EMI leads the pack at halfway point of 2023 as label's streaming consumption surges by 17%

EMI leads the pack at halfway point of 2023 as label's streaming consumption surges by 17%

EMI is out in front in terms of market share for the year to date.

Music Week can reveal that the Universal Music UK label is No.1 in the market shares, based on exclusive Official Charts Company data.

EMI won the Record Company trophy at the Music Week Awards. The label, headed by co-presidents Rebecca Allen and Jo Charrington, is now aiming to retain its title of the country’s biggest record label. 

Based on market share data for the crucial All Music All Albums metric, EMI is No.1 for the first six months of 2023 with a share of 10.9%. EMI has pulled ahead after a close Q1 battle with RCA, which had the Universal label on a 10.5% share compared to its Sony Music rival on 10.4%. That market share lead has now extended to 0.7 percentage points, with RCA on 10.2%.

The latest result is also ahead of EMI’s 10.5% result for the full year in 2022. During 2023, it has spectacularly outperformed the overall market with consumption up 17% year-on-year (versus 8% market growth) to 8,466,058 units. In Q2, EMI was even further ahead with an 11.3% share – 1.4 percentage points ahead of RCA.

Strong physical sales for acts including Taylor Swift, Lewis Capaldi and Metallica, as well as catalogue by the likes of Queen and Elton John, helped EMI register 1,034,529 pure sales (albums) in the first six months of 2023. As a whole, UMG had impressive physical sales globally in Q1.

EMI has had six No.1 albums so far this year: Taylor Swift’s Midnights (No.2 overall for the half-year, 187,659 sales), Lewis Capaldi’s Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent (No.6, 136,987), Metallica’s 72 Seasons (No.54, 51,542), Sam Smith’s Gloria (No.86, 41,265), Niall Horan’s The Show (No.147, 32,021) and Shania Twain’s Queen Of Me (No.149, 31,938).

Capaldi’s album was the biggest of Q2 and remains the fastest-selling album of the year so far. Forget Me, one of three No.1 singles for this campaign, is No.16 for the half-year (455,123 sales in 2023).

Elton John’s 2017 collection Diamonds was No.5 overall for the first sixth months (147,951 sales) after reaching a new peak of No.2, following his triumphant Glastonbury performance. The album held at No.2 last week and was one of eight EMI releases in the Top 20, along with a new entry for Olivia Dean's Messy at No.4, Midnights at No.6 and Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent at No.8.

"At EMI our successes are defined by our incredible roster of artists, and their exceptional music," said co-presidents Rebecca Allen and Jo Charrington. "We are also very fortunate to work with such talented individuals within the label.

"How fitting to celebrate our achievements in the week that Olivia Dean’s debut album lands in the Top 5 of the UK albums chart, along with having four out of the Top 10 albums. Olivia is truly one of the most authentically talented young artists around right now, and we want to take this opportunity to congratulate her on this momentous debut and the future successes she so richly deserves."

EMI will be off to a strong start in the second half of the year with the release of Taylor Swift’s Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). Swift’s Anti-Hero was the No.5 single for the first six months with 710,435 sales.


Despite the success of EMI in 2023, RCA still rules on streaming alone. But the contest couldn’t be any closer.

The label headed by Glyn Aikins and Stacey Tang since February 2023 is No.1 with a 10.8% share of Track Streams for the first six months of 2023, slightly up on its performance last year. The Sony Music label’s streaming consumption is up 11% year-on-year, in line with market growth.

However, EMI is in hot pursuit with an identical market share of 10.8%, up from 10.2% a year ago. 

RCA is No.1 by virtue of its narrow lead of 3.5 million streams (out of a total market of 76.6 billion streams for the first six months). For the record, RCA is on 8,147,592,325 streams for the half-year versus EMI on 8,144,046,536. EMI’s streaming growth is 17% year-on-year, the same as its increase for All Music All Albums. The label's streaming performance has been helped by the incorporation of Capitol last year.

EMI has the advantage at present for Track Streams as it actually came out on top in Q2 with an 11% share (compared to 10.5% in Q1), versus RCA on 10.6%. EMI has multiple Top 50 entries by Lewis Capaldi for the first six months of 2023, as well as Swift’s Anti-Hero and Unholy by Sam Smith & Kim Petras at No.15 (457,565 sales in 2023).

However, RCA has the biggest single of 2023 so far with Miley Cyrus’ Flowers on 1,248,655. It is the only track to pass a million sales this year.

RCA also has a streaming smash with SZA’s Kill Bill (No.3, 793,769). Parent album SOS is No.4 overall for the half-year (151,688 sales in 2023). 

Trustfall by former Music Week cover star Pink is No.14 (110,610) at the midway point of 2023, while RCA also has another US star in the Top 30 with Renaissance by Beyonce (No.25, 79,134). Meanwhile, Little Mix’s collection Between Us is still going strong (No.24, 79,166). 

The label currently has the No.1 album with Dead Club City by Nothing But Thieves

Polydor is in third position at the halfway point of the year in both All Music All Albums and Track Streams They are followed by Island, Columbia and Atlantic. 

Polydor has the biggest breakthrough of the year with UK rapper Clavish, whose Rap Game Awful mixtape is No.68 (48,060 sales). The label also has an Olivia Rodrigo campaign to look forward to for the second half of the year. It currently has five artists in the Top 10 of the singles chart.

Click here for the half-year 2023 market figures and charts analysis.

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