Universal Music Group has been dethroned from its position on top of the Top 100 radio airplay market shares for the first time in at least five years, with Sony Music taking the No.1 spot in 2016, Music Week analysis of Radiomonitor data can reveal.
Since Radiomonitor began keeping annual records of the UK’s radio airplay by impacts market shares back in 2011, Universal has commanded a dominant position, notching up five successive years as the market leader.
Last year, however, due largely to a stellar 2016 for its RCA imprint, Sony bucked that trend by securing the largest market share with 39.66% - up from 28.94% in 2015.
While the figures only cover the Top 100 biggest airplay hits of the year, rather than the entire market, Sony will no doubt see the figures as another indicator of its resurgence, which saw it also increase its sales/streaming market share across all major metrics in 2016.
Universal, meanwhile, saw its airplay market share squeezed from a market-leading 38.87% in 2015 to 33.09% in 2016, while Warner Music Group accounted for 21.83% of the market, down from 26.43% in 2015.
Between 2011 and 2015, Universal exerted something of a stranglehold over the radio airplay Top 100. In 2011 its market share totalled 41.93% (Sony 27.26%, Warner 21.46%), before growing to 44.22% in 2012 (Sony 26.15%, Warner 24.60%). Its share increased again in 2013, as it made up 47.11% of the Top 100 by impacts (Sony 32.03%, Warner 17.22%).
In 2014 the major boasted a market share of 40.28% (Sony 34.53%, Warner 21.06%), going on to claim 38.87% in 2015 (Sony 28.94%, Warner 21.83%).
Meanwhile, at record company level in 2016, RCA ended the year on top after more than doubling its market share of the Top 100 by impacts year-on-year from 6.75% to 15.82%, while Virgin EMI finished close behind with a market share of 15.33%.
Atlantic, last year’s market-leading company, claimed the third largest share in 2016 with 11.76%, followed by Island with 9.38% and Columbia with 8.50%.
The remainder of the majors’ frontline imprints were: Polydor (8.39%), Syco (6.37%), Sony Music (5.48%), Warner Bros Records (4.46%), Parlophone (4.33%) and Ministry Of Sound (2.83%).
For more in-depth analysis of 2016’s radio airplay Top 100, key trends and market shares, see the latest issue of Music Week or click here.