behind at No.33 with Not Your Muse (Polydor) on 57,299 sales. But whether it’s new artists or old, labels are increasingly adept at navigating the streaming world. “Obviously great records are the key,” says Wood. “Our artists are at the centre of everything that we do and our job is to help them and their music achieve its greatest potential. To do this we have an efficient and passionate team of people, who have evolved and stayed nimble during lockdown.”   MARKET TRENDS  Some caution has to be exercised with the year-on-year comparison for Q2, but at least it’s a quarter where we can accentuate the positive. Q2 2020 was the first full quarter to reveal the immediate impact of the Covid pandemic on music consumption. While growth still continued a year ago in those fraught weeks, the 2.3% year-on-year uplift for All Music AES was down - understandably - on the 7.7% year-on-year growth recorded in the first three months of 2020. Twelve months on, any year-on-year comparison meant that Q2 2021 should be an open goal for further growth. According to BPI stats, all music consumption (AES) was up 9.2% year-on-year to 39,852,270.  For the half-year, AES was up 5.7% year-on-year to 77,495,582 units. Streaming powered ahead in Q2 with SEA up 10.4% year-on-year to 33,666,375 equivalent albums. That’s less impressive than Q2 2020’s 19.9% growth (a reminder of how quickly everyone adjusted to the new lockdown routines and streaming became embedded). But the industry is happy with the overall performance in 2021. “Growth in the streaming market continues to be encouraging and we still think there is a good way to go,” says Sony’s Charles Wood. “We are starting to see signs of life getting back to normal in the data – mobile device usage is recovering as people return to commutes and the gym.” “Streaming growth has been largely untroubled by the pandemic’s impact,” agrees Warner Music’s Derek Allen. “The UK’s blossoming love affair with voice hardware has driven streaming consumption from the work commute right into the heart of the home. It remains to be seen whether this trend reverts back to pre-Covid behaviour once we clear lockdown.” The year-on-year comparison with the first quarter of Covid can be most clearly seen in the physical performance. Here’s a statistic you may not have expected to read in 2021: physical albums far outperformed streaming growth in Q2 with a year-on-year uplift of 34% to 4,479,081 units. Of course, the vinyl resurgence continues - up 58.7% year-on-year in Q2 to 1,271,699 units. But there was also a CD boom in Q2 with sales volumes for the quarter up 26.6% to 3,151,130. Cassettes only managed growth of 2.1%. As Music Week analysis regulars may recall, the results for Q2 2020 were similarly stark. Physical album sales slumped by 45.1% as retailers were shuttered and releases were put on hold. That may go a long way to explain the positive year-on-year comparison, but Q2 2021 also saw the return of record shops after the post-Christmas lockdown and the first vinyl drop of Record Store Day.  For the record, the quarter-on-quarter growth of physical was 13.4%, still a decent result. “The vinyl revival has been something of a buzzword in our industry over the past five years,” says Wood. “But even then, vinyl collections were still somewhat limited to music fanatics or cool kids who treated vinyl as their artisanal format of choice. Vinyl was ‘cool’ again, but that didn’t necessarily mean that it appealed to everyone.  “But throughout the pandemic, sales of turntables jumped and we have noticed that vinyl now has renewed appeal across all ages. We heard reports back from retail that teenagers, who had never thought to buy a CD, had bought turntables and were building vinyl collections. The pandemic also meant for some that they had more disposable income to spend on buying music as they were not going to gigs and used this to build collections. “Because of this broader installed base, vinyl is now becoming an even more important part of the product suite for new releases – particularly for fan-based acts,” explains Wood. “The top three vinyl sellers for the year to date are all new releases, while in the equivalent period last year they were catalogue. “This increase in new release activity has driven the rise in the market, while demand for classic catalogue remains strong. The challenge we all have is the limited production capacity across Europe and this tends to hit catalogue harder than new releases. We are sure that if we could make more, we would sell more.” Warner Music’s Derek Allen is optimistic about the supply of vinyl. “2021 has been significantly less impacted by the almost total shut down of UK bricks & mortar retail experienced in 2020,” he tells Music Week. “Increased capacity across European Vinyl Manufacturing has enabled much of the industry to at least come close to keeping pace with demand. Obviously there’s still some way to go to get ahead of the unprecedented demand but signs are encouraging.”   The Q2 performance means that physical albums (including CDs) actually posted a 1% year-on-year increase for the first six months. The vinyl increase so far this year is 35.8%. We are sure that if we could make more vinyl, we would sell more Charles Wood The one serious blow yet to be felt is the planned withdrawal from CDs by Sainsbury’s (vinyl will still be sold in their supermarkets). “We are sorry to see Sainsburys leave the market – they have been great to work with over the years,” says Wood. “We are still very lucky to have three supermarkets, HMV, Amazon and the independents in the market and we will do all we can to help them continue to thrive.” “It’s obviously disappointing when a commercial partner exits the market, but to be honest we’ve been aware of Sainsbury’s plans for some time,” adds Allen. “The withdrawal has been gradual with support set to continue through Q4 before a total exit. So any impact will be modest within that exit strategy.”  And with the 100th anniversary of HMV falling in Q3, there’s all to play for with physical music in 2021… MARKET SHARES In first place, Universal Music UK had a solid quarter with All Albums AES delivering a 34.9% market share (36.3% in Q2 2020). Year-on-year growth was 6% compared to 10% for the overall market. For the half-year, Universal is on 35.2% (36.6%) with 1% year-on-year growth in AES (compared to 5% market growth). The No.1 major was more in tune with the market when it came to streaming. In Q2, Track Streams were up 7% year-on-year (compared to 10% market growth) for a market share of 35.5% (36.5% in Q2 2020). Universal labels did outperform or match the streaming market, including Decca (up 14%), Polydor (12%) and EMI (10%). Track Streams for label services division Virgin Music were up 33% year-on-year.  Sony Music was a strong performer in Q2. For All Music AES, the major improved market share by half a point to reach 21.8%. Year-on-year growth of 13% was ahead of the market rate of 10%. For the half year, Sony had a market share of 21.7% with volumes up by 8% compared to 5% for the market. “We started the year well in Q1 with shares up across all measures, driven by stellar singles performance and strong album releases including Tom Grennan, Kings Of Leon and Foo Fighters,” says Wood. “We’ve not slowed down going into Q2 and we’ve maintained that growth with calendar year shares up across every measure - the only major label to see an increase in share this year.  “Each of our labels has consistently delivered hits this quarter, from Lil Nas X’s incredible return to the charts with Montero (Call Me By Your Name) and hits from breaking British artists Tom Grennan and Mimi Webb, who both had their first hits on the singles chart this year, and now have multiple Top 20s. Doja Cat is continuing to deliver hit after hit and now a Top 5 album, plus the global breakthrough of Maneskin, and Polo G delivering both a hit single and album. It’s great to see our successes coming from all corners of the company.” RCA triumphed as the biggest label of the quarter across the AES and Track Stream metrics, with year-on-year streaming growth of 21% - more than double the market rate. For the year to date, RCA is also No.1 with tremendous streaming growth of 23% compared to 9% for the market. “For the last two months of the quarter we had no less than eight tracks in the 20 (including the Little Mix split on Galantis), so it’s no surprise that RCA has grown their lead as the No.1 company in the tracks market,” says Wood. “Or that both RCA and Columbia have grown their share for tracks and for albums this year.” Warner Music is also proving itself as a force in streaming. With 606,577 OCC sales, Atlantic’s drill smash Body by Tion Wayne and Russ Millions edged out Olivia Rodrigo’s Good 4 U as the biggest single of Q2. We’ve had some really great tracks that have connected with the public Derek Allen For All Music AES in Q2, Warner Music’s 8% year-on-year growth in volumes was not far off that overall 10% benchmark. The 16.1% market share was little changed from the 16.4% the major managed a year ago. The streaming growth was identical to AES growth, as Warner finished with a 16.5% market share for Track Streams (16.9% in 2020). For the first six months, Warner Music’s All Music AES result was up 1% year-on-year compared to the 5% market growth. The major’s market share was 15.9% versus 16.5% a year earlier. Atlantic was the highest ranked of the Warner labels with Track Streams up 9% year-on-year in Q2, not far off the overall market.  “We’ve had some really great tracks that have connected with the public – Dua, Joel Corry and the huge Tion Wayne single sat at the top end of the charts for most of Q2,” says Allen. “If you add to this two global superstar acts, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay, returning to market and delivering the attendant boost in catalogue streams then you have a recipe for strong quarterly performance.” With albums coming from both Sheeran and Coldplay, as well as The Killers, Billie Eilish, Jake Bugg, James Arthur and Lorde, the competition between the big three will only intensify during the next six months… Subscribers can click here for our Q1 analysis. Music Week’s Rag’N’Bone Man cover feature is here.  

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