Music

Publishers Quarterly: Jack Harlow Helps Sony Sweep (Again) While Warner Chappell Continues to Surge

Sony Music Publishing swept Billboard’s ­Publishers Quarterly rankings for the first three months of 2024 — its fifth consecutive quarter atop the Top Radio Airplay and Hot 100 Songs lists.

Sony also had a piece of the song that ruled both charts — Jack Harlow’s “Lovin on Me.” The other top 10 publishers with a stake in the song: Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), Warner Chappell Music and Kobalt.

The first quarter’s top songwriter on the Hot 100 Songs ranking was Noah Kahan. He landed at the peak due to two songs, including the No. 10 track on the chart, “Stick Season.” Not surprisingly, on Top Radio Airplay, Taylor Swift was the No. 1 songwriter thanks to the success of three songs on that list, including “Is It Over Now (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” at No. 5.

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Returning to Sony, the publisher finished the quarter with a 29.19% slice of market share on the strength of shares in 66 songs — an improvement over the 64 songs and 27.69% the company claimed in the prior quarter. For the first quarter’s Hot 100 Songs chart, Sony ended up with a 28.60% share with 58 songs — again, an improvement over the prior quarter’s 27.14% share, but one song less than the 59 tracks it snared in that quarter.

Sony’s showing marks the 12th quarter in a row that it ranked No. 1 among Top Radio Airplay publishers. Remarkably, it has held the top spot for 25 of the last 26 quarters. On the Hot 100 Songs chart, Sony ranked No. 1 for the fifth consecutive quarter.

Meanwhile, Warner Chappell Music continued its surge, finishing in second place for a second consecutive quarter on both publisher rankings. The publisher increased its quarter-to-quarter market share in both rankings — from 19.12% to 21.93% on Top Radio Airplay and 20.65% to 22.05% on Hot 100 Songs. Warner Chappell’s Top Radio Airplay song count also grew from 54 to 63 quarter to quarter, and its Hot 100 song count ballooned from 44 to 58. It was also No. 1 on the Country Airplay publisher rankings.

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UMPG came in third on both charts, posting a stronger showing on the Hot 100 Songs ranking, with a 17.42% share and 43 songs. That’s up from the prior quarter’s 15.78% and 41 songs. Its top track on both charts was Harlow’s “Lovin on Me.” On Top Radio Airplay, UMPG posted a 14.65% share with a stake in 44 songs, down from the prior quarter’s 18.47% and 48 songs.

Kobalt and BMG, respectively, came in at No. 4 and No. 5, their usual spots on both publisher rankings. Kobalt upped its game in the Top Radio Airplay category, amassing a 9.65% share of the market with stakes in 31 songs — an improvement over the fourth quarter, when it had an 8.81% share and 30 songs. Kobalt performed even better on the Hot 100 Songs chart with a 10.19% market share, but that was still down from the 10.83% share it had in the fourth quarter of 2023.

BMG’s market share declined on both charts. Its Top Radio Airplay share fell from 6.77% to 5.86% quarter to quarter and from 5.95% to 5.47% on Hot 100 Songs, while its song counts fell from 18 to 14, and from 16 to 14, respectively. Its top song on both charts was Doja Cat’s “Paint The Town Red," which ranked No. 7 on the Top Radio Airplay chart and No. 12 on the Hot 100 chart.

The publishers that ranked sixth through ninth on Top Radio Airplay were Concord, Hipgnosis Songs Group, Tracy Chapman’s Purple Rabbit Music and Pulse in that order. Concord held steady at No. 6 for its second consecutive quarter, albeit down slightly from 3.71% in the fourth quarter to 3.38%. Its song count also fell from 14 to 10. On the other hand, Hipgnosis rose from No. 9 last quarter to No. 7, growing its market share from 1.48% to 2.29%, even though its song placement on the chart stayed the same — six —in both quarters. The wattage of Luke Combs’ cover of “Fast Car” finally seems to be fading as Purple Rabbit’s market share decreased from 2.07% to 1.67%, despite holding on to its No. 8 berth for a second quarter. Pulse traded places with Hipgnosis, falling from No. 7 in the fourth quarter with a 2.66% share to No. 9 in the first with 1.52%.

On the Hot 100 publisher ranking, Purple Rabbit fared better, rising from No. 7 to No. 6 quarter-to-quarter thanks to a slight uptick in market share from 1.99% to 2.06%. Likewise, Pulse rose from No. 10 to No. 8 over the same period, its market share growing from 1.31% to 1.96%. And Hipgnosis returned to the Hot 100 chart after being absent since the fourth quarter of 2022. Its 1.59% share put it in ninth place. Big Machine took Top Radio Airplay’s tenth slot, returning to that ranking for the first time sinced the fourth quarter of 2022. And Empire Publishing made its Billboard Publishers Quarterly debut at No. 10 on the Hot 100 list, with a 0.97% share, based on the strength of three song placements: Justin Timberlake’s “Selfish,” 310babii’s “Soak City (Do It)” and Morgan Wallen’s “Spin You Around.”

Last Quarter: Taylor Swift and Doja Cat Score Top Songs

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