If music industry analysts were hoping the successful releases of Rihanna, Drake, Kanye West, and Beyonce would be enough to save 2016 from the sales woes of 2015 (read more here), their hope was misguided.
As detailed by the mid-year Nielsen report created to reflect American music consumption trends, 2016 is off to a much worse start than last year. In fact, compared to this time last year, traditional sales are seeing a steady decline with physical numbers down 14% while digital numbers are down a whopping 18%.
However, not all is lost. For, as the releases of Drizzy, Rih, and West have proven, streaming is not the wave of the future, but it is the wave of the now (read more here). Helping boost total music consumption upward (sales plus streaming), tuck in below to get the positive stats on streaming year to date (tracking ended June 30):
“…209 billion songs streamed on-demand through audio and video platforms—an increase of 59% over the same period last year. Audio on-demand streams now make up 54% of total streams, while video is now 46% of the total.
Other key findings from 2016 Nielsen Mid-Year U.S. Music Report:
– Total consumption for the year, based on albums plus track equivalent albums and streaming equivalent albums, is up 9% from last year.
– Thanks to continued growth in streaming, overall digital consumption (sales and streams) is up 15%.
– Overall album sales are down 14%, including an 18% decline in digital album sales.”
Other highlights from the year (to date):
Mid-Year Top 10 Albums (Based on Overall Equivalent Album Units – 2016 Sales Only)
- Drake, Views (2,609,000 units) Note: 1.3 are traditional sales
- Adele, 25 (1,747,000 units) Note: 1.4 million are traditional sales
- Beyonce, Lemonade (1,687,000 units) Note: 1.2 million are traditional sales
- Justin Bieber, Purpose (1,332,000 units) Note: 479,000 are traditional sales
- Rihanna, Anti (1,272,000 units) Note: 480,000 are traditional sales
Unique Streaming Events In 2016
- Drake makes streaming history with over 1 billion streams of album ‘Views’ (read more)
- Rihanna makes history with lowest traditional sales to ever top Billboard charts (read more)
- Kanye West makes history as first artist to top Billboard charts via streaming alone (read more)
As the primary means of music consumption (and biggest source of music industry revenue) it will be interesting to see how many digital music outlets ink exclusive streaming rights with big artists in the future vs. how record labels will want to capitalize on wide availability across all the platforms.
It all still spells for troubling times ahead (source)