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2016 U.S. Music Mid-Year Report

1 minute read | July 2016

Nielsen presents the 2016 U.S. music mid-year report for the six-month period of Jan. 1, 2016, through June 30, 2016.

Highlights include:

  • Audio has surpassed video as the leading streaming format in 2016. Audio share of streaming is 54% in 2016, growing from 44% through the first six months of 2015.
  • Three albums have sold over 1 million units so far this year (Adele: 25; Drake: Views; and Beyonce: Lemonade), while there was only one at this time last year (Taylor Swift: 1989).
  • Creative release strategies, driven mostly by digital formats, continue to be a major story. Drake’s Views, Beyonce’s Lemonade and Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo have all been successful this year and are led by digital formats. Also, 2016 saw the first album to chart based solely on streaming activity (Chance the Rapper debuted at No. 8 in its first week with 57 million audio streams).
  • Digital purchasing has seen the largest decline of all formats, with digital tracks down 24% and digital albums down 18%. However, factoring in the gains in streaming, total digital consumption is up 15%.
  • Vinyl continues to become a bigger piece of the physical music business. Vinyl LPs now comprise nearly 12% of the physical business in the first half of 2016.

Life is But a Stream

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