Idolator has already preemptively called “industry insider” Bob Lefsetz’s impending insanity, but to be fair, he’s bounced back well lately, with delightful, cutting-edge posts about listening to Led Zeppelin in the car, various Hall & Oates singles, and some SPORADICALLY capitalized THOUGHTS on American IDOL. However, Lefsetz subsequently decided to defend the tenure of Lyor Cohen, and something has to be said about that.
You may have previously believed that Lyor Cohen didn’t really deserve a raise for his tenure at Atlantic Records, that he was slowly destroying the once proud label, that Cohen might not be the industry talent everyone assumed. You would be wrong.
Lyor might be pilloried, but he’s doing better than Jimmy. How can that be?
A drum roll please… The label with the greatest market share of current product year to date is…ATLANTIC RECORDS! Hell, if you include catalog, Atlantic is #2 to RIGA. Jimmy’s got 7.45% of the overall market, including catalog, and Atlantic 7… (As for market share of current, Atlantic’s got 7.73% and IGA 7%.)
Staying in the current realm, Monte and L.A. Reid are right behind Jimmy, with 5+ each. Then comes Warner Brothers, with 4.76%.
Then comes Barry Weiss with 4.37%.
The man with the golden ears? The irreplaceable Clive Davis, the most successful man in the record business, lording over Alicia Keys and the “American Idol” champs? RCA Records comes in seventh, with 4.33%. Then, Rick Rubin’s Columbia, with 3.74%, Disney with 3.72%, Capitol with 2.08% and Epic, with 1.88%.
What have we learned from the above? That someone is smart somewhere. Turns out Lyon should have kept his job, Clive needed to be demoted, and change was needed at Columbia and is still needed at Capitol and Epic.
Admittedly, all of that’s a little difficult to decipher, but to summarize, based on Soundscan numbers for the year so far, Atlantic has the most total scans of any label, thanks to the Juno soundtrack and discs by Flo Rida, Death Cab, and Kid Rock leading the charge. Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope is second.
So what? It’s May, and while the sales might be leading Atlantic’s way right now, how long will that hold up, especially during a summer with few likely smashes for Atlantic, unless you’re counting the Shinedown and Pretty Ricky discs as future chart-toppers. With discs from G-Unit, Beck, Keri Hilson, and N.E.R.D. slated for this summer, and the lingering possibility of discs from Eminem and Dr. Dre at some point this year, you’d have to suspect that Interscope will be just fine, at least as far as the diminishing expectations game goes in the music biz these days. But hey, Lefsetz, I’m sure Lyor’s ready for that Jason Mraz disc to go gangbusters. Let’s give him another raise!
Market Share Report [Lefsetz Letter]