Skip to content
News Center >

Nielsen Releases 2016 Canada Year-End Report

6 minute read | January 2017

Highly Anticipated Report Provides Comprehensive Coverage of the Year in Music

New York, NY – Jan. 11, 2017 – Nielsen, the industry’s leading source for music data and insights, today released its 2016 Canada Year-End Report for the 12-month period ending Dec. 29, 2016. This highly anticipated report provides comprehensive coverage of the year in music from the coveted Nielsen Music Year-End charts, presented by Billboard, to insights on the most important industry trends from sales and streaming to social media and overall consumer engagement across today’s most popular platforms.

The Nielsen Music Canada Year-End Report confirms that the music industry experienced steady and consistent growth in 2016, with total audio consumption up 5.3% over 2015, fueled by a 203% increase in on-demand audio streams compared to last year. The industry did experience decreases in digital album and digital track sales, but the growth in streaming led the total digital music consumption to be up over 4% this year. In 2016, catalogue album sales surpassed current sales for the first time in the Nielsen era. 2016 also marked the highest vinyl sales total to date with a 29% increase over 2015.

This year’s report shows that six of the top 10 best-selling albums for 2016 belong to Canadian artists, with Drake’s Views finishing at No. 1. This marks the first year since 2004 that the top selling album of the year came from a Canadian artist. Five of the top ten airplay songs also belong to Canadian artists, including Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself,” which landed at No. 1.

Additionally, eight different Canadian artists had No. 1 albums on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart in 2016, including Drake, who spent 12 weeks at No. 1 – the most of any act this year. The Tragically Hip had two albums reach the top of the chart, including their latest release and their 2005 Yer Favourites album. Justin Bieber, Billy Talent, Celine Dion, Shawn Mendes, Leonard Cohen and The Weeknd also spent time at No. 1.

“2016 was an exciting year for Canadian artists and the overall Canadian music industry,” said Paul Shaver, Head of Nielsen Music Canada. “From the increased popularity of streaming to the total consumption growth, the music landscape continues to evolve at an incredible speed, and we’re looking forward to tracking the industry trends for the year ahead.”

Other notable insights and trends from the 2016 Nielsen Music Canada Year-End Report, include:


Mat Newman mnewman@rogersandcowan.comChris Robins crobins@rogersandcowan.comBrian Giglio


Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content — video, audio and text — is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance.  Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit