January 11, 2018
Americans moved to music streaming in 2017. Overall consumption of albums, songs and audio via on-demand streaming grew 12.5% year over year—and a 59% increase in on-demand audio streams offset track and album sales declines, according to findings by Nielsen released earlier in January.
What’s more, for the first time ever, R&B/Hip-Hop became the most dominant genre, representing seven of the top 10 most-consumed albums. In that sector of the industry, listeners power a 72% increase in on-demand audio streaming.
Among the highlights from Nielsen’s 2017 U.S. Music Year-End Report are the following
- Ed Sheeran’s Divide was the leader in total volume (albums + track equivalent albums + on-demand audio streaming equivalent albums), followed by Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. and Taylor Swift’s Reputation.
- Latin music history was made when Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s Spanish-language
smash Despacito and its crossover remix featuring Justin Bieber topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Despacito was the biggest song of the year in terms of total activity (sales + on-demand audio streaming equivalents), followed by Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You and Humble. by Kendrick Lamar.
- Despacito and Shape of You also led the Billboard Digital Song Sales chart, followed by Sam Hunt’s Body Like a Back Road at number three.
Finally, vinyl records experienced a renaissance at retail by experiencing sales growth for the 12th consecutive year, comprising 14% of all physical album sales. The top-selling vinyl LP of the year was the re-release of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
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