Universal Boosts World No 1 Spot

London: | Updated: Oct 18 2002, 05:30am hrs
Hits from Shaggy, Nelly Furtado and Andrea Bocelli helped Universal Music boost its number one spot in the music industry last year with a global market share of 23.5 per cent, a leading music industry body said on Thursday. Universal Musics market share rose from 22.9 per cent in 2000, pushing it well ahead of the number two, Sony Music, which secured a share of 14.7 per cent of the global market compared to 14.4 per cent the previous year, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said.

The five biggest music companies controlled 71.2 per cent of the global music market last year, roughly the same as the previous two years. That figure rose to 76.3 per cent in the biggest market, North America, and 77.9 per cent in Europe, the IFPI said in its Recording Industry in Numbers yearbook.

However, the five top companies took a share of a shrinking industry as piracy and weak economies ate into revenues, sending global music sales five percent lower to $33.7 billion last year and 9.2 per cent lower in the first half of 2002.

After Universal and Sony, EMI Group Plc secured the number three spot again with a market share of 13 per cent, down from 13.5 per cent in the previous year. Warner Music also saw its market share slip to 11.8 per cent from 12 per cent, taking fourth place among the big five. BMG, owned by German media group Bertelsmann, remained last among the five with a market share of 8.2 per cent, down from 8.4 per cent, despite big hits from pop stars such as Dido, Alicia Keys and Pink. Universal Music is owned by French-American entertainment giant Vivendi Universal, Sony Music is owned by the Sony empire while Warner Music is part of the AOL Time Warner group. EMI Group is the only stand-alone music company among the five. (Reuters)