Nielsen recently released its 2016 mid-year music reports for Canada and the US and they have some big takeaways. On-demand streaming is exploding. In the US, R&B/hip-hop and Latin are surging and Rock and country music need to catch up, says Pandora's Glenn Peoples.
Here are some of his thoughts, originally published by Hypebot.
R&B/hip hop and Latin music are streaming stars. A couple genres over-perform in on-demand streaming services relative to their sales numbers. R&B/hip hop accounted for 24.9 percent of total on-demand streams compared to 16.3 percent of physical albums, 22.9 percent of digital albums and 22.9 percent of digital tracks. Latin music’s 8.3-percent share of on-demand streams in H2 2016 was multiples ahead of its physical albums/digital albums/tracks shares of 2.4 percent, 1.0 percent and 1.8 percent.
Rock and country do better with purchases than on-demand streaming. A couple genres do better with purchases than on-demand streaming. Rock’s share of purchases were 43 percent for physical albums, 38.5 percent for digital albums and 21.8 percent for digital tracks (a tie with the pop genre). But rock’s share of total on-demand streams was just 17.9 percent in H1 2016. Country’s physical albums/digital albums/tracks shares of 13.1 percent, 9.6 percent and 12.2 percent are far above its 5.0-percent share of total on-demand streams.
The CD is an even tougher format for new albums. Mass merchants sold 23 percent fewer CDs in H1 2016. This won’t come as a surprise if you’ve been in a Walmart, Target or Best Buy lately and seen how little shelf space is allotted to the format. What’s there is dominated by catalog titles. Nielsen stats for physical albums attest to this: current album sales fell 20.1 percent while catalog album sales fell just 1.7 percent. Peoples rhetorically adds it’s no wonder Kanye West no longer wants to release CDs.