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NEAR TRUTHS: TWO
THINGS AT A TIME


ONE THING TO RULE THEM ALL: Morgan
Wallen’s latest, One Thing at a Time, hitting #1 on our chart this week with nearly 500k, looks like another juggernaut in the vein of his previous giant, which has lingered in the upper tier of the chart since its January 2021 drop and was 2021’s biggest album. It’s racked up north of 7m ATD U.S. Wallen’s new, 36-song behemoth (via Big Loud/Mercury/Republic), which had the fifth-biggest opening ever at Spotify—and the biggest yet for a country release—looks set to be 2023’s top album. (Interestingly, like much of the new country that streams, it’s much bigger, proportionally, on Apple Music than on the Spot, where it has four of the top five songs overall and 24 of the top 30; Amazon Music, which has big buy-in from country fans, also has a significant chunk.)

Wallen's enduring success is further proof of the vision of Big Loud boss Seth England, and also of Republic boss Monte Lipman, who prevailed in the highly competitive signing contest for the artist. (While we’re on the subject of Monte’s signing acumen, his inking of another of Republic’s biggest acts, the ultra-formidable Taylor Swift, when she exited her Big Machine deal was another coup.)

MONTE OLYMPUS: The industry has moved the equivalent of about 44m current albums YTD, which means that 1 point of current marketshare is worth about 440k. Republic’s current marketshare is 11.1. With the addition of Wallen’s monster, the label’s marketshare should jump by more than a point, depending on the rest of the market. The next-biggest current share belongs to The Orchard (8.4), which is not really a label. House Lipman’s already blazing-hot streak has hit a new plateau, particularly on the Spotify U.S. chart, on which it holds, as of this writing, 13 of the Top 20, and the album chart, where it owns six of the Top 10. With Wallen’s record-breaking set likely to be the biggest of ’23—and considering that the country disruptor’s prior release is still in the Top 10—look for Monte and company to enjoy another banner year.

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