Nielsen & Billboard’s 2015 Canadian Music Industry Sales Report

Nielsen SoundScan Canada, Nielsen BDS, and Billboard have jointly released the 2015 Canadian Music Industry Report card for the 12-month period of December 29, 2014 through December 31, 2015.  Nielsen SoundScan Canada measures Canadian point-of-sale of recorded music product, Nielsen's Broadcast Data Systems (BDS) tracks radio airplay and music streams, both of which power many of the Billboard charts which serve as the de facto measurement for airplay and sales in the Canadian marketplace.

2015 Nielsen SoundScan Canadian Year-End Factoids

— Total Album sales declined for the fourth straight year, down 3% compared to 2014.

— Ten albums sold over 100,000 units in 2015, compared to 7 albums in 2014. Adele’s 25 led the way with 860,000 units in only six weeks of release. It set the record for the biggest one week sales week in the Canada SoundScan era. It is the most sales in one calendar year for a release since 2011 when her last album, 21, sold 936,000 units;

— Five albums from Canadian artists sold over 100,000 copies in 2015, compared with just one in 2014.

— Justin Bieber’s Purpose led the way with 227,000 copies making it the No. 2 album of the year. Albums by The Weeknd, Drake, Yoan and Jean Leloup also sold over 100K in 2015.

With five Canadian artists in the top ten best selling albums of the year, it is the most number of Canadian releases in a year-end top ten since 2006, when five homegrown artists also finished in the top ten—Nelly Furtado, Gregory Charles, Michael Buble, Nickelback, Sarah McLachlan.

— After suffering declines of over 23% in 2014 over the previous year, the R&B and Rap genres had a big 2015, posting the two biggest sales increases in 2015 over 2014. Rap was up 23% and R&B was up 9%.

Digital Factoids:

  • After having its first year-over-year sales decrease in 2014, Digital album sales rebounded, up 2% in 2015 over 2014. Adele’s 25 is the year’s highest selling digital album.
  •  After having their first year-over-year decrease in 2014, Digital track sales continued their decline, down 5% in 2015 over 2014.
  • The top 200 digital songs accounted for 22.4% of all song purchases in 2015, compared with 22.7% in 2014



Leave a comment