Q3 analysis: 2022 market share race tightens with EMI and RCA out in front

Q3 analysis: 2022 market share race tightens with EMI and RCA out in front

There's a close contest between the two biggest labels for market share supremacy in 2022.

Based on exclusive Official Charts Company data for the year to date to the end of Q3 (chart week 39), Music Week has identified a tightening of the race between the two biggest record companies.

In our last round of analysis in Q2, EMI had consolidated its market share leadership as it looked to win back the crown from RCA, who triumphed overall in 2021. Based on Q3 data, however, RCA has narrowed the 0.4 percentage point gap to just 0.2 points on the crucial All Music (All Albums) consumption metric.

Headed by co-presidents Rebecca Allen and Jo Charrington (pictured), EMI remains the market leader on 10.1% of All Music (All Albums) for the year to date with consumption of 10,818,310. But the Universal Music and Sony Music rivals are all square on 10% of All Music (Artist Albums), with RCA narrowly ahead by around 35,000 units (a mere 0.03 percentage points in terms of share). Superior sales of compilations and soundtracks, which are not eligible for the artist albums chart, are helping to keep EMI on top overall.

EMI remains in a strong position after a quarter that featured such new releases as a No.1 single from Lewis Capaldi (Forget Me, No.45 for Q3 and currently on 150,900 chart sales) and, in a classic seven-day sales battle, the latest chart-topper from Sam Smith & Kim Petras. Unholy debuted at the summit on Friday with 55,928 sales, narrowly ahead of I’m Good (Blue) by David Guetta and Bebe Rexha.

EMI also has streaming perennials such as Queen’s Greatest Hits (No.9 in Q3 with a further 52,308 sales) and Elton John’s Diamonds (No.16 with 44,976). For the year to date, Queen’s collection is on 146,591 and Elton John’s is on 141,380.

Aitch, on EMI’s Capitol label, made an impact with his No.2 debut LP Close To Home (No.52 in Q3 with 24,406 sales) during the quarter.

EMI now has its big hitters to look forward to in Q4, including Taylor Swift’s new album Midnights, which will be up against Arctic Monkeys.

RCA will be aiming to repeat their market share result from 2021, though, especially after narrowing the gap in Q3. The Sony Music label led by president David Dollimore and EVP Stacey Tang has a market share of 9.9% on the All Music (All Albums) metric for the year to date.

Its narrow leadership of the All Music (Artist Albums) metric for the year to date follows success in Q3 with Beyonce’s Renaissance, the third biggest LP of the quarter with sales of 78,075 (the release is credited to the Columbia label based on the US, but it’s an RCA album in the UK). 

RCA also had success with the collection Elv1s - 30 No.1 Hits (50,564 sales in the quarter), following the release of the movie biopic.

When it comes to streaming, RCA is a powerhouse in the UK. The Sony label was once again No.1 based on the Track Streams metric with a 10.8% share based on just over 11 billion streams. EMI was in second place with a 10.2% share.

RCA’s streaming hits include breakthrough star Cat Burns’ single Go with Since ’93, which finished the quarter in 10th place, adding a further 286,578 sales to its tally. It now stands at 958,974 and is the fourth biggest single of the year.

The biggest hit of Q3 for RCA was Beyonce’s Break My Soul at fifth place for the quarter (388,275 sales).

While EMI came out on top for All Album Sales, Polydor managed to pull ahead of its fellow Universal Music label for the year to date in the Artist Album Sales metric (7.6% share), with less than 6,000 sales in it. Polydor, led by Ben Mortimer, had big physical releases from stars including Yungblud (his self-titled No.1 LP finished the quarter at No.41 overall with 26,260 sales).

Polydor has also established Sam Fender as a streaming star, alongside the label’s prolific dance act Becky Hill. Seventeen Going Under is the No.10 single for the year to date (806,529 sales), while the parent album of the same name is No.19 overall so far in 2022 (108,627 sales). Released in Q4 last year, the album has total sales to date of 207,557. Becky Hill’s 2021 debut LP Only Honest On The Weekend is No.26 (94,432 sales in 2022; 127,516 in total).

While EMI, RCA and Polydor all look likely to finish as the Top 3, the fourth place in 2022 is still up for grabs with Island, Atlantic and Columbia all strong contenders.

Stay tuned to Musicweek.com for our analysis of the biggest singles and albums of the year so far.

Subscribers can read our recent Elton John cover feature here.

author twitter FOLLOW Andre Paine

For more stories like this, and to keep up to date with all our market leading news, features and analysis, sign up to receive our daily Morning Briefing newsletter

subscribe link free-trial link

follow us...