Listeners Are Paying for Music Again: Subscription Streaming Soars

Started by News, Jan 3, 2017, in Around the Blogs Add to Reading List

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  1. News
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    Jan 3, 2017
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    The music industry’s attempts to convince people to pay for music seem to be working. Paid subscription streams rose 124 percent last year and made up 76 percent of all streams in 2016, according to a new report on U.S. music consumption by data tracker BuzzAngle Music. (Ad-supported streams only rose 14 percent.) That is up sharply from 2015, when subscriptions accounted for 62 percent of all streams.

    Downloads, however, took a major hit last year. Song downloads were down 24.8 percent, and there were more streams on an average day in 2016 than song downloads for the entire year, according to BuzzAngle. (An average of 1.2 billion streams per day versus 734 million downloads for all of 2016.)

    Overall album sales continued their slide as well, falling 15.6 percent, with physical album sales falling 11.7 percent and digital album sales falling 19.4 percent. Vinyl album sales, though, remained a bright spot, climbing 25.9 percent. The top-selling vinyl album of the year was twenty one pilots’ blurryface, with more than 49,000 copies sold, followed by Amy Winehouse's Back to Black, with 41,000 sold, and Radiohead's A Moon Shaped Pool with almost 40,000.

    And while Drake’s Views dominated most of the streaming categories, Adele’s 21 was the overall top-selling album of 2016, with 1.55 million album sold to 1.51 million for Views. The most streamed song of the year was Desiigner’s “Panda,” with almost 737 million streams.

    Separately, streaming and vinyl also rose last year in the UK, as Billboard reports. Music consumption was up 1.5 percent last year, as streams surged by 68 percent, according to a report from the trade group BPI. Vinyl album sales climbed by 53 percent to their highest level since 1991, according to BPI. (1991 was also the highest year for U.S. vinyl sales as tracked by Nielsen Music, which has yet to release its 2016 year-end report.)

    Read “The Year in Streaming 2016.”

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