RCA boss celebrates 'diversity' of Sony Music roster after radio airplay victory

RCA boss celebrates 'diversity' of Sony Music roster after radio airplay victory

RCA MD Neil Hughes has told Music Week that each label under the Sony Music umbrella “delivered” as the company won the biggest share of the radio airplay market in 2017.

Sony scored a 37.64% share, winning over Universal and Warner for the second consecutive year, according to Radiomonitor.

Speaking in the current issue of Music Week, Hughes said it was “a good moment” when Sony found out the airplay stats.

“If you look at the Sony artists in the Top 100, it shows that virtually every label has more than one track in there, so every label delivered,” said Hughes. “What’s interesting is the diversity of those artists: Columbia with Rag’N’Bone Man and The Script, RCA with everyone from Pink to The Chainsmokers, Black Butter with J Hus, French Montana and Zara Larsson, Syco with Little Mix, Camila Cabello and Ministry with Sigala. There’s a lot of diversity there.”

Sony’s biggest winner was Rag’N’Bone Man’s Human, which finished at No.4 on the airplay Top 100. It was played 132,612 times across 285 stations over the course of 2017, generating 1.45 billion impacts.

Hughes pointed out that Sony would not bank on the success of just one artist. “I think a healthy label or a healthy group can’t just rely on the success of one artist,” he said. “Certainly, I would love the success of Rag’N’Bone Man within RCA, but the fact that Sony have as many artists as they have in there is more important than it just being all about one artist, because it goes without saying that the numbers add up better.”

I think a healthy label or a healthy group can’t just rely on the success of one artist

Neil Hughes, RCA

He also noted that Sony Music “is in a very healthy space in terms of diversity in the roster and how many new artists are breaking,” and said the company is seeking to retain its crown this year, expecting a boost from Justin Timberlake’s new record, Man Of The Woods. Timberlake topped the 2016 airplay charts with 195,238 plays for Can’t Stop The Feeling!.

Of course, no radio analysis of 2017 would be complete without mention of Ed Sheeran, whose label, Atlantic, ousted last year’s winners at company level, RCA, by achieving the greatest slice of the airplay market share with 22.39%, just missing out on doubling last year’s 11.76% result.

“Out of the Top 100 we’ve got 22, nearly 23%, and the Top 50 is 31%,” said Damian Christian, director of promotions, Atlantic Records UK & SVP of promotion strategy WMUK. “But the most impressive is the Top 20 and that is really more what it’s about than the Top 100. We’ve got 43% of the Top 20. We’re proud of all of them, but the Top 20 is the one that we’re particularly proud of, really.”

Read the full report in the latest issue of Music Week, out now.

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