HITS Daily Double
Universal Music Group enters the Q1 home stretch with a typically whopping 31.9%, up nearly 5% over the same period last year.


UMG Rules (Duh), IGA #1 in the Race So Far

As we approach the end of the first quarter of the third or fourth year of the new millennium (depending on your astrological sign), the current-album marketshare race so far—through the end of last week, or week 10 of 13 for the quarter—is being determined by a handful of big albums that are driving the biggest numbers. Granted, it’s early yet, and Q1 is traditionally sluggish, but that doesn’t mean some exciting stories aren’t al-ready developing:

Perennial dominator Universal Music Group enters the Q1 home stretch with a typically whopping 31.9%, up nearly 5% over the same period last year. UMG’s Interscope Geffen A&M, with the biggest label share at 11.1%, also has the biggest album year-to-date, 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Trying (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope), which has sold over 3 million since its Feb. 6 release and continues to move big numbers weekly.

Other leading UMG labels include #2 Island Def Jam at 7.1% (tied with Columbia) and Universal at 4.6%. Big releases include the 8 Mile soundtrack (Shady/Aftermath/ Interscope), Shania Twain’s Up! (Mercury Nashville) Aaliyah’s I Care 4 U (Blackground/Universal) and Em­inem’s The Eminem Show (Aftermath/Interscope).

Second-place music group BMG comes in with 16.1% (down 3.5% from last year), led by R. Kelly’s Chocolate Factory (Jive), which has moved 945k since Feb. 18, and Avril Lavigne’s Let Go (Arista), with about 910k sold YTD. Besides #8 Arista and #10 Jive, BMG’s newly combined RCA/J comes in at #9.

In third is Sony Music at 15.1% (up 0.5% over last year) with the #2 and #4 labels in Columbia (tied with IDJ) and Epic, respectively. Leading releases include the Dixie ChicksHome (Open Wide/Monument/Columbia), Jennifer Lopez’s This is Me... (Epic) and the Chicago ST (Epic).

Fourth is Warner Music Group at 14.4% (down 1.3% from last year), whose Warner Bros. and Atlantic labels are #5 and #7, respectively. Leading WMG albums include Kid Rock’s Cocky (Lava/Atlantic) and Missy Elliott’s Under Construction (Gold Mind/Elektra).

Bringing up the rear is EMI at 9% (up 0.6% over last year), which is nonetheless packing the most interesting sales story of the year so far: Thanks to a major post-Grammy sales spike, Norah Jones’ phenomenal debut has sold over 1.9 million since Jan. 1, making it #2 year-to-date. It’s worth noting that, as a result, Jones’ label, Blue Note, missed the Top 10 by less than a tenth of a percent. Also helping EMI is its other big Grammy winner, Coldplay, whose A Rush of Blood to the Head (Capitol) has moved over 425k this year.

Current Share Year Ago +/-
1. UMG 31.9 27.0 + 4.9
2. BMG 16.1 19.6 - 3.5
3. Sony 15.1 14.6 + 0.5
4. WMG 14.4 15.7 - 1.3
5. EMI 9.0 8.4 + 0.6

1. IGA 11.1
2. Columbia 7.1
2. IDJ 7.1
4. Epic 6.6
5. WB 4.8
6. Universal 4.6
7. Atlantic 4.5
8. Arista 3.6
9. RCA /J 3.5
10. Jive 3.0