HITS Daily Double



Doug Morris: The sage

During his second full year as commander in chief, Doug Morris led Sony Music to a solid 30.2% overall share, as inspired performances from the SME’s two flagship labels nearly offset the absence of new music from Adele. Morris, who’s having a very merry Christmas, also found the time to moonlight on Broadway as the sole investor in the wildly successful show Motown: The Musical. Sony’s solid year was topped off by the surprise 12/13 release of a new Beyoncé album that sold a stunning 618k in its first three days as an iTunes exclusive, putting it at #24 on the year, though it’s sure to go much higher before all is said and done.

Rob Stringer: Mr. Clutch

Rob Stringer is having it both ways at Columbia, which has reclaimed the mantle of the industry’s leading home for prestige artists with the additions of such coveted acts as Pharrell Williams, The Civil Wars, The Neighbourhood, HAIM and Hozier, while continuing to rack up major hits. One Direction, on Simon Cowell’s SYCO imprint, has two big albums this year in the recently released Midnight Memories (#16, 800k) and 2012’s Take Me Home (#37 with another 528k), while EDM pioneers Daft Punk began their Columbia career with a bang, as Random Access Memories (#13, 852k) yielded the consensus single of the year in "Get Lucky," and J Cole’s Born Sinner (#21, 646k) cemented his status as a young hip-hop heavyweight. And then, of course, there’s the aforementioned Beyoncé, whose ability to generate excitement on a worldwide basis may well be unrivaled in the modern era. She can also generate frontline marketshare, boosting Columbia by .6% to 7.6% in one week. Instrumental in all of these successes was the highly regarded Joel Klaiman, who left Republic in order to take the post of EVP/GM and proceeded to deliver big time.

Peter Edge: The handler

In their second year of joint leadership, RCA CEO Peter Edge and President/COO Tom Corson had the venerable label back in the thick of the action, finishing #2 in frontline marketshare with 7.5%, and establishing themselves as one the most formidable executive combinations in the biz. The partners scored the year’s top-selling album in Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience, which has sold more than 2.4m following a 980k debut, also the highest of 2013 (the bundled two-volume set has moved another 694k), while overseeing the ongoing success of P!nk (#12, 904k this year), the massive breakout of Miley Cyrus (#22, 645k albums, plus 5.5m in combined singles sales) and the development of a bona fide holiday classic from Kelly Clarkson (#31 with 571k and sure to climb significantly higher in the next two weeks). And on the radio front, the label spent most of the year at #1 in all formats, according to Mediabase, as EVP/GM Joe Riccitelli showed once again why he’s considered to be one of the best promotion execs in the business

L.A. Reid is back at Epic on a 24/7 basis following two seasons as a judge on The X Factor, and his increased presence and focus are making a big difference for the label. Things are really starting to hum again of late; industry observers are giving the renowned creative exec major props for signing breakthrough act A Great Big World, which has this week’s top-selling single. Epic also finds itself with a wholly unexpected Album of the Year Grammy nominee in Sara BareillesThe Blessed Unrest. Additionally, Reid brought in high-energy Todd Glassman to spearhead the label’s promotion efforts and recently upped Urban head Benny Pough to EVP. With Reid once again doing his magic, industry observers expect 2014 to be a major turnaround year for Epic.

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