'We are incredibly proud': Atlantic's perfect result on end-of-year airplay chart

'We are incredibly proud': Atlantic's perfect result on end-of-year airplay chart

Atlantic has consolidated its No.1 position on the Radiomonitor end-of-year airplay Top 100. The Warner Music UK label had almost a quarter of the chart (24.59%).

As revealed in the latest issue of Music Week, Atlantic advanced on its strong position in 2017, when it was on top with 22.39%. It is more than 11 percentage points ahead of its nearest rival, Polydor.

“We are incredibly proud to have the No.1 spot again last year, we have been No.1 on the overall Top 100 since October 2017,” said Damian Christian, director of promotions, Atlantic and SVP of promotional strategy, Warner Music UK. “Our incredible A&R team continue to give us brilliant records that can be played across all the networks. Ironically we thought that 2018 was going to be a tricky one, but all of our returning acts and breakthrough acts enabled us to have one of our most successful years ever.”

The label’s strength meant that, at the corporate level, Sony Music failed to make it a third consecutive year at No.1 on Radiomonitor’s Top 100 market share. Warner Music UK was No.1 on 35.2%, followed by Universal Music (32.4%) and Sony Music (29.9%).

Atlantic benefited from a strong Ed Sheeran showing in the airplay Top 100 in 2017 (at Nos.1, 2, 11 and 14) but, even in a quieter year for the superstar singer-songwriter, the label still improved on that performance in 2018. Rudimental’s These Days gave Atlantic another overall chart-topper, while Portugal The Man (Feel It Still), Anne-Marie (2002) and Ed Sheeran (Perfect) made the Top 10. Jess Glynne and Clean Bandit made the Top 20, while Anne-Marie’s Marshmello collaboration Friends made No.29. 

While the Radiomonitor figures reveal a growing disparity between the biggest airplay songs and the Official Charts Company’s singles of the year, Christian said radio is still crucial for Atlantic’s singles strategies.

Airplay is still an enormous part of our singles campaigns

Damian Christian

“As well as having seven separate artists in the Top 20 airplay, we also had eight in the top 20 best sellers of the year,” he said. “I can’t speak for other labels but airplay is still an enormous part of our singles campaigns.”

In common with other labels, though, Atlantic has had to adapt to the evolving streaming landscape in order to secure breakthroughs for artists such as Anne-Marie.

“Our department has direct contact with Spotify and Apple, we plug them as we would our radio & TV contacts,” said Christian. “We, of course, work closely and share responsibilities with our digital teams, they provide us with the statistical information for us to use in our day-to-day plugging and planning around releases. Going forward we are excited to work even closer with them as the landscape continues to evolve.”

Polydor’s second place finish in Top 100 airplay – up from No.4 in 2017 – was thanks to radio hits including The Middle by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey, Breathe by Jax Jones feat. Ina Wroldsen and Years & Years’ If You’re Over Me.

RCA was at No.3 with an 11.13% Top 100 share. Last year the label upped promotions executive James Bass to the combined role of head of playlisting, covering radio and DSPs.

Columbia was fourth (10.58%) in the Radiomonitor overall Top 100, with songs from Calvin Harris and George Ezra making the end-of-year Top 20. Virgin EMI, whose hitmakers include Jonas Blue and Shawn Mendes, was in fifth place (8%).

To read the full Music Week report comparing airplay to sales in 2018, subscribers can click here. To subscribe and never miss a big industry story click here.

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