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Informa report: UMG leads new order of recorded-music companies

London, UK Universal Music Group and Sony make big market share gains in 2012

Informa's Music & Copyright’s annual survey of the recorded-music and music-publishing sectors has revealed how much Universal Music Group (UMG) and Sony have benefited in market-share terms from the breakup of EMI and the consolidation of the two music-industry sectors. UMG cemented its position as the largest recorded-music company last year, and Sony is now the clear leader in terms of corporate publishing control.

The past 18 months have seen massive changes take place in the ownership structure of the recorded-music and music-publishing sectors. The sales of EMI’s record and publishing divisions were confirmed at the end of 2011, with UMG taking the bulk of the recorded-music spoils and a consortium of companies led by Sony taking the majority of the publishing assets.

According to Music & Copyright, UMG had a 31.7% share of combined physical and digital recorded-music trade revenues last year, up from 27.9% in 2011. Because UMG completed the acquisition of the EMI assets at the end of 3Q12, UMG’s market share includes all of the trade revenues formerly associated with EMI for 4Q12. This also means that the market share for EMI is for trade revenues in the first three quarters of 2012 only.

Global recorded-music (physical and digital) market shares, 2011 and 2012 (%)
Global recorded-music (physical and digital) market shares, 2011 and 2012 (%) Table 
Source: Music & Copyright

According to Simon Dyson, editor of Music & Copyright, “the full impact of UMG’s acquisition of the EMI record companies will only be seen in the market-share figures for this year. Based on this year’s share figures and including only UMG’s retained companies, UMG’s share of total recorded-music trade revenues may rise a further three to four percentage points.”

A new publishing leader
Similar to the way that Music & Copyright determines recorded-music market shares, music-publishing market shares are also based on revenues received by each company. Music & Copyright has calculated that global music-publishing revenues were almost unchanged for the second year running in 2012, at US$3.9 billion.

In contrast to the recorded-music shares, Music & Copyright has produced full-year shares for EMI Music Publishing (EMI MP) and Sony/ATV. Although Sony and a consortium of companies* now own EMI MP, with Sony/ATV managing the publisher on behalf of the investor group, Sony/ATV and EMI MP are still separate companies. Music & Copyright has included in EMI MP’s publishing share the revenues from all the assets forming part of the acquisition, and not just the retained companies. This means the full impact on market shares of the publishing divestments required to seal the deal will only be apparent with the publication of 2013 market shares.

Keeping EMI MP and Sony/ATV separate means UMPG was the largest publishing company last year, with a 22.5% share, up from 22.2% in 2011. However, Sony (including the investor group) is the publishing leader in terms of corporate ownership. The combined share of EMI MP and Sony/ATV in 2012 was 31.2%, though this share will be lower next year, after the EMI MP asset sales.

The global market shares of the leading music publishers, 2011 and 2012 (%)
The global market shares of the leading music publishers, 2011 and 2012 (%) Table 
Source: Music & Copyright

*The consortium is made up of the estate of Michael Jackson, Mubadala Development PJSC, Jynwel Capital, the Blackstone Group’s GSO Capital Partners and David Geffen

About Music & Copyright
Music & Copyright is a fortnightly research service covering global copyright and legal issues affecting the music industry. Written by experts that have been involved in the music industry for 20 years, it delivers accurate analysis of music industry news and views, independently determined market share figures not available from any other source and a wide range of data and statistics. Subscribers also receive 20 country reports packed full of the latest music industry data

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Bethan Casey
PR and Marketing
Informa Telecoms & Media
Tel: + 44 (0) 207 017 4994
Twitter: @informatm_pr

About Informa Telecoms & Media Informa Telecoms & Media ( is the leading provider of business intelligence and strategic services to the global telecoms and media markets.