EMI retains No.1 position in Q1 market shares as labels make streaming gains

EMI retains No.1 position in Q1 market shares as labels make streaming gains

EMI is not budging from the top spot in the UK’s recorded music market shares.

Music Week can reveal that the Universal Music UK label – headed by co-presidents Rebecca Allen and Jo Charrington – is once again the market leader for the quarter. It follows a convincing No.1 finish for EMI overall in 2023, a second consecutive victory.

EMI has now been No.1 for 10 consecutive quarters in the main market shares measure, based on Official Charts Company data. The label won the Record Company trophy at the Music Week Awards 2023 and will be defending its title next month.

According to the latest figures for Q1, EMI was No.1 on the crucial All Music – All Albums rankings with a 10.8% share, well ahead of RCA on 9.9% and Polydor on 9.2%.

With consumption up 12% year-on-year based on the Official Charts Company’s combined figures across all formats, EMI performed ahead of the market. Such was EMI’s stellar performance in Q4 with a 13.3% share, even a 12% quarter-on-quarter fall in consumption in the latest Q1 figures could not dent the label’s momentum.

The Track Streams rankings represented a closer contest, but EMI was still ahead of RCA by almost half a percentage point (10.9% versus 10.5%). EMI amassed 4.43 billion streams in the quarter, increasing streaming consumption by 15% year-on-year (again, ahead of the market growth).

After EMI pulled ahead on streams at the end of Q3 last year, Rebecca Allen told Music Week in our exclusive interview with the label co-presidents that it was an important result for the label.

“Can I just say, the one that we’re most proud of, because we haven’t always been the leader on it, is the Tracks Streams one,” she said. “We feel so proud of that.”

EMI was No.1 based on all Official Charts Company metrics, with the exception of Track Sales (RCA) and Compilation Album Sales (Sony Music CG).

EMI’s biggest album of the quarter was 1989 (Taylor’s Version) at No.3 (80,463 sales in Q1), while the perennial Elton John collection Diamonds was at No.7 (64,488 sales in Q1).

Surprisingly, perhaps, EMI only had a single No.1 album in the quarter. Lewis Capaldi’s Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent, which returned to the summit at the start of the year, was No.19 overall in Q1 (52,195 sales). 

The label also launched Caity Baser’s debut album, Still Learning, last month. It opened at No.7 and has 7,458 sales to date. It also has a new Libertines album this week.

EMI now has a Taylor Swift album to look forward to in Q2 with the release of The Tortured Poets Department on April 19. Swift had five albums in the Q1 Top 20, while Cruel Summer was No.10 in the singles rankings for the quarter (328,622 sales).

RCA finished at No.2 for All Music – All Albums with a 9.9% share, while its Track Streams share was 10.5%.

SZA and Travis Scott continue to stream well for the Sony Music label. Since ’93/RCA artist Tyla’s hit Water was No.15 in Q1 (242,410 sales in the quarter), while the South African artist and Music Week cover star also made the weekly Top 20 with her self-titled debut based largely on solid streaming.

RCA has started Q2 strongly with Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter securing the biggest opening of the year so far in the past week as well as a No.1 single with Texas Hold Em'. For the latest chart week, RCA came out on top of the All Music – All Albums rankings with an 11.9% share.

In Q1, Polydor was No.3 for All Music – All Albums (9.2%) and, like EMI, performed ahead of the market with a jump of 12% in consumption. The label was also No.3 on Track Streams (9.6% share), with impressive growth in consumption of 14% year-on-year.

Polydor was buoyed by catalogue success including Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Murder On The Dancefloor (No.3 in Q1, 475,297 sales), ABBA and Eminem collections, as well as the ongoing campaign for Olivia Rodrigo’s Guts (No.4 in Q1, 75,359 sales), including a deluxe edition which saw it return to the weekly Top 3.

Polydor also took label veterans Elbow to the summit with Audio Vertigo.

In fourth place, Island had an incredible Q1 with their market share (8.4% on All Music – All Albums) up by a whole percentage point compared to the first quarter of 2023. Island outperformed the market impressively with consumption up 24% year-on-year. They registered the same level of growth for Track Streams (8.7% share).

The Universal Music label had the biggest album of Q1 with Noah Kahan’s Stick Season (123,176 sales in the quarter) and the biggest track with the single of the same name (857,904).

Island also had a big chart result with The Last Dinner Party’s chart-topping debut Prelude To Ecstasy, which ended the quarter at No.15 overall (55,704 sales). Meanwhile, Ariana Grande secured consecutive weeks at No.1 with Eternal Sunshine, which made No.9 overall for the first quarter (66,532 sales).

At No.5 in the market shares, the combined Warner-Parlophone label operation had a 6.8% market share for both All Music – All Albums and Track Streams. Warner Records and Parlophone were ranked separately a year ago. 

The biggest Warner-Parlophone release of the quarter was the No.1 self-titled album by Liam Gallagher & John Squire (No.24 in Q1, 50,312 sales), along with a No.1 for Green Day’s Saviors (No.28, 45,111 sales).

Warner Records had hits with Benson Boone’s Beautiful Things (No.4 in Q1, 413,698 sales) and Dua Lipa’s Houdini (No.12, 265, 261). As she prepares to drop new album Radical Optimism on May 3, Dua Lipa also made a Q1 chart impact with Dance The Night (No.36, 177,174 sales) and Training Season (No.45, 166,076 sales).

Columbia finished at No.6 with a 5.9% share of All Music – All Albums and 6.1% share of Track Streams. As well as success with the 21 Savage campaign for the American Dream album (No.33, 40,334 sales), Columbia made a Top 10 singles chart impact via Ministry Of Sound label hits including Prada by Casso, Raye & D-Block Europe (No.6, 373,245 sales in Q1) and Tate McRae’s Greedy (No.9, 353,607 sales in Q1). 

Atlantic made No.7 in the market shares for Q1 with a 5.5% share on All Music – All Albums and 5.8% on Track Streams.

The Warner Music UK label had the second biggest song of the quarter with Teddy Swims’ Lose Control (512,244 sales), as well as Jack Harlow’s Lovin On Me at No.5 (395,196) and Alibi by Ella Henderson feat. Rudimental at No.18 (212,784).

Joel Corry’s Another Friday Night (No.44, 34,985 sales) continued to stream well for Atlantic in the quarter.

To see our Q1 charts analysis, click here.


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