Inside the Universal-Sony battle for compilations supremacy

Inside the Universal-Sony battle for compilations supremacy


Universal returned to the top of the Compilation Albums Sales market shares in Q2, after losing its crown to Sony in the first quarter of 2017.

In a tight battle for the sector between its two giants, Universal racked up a 44.6% market share in Q2, up from 37.7% in Q1. Sony scored 36%, down from 38.9% in the previous quarter, but up substantially from Q2 2016’s 28.1% (when Universal posted 39%).

The pair have been locked in close combat since Sony bought Ministry Of Sound Recordings in 2016.

“We have had some solid releases, both at mid-price and full-price which, coupled with Ministry not quite being on song, helped a bit of share in our direction,” David Hawkes, managing director of Universal Music UK’s commercial division, told Music Week. “But there is healthy competition there, and we expect a good fight.”

The two giants share the spoils of the all-conquering Now compilation, while Universal did well in Q2 with the Guardians Of The Galaxy soundtracks and Sing Your Heart Out 2017. Ministry/Sony’s biggest non-Now Q2 comp was I Love Reggae and Peter Leggatt, Sony Music Entertainment UK VP of sales and business development, predicts that album signals a Sony fightback is on for Q3.

“In the last couple of weeks, I Love Reggae has been doing very well,” he told Music Week. “It’s a close race in the compilations department and I expect that healthy competition to continue.”

Universal also leads the half-year compilations rankings, 41.4% to Sony’s 37.4%.

For full analysis of the Q2 figures, see this week’s edition of Music Week, or subscribers can click here. To subscribe and never miss a big music biz story, click here.


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