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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : January 06, 2017

Music: Streaming overtakes digital sales

More music was streamed digitally in the U.S. in 2016 than bought online or in physical form, according to a new report released by Nielsen Music.

by Helen Leggatt

In a report released yesterday, Nielsen Music reveals that music streamed digitally rose 76% in 2016 compared to the previous year. Listeners streamed more than 250 billion songs on platforms such as Google Play, Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora. Twenty-seven songs surpassed 200 million on-demand streams, up from just two in 2015.

"The music industry continues to grow at a healthy rate, and 2016 showed us that the landscape is evolving even more quickly than we have seen with other format shifts," said Nielsen senior VP David Bakula. "Thanks to the rapid emergence of new technologies and channels for discovery and engagement, consumers are finding and listening to more music in new ways."

Vinyl, a format many thought was long gone, saw a bit of a comeback in 2016 with 13 million vinyl albums sold, the most since Nielsen Music's first report in 1991.

Another report on the state of digital music, this time from BuzzAngle Music, reveals that paid subscription streams rose 124% in 2016, making up 76% of all streams, up from 62% in 2015. Meanwhile, ad-supported streams rose only 14% and song downloads dropped 24.8%.


Tags: digital downloads, music industry, research, streaming content

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