Sony Challenging Universal For World's Biggest Label Tag

25 May 2012 | 3:01 pm | Scott Fitzsimons

Bolstered by a strong start to the year, Sony are reportedly leading the marketshare stakes.

Sony Music Entertainmentappear close to snatching the 'World's Biggest Music Label' from Universal Music Group, according to new market share figures in the US.

Earlier this week Digital Music News claimed to have figures that prove Sony are on top leaked to them from a Sony executive. The numbers, from the latest Nielsen Soundscan market share tally read:

Sony Music Entertainment - 32.81
Universal Music Group - 28.35
Warner Music Group - 15.33
EMI Music - 11.80
Independent labels - 11.72

The claim has been backed up by a story in the New York Post, which claims that Sony has put itself in the top spot in the American market share rankings thanks to high-selling albums from Adele, Adam Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

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It is being viewed as a success for Sony Music's chief Doug Morris, who jumped ship from Universal last year. The difference is less than a percent though, with Sony enjoying 30.6 percent and Universal 29.8 percent.

A source from Universal claimed, “So much depends on the release schedule. There's a lot of back and forth. It's the year-end that counts.”

Sony's charge to the top, which comes after years of closing down Universal's lead, may be briefly-lived if Universal's purchase of EMI is given the green-light. (Staff at EMI appear accepting of the fact.) Then, the 9 to 11 percent share that EMI holds will give Universal a substantial lead.