US consumption of music continued to grow in the first half of 2016, according to Border City Media’s state-of-the-industry data service BuzzAngle Music. Even as sales of most formats declined, the pace of on-demand audio streaming more than doubled in the US over the same Jan. through June period last year, and now leads with a 54.6% share of the market, which means YouTube is no longer the elephant in the room in this growth category.
This is welcome news to many in the music biz who are strenuously voicing dissatisfaction with the rates Google’s video platform pays out to creators and copyright holders.
Album consumption rose by 6.5%, when the contributions of song streams and sales are factored in with album sales. Similarly, the combined impact of streams and digital sales saw song consumption gain by a robust 29% using the industry standards wherein 10 song sales or 1,500 streams equal one album sale and 150 streams equal one song sale.
King of the hill in the first half of 2016 is Drake, whose Views ranks as the top album while his “One Dance” is the most consumed song of the year.
There were 209.4b on-demand streams in the first half of 2016; more than 50% -- 114b – were audio plays, marking the first time in which streams from audio services like Spotify and Apple Music exceeded video streams from YouTube, Vevo and the like. With a 23% gain, video streams totaled 95b.
In terms of format sales, albums declined by 14% to 82.6m in the six-month period, according to the report. Digital album sales took the largest kick, down almost 18% to 45.9m. Vinyl sales continued to grow, by 17.3% to 3.08m.
No Canadian equivalent data is available as BuzzAngle is still in its infancy here, but in six months to a year comparable stats will be available; meantime, the Canadian Indie music chart remains in beta testing mode as various metadata is collected and parsed.