Majors slightly increased their market share in 2021


Research journal Music & Copyright has published its annual market-share figures for music publishers and labels, covering 2021.

In recordings, it calculated that the three majors slightly increased their market share from 68.5% in 2020 to 70.1% in 2021, with independents’ share falling from 31.6% to 29.9% accordingly.

The majors’ growth came from Sony and Warner, which grew from 20.8% to 21.9%, and from 15.6% to 16.3% respectively, with Universal’s share falling ever-so-slightly from 32.1% to 31.9%.

Note, the majors/indies gap is wider in digital than physical: indies only took a 25.9% share of digital revenues in 2021, down from 27.9% the previous year.

Meanwhile for publishing, M&C saw Sony growing its share from 24.5% to 24.9%. UMPG’s share grew slightly from 23% to 23.2%, while Warner Chappell’s grew from 11.2% to 11.8% – the biggest growth of the three.

Here, too, there is a tale of declining independents’ share. Kobalt and BMG both saw a slight fall (from 7% to 6.8% and 6.4% to 6.2% respectively) while other independents en masse saw a drop from 27.9% to 27.1%.

Written by: Stuart Dredge