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Record-Firm Rankings Shift

June 17, 2004|Jeff Leeds

The ranks of the five major record conglomerates shifted last year, even as the big companies together seized market share from independent labels, the music industry's worldwide trade organization said Wednesday.

Universal Music Group's share of worldwide sales declined to 23.5%, from 25.4%, but the division of Vivendi Universal continued to lead the recording industry by a wide margin, according to market share data released annually by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.

Sony Corp.'s Sony Music Entertainment fell to third place from second and now ranks behind British music giant EMI Group, according to the latest tally. Sony Music's share fell to 13.2% from 13.8% amid declines in North America and Europe.

EMI edged up to 13.4% from 12.2%, picking up sales in North America and Asia. Warner Music Group and Bertelsmann's BMG remained in fourth and fifth place, respectively, with each posting market share gains in several territories.

The independent label sector, however, slipped to 25.3% of the market, down from 27.1%.

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