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Publishers Quarterly: Taylor Swift and Doja Cat Score Top Songs, While Sony Sweeps the Year

Publishers Quarterly: Taylor Swift and Doja Cat Score Top Songs, While Sony Sweeps the Year


Sony Music Publishing (SMP) won the quarter and the year on Billboard’s last Top Radio Airplay and Hot 100 Songs publishers rankings of 2023, while Warner Chappell held on to second place on the Hot 100 and took the No. 2 spot on Top Radio Airplay as well.

Taylor Swift and Doja Cat swapped the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the song rankings, with Doja’s “Paint the Town Red” winning Top Radio Airplay and Swift’s “Cruel Summer” taking the top spot on Hot 100 Songs.

The holidays added extra jingle to the late Johnny Marks’ royalty statement. He ranked as the top songwriter with four of his holiday classics on Hot 100 Songs, including Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” which ranked No. 6.

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Meanwhile, Ashley Gorley had a huge quarter as the leading songwriter on the Top Radio Airplay and Top Country Radio rankings, with nine and 16 song placements on the charts, respectively. His biggest hit on both was Morgan Wallen’s “Thinkin’ Bout Me.”

Although SMP topped both rankings, its market share and song count dipped across the board. Its Top Radio Airplay share declined from 30.06% in the third quarter to 27.69% and from a staggering 70 songs to a still-massive 64. On the Hot 100 Songs ranking, the publisher’s market share fell from 30.18% to 27.14% quarter to quarter, and its song placement dropped from 63 to 59. SMP’s top track for the quarter was “Cruel Summer.”

And after a five-quarter run atop the Country Airplay publisher ranking, the company fell to No. 2 with a 22.95% share, down from 28.14%.

Warner Chappell reclaimed the No. 1 Country Airplay spot, which it has held for 22 consecutive quarters before SMP’s ascendance, finishing the quarter with 30.58% of the market, up from 26.20%. That win was part of a stellar quarter for the publisher. Warner Chappell ranked No. 2 on Hot 100 Songs for the second consecutive quarter and was runner-up on Top Radio Airplay for the first time since the third quarter of 2021. Warner Chappell’s Hot 100 Songs market share was 20.65%, up from 18.18%, even though its song count fell from 49 to 44 quarter to quarter. Its Top Radio Airplay share rose more than three percentage points, from 15.87% in the third quarter to 19.12%, and its song count increased from 51 to 54. Warner Chappell’s top song was SZA’s “Snooze.”

Universal Music Publishing Group held steady at No. 3 on the Hot 100 Songs list with a 15.78% share, down from the prior quarter’s 17.95%. Song placement also fell from 43 to 41. UMPG’s 18.47% of the Top Radio Airplay market — down from 21.16% in the previous quarter, when it ranked at No. 2 — put it behind Warner Chappell. Its top song in the Hot 100 chart was “Cruel Summer,” while in the Top Radio Airplay chart it was “Paint The Town Red.”

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Kobalt ranked fourth on both the Hot 100 Songs and the Top Radio Airplay charts, scoring a 10.83% market share with stakes in 29 songs on the former and an 8.81% market share with 30 songs on the latter. Kobalt’s showings on both tallies were down from the previous quarter when it had 11.33% market share with 36 songs on Hot 100 Songs and 9.94% market share with 31 songs on the Top Radio Airplay chart. Its top song in both charts was “Paint the Town Red.”

BMG moved up a position from last quarter on Top Radio Airplay to No. 5, growing its market share from 3.23% to 6.77%. Its song placements grew from 10 to 18. On the Hot 100 Songs chart, BMG stayed at No. 5, growing market share from 4.57% to 5.95% and placements from 11 to 16, also including “Paint the Town Red.”

Concord jumped four places from the prior quarter on the Top Radio Airplay rankings, growing its market share from 1.37% to 3.71% and more than doubling its song placements from six in the third quarter to 14. Its top song on that chart was Paul Russell’s “Lil Boo Thang” (No. 8). The publisher returned to the Hot 100 Songs ranking, too, landing at No. 8 with a 1.91% market share, led by Tyla’s “Water” (No. 16).

Otherwise, Pulse held steady at No. 7 in the Top Radio Airplay publisher rankings at 2.66% market share, down from 2.80% in the third quarter. Purple Rabbit Music dropped to No. 8 with 2.07% market share from 3.52% as Luke Combs’ version of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” fell from the No. 1 spot in the third quarter to No. 9. Once again, Hipgnosis Songs Group placed No. 9, with a 1.48% share, down from 1.76% in the prior quarter. And Reservoir fell to No. 10 with 1.43% market share from the prior quarter’s No. 8 finish and 1.82% market share. “Cruel Summer” was the Hipgnosis top song while “Snooze” was Reservoir’s top song.

Rounding out the Top 10 for Hot 100 Songs, Johnny Marks St. Nicholas Music ranked No. 6 with 4.96% market share. Purple Rabbit landed at No. 7 with 1.99% market share. peermusic landed at No. 9 with 1.61% market share, making the ranking for the first time since the third quarter of 2020.
Pulse finished at No. 10 with 1.31% market share.

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