The star headline in Nielsen Music Canada’s just-released Year-End Report is that the use of paid music streaming services increased by 70.9 percent, with a total of 39.1 billion total on-demand audio streams logged in 2017. On-demand audio streaming also surpassed the 900 million-per-week mark for the first time in Canadian history on Dec. 3–a week that just happened to be peppered with new album releases by Miguel, U2, Neil Young, Chris Stapelton, Andy Grammer, and Deuce.
R&B and hip-hop dominated the streaming sector with seven of the year’s top 10 most-streamed artists coming from the genre, a fact that helped propel Canadian acts Daniel Caesar and Nav from emerging to frontline status in the year. Overall, the twinned genres generated an 86.2 percent on-demand streaming increase year-on-year, which is a number that will likely set off a chain-reaction in music companies’ marketing, music publishing and A&R departments.
It goes without saying that CD sales declined in 2017, but vinyl continued to hold its allure with music fans willing to shell out 20-plus dollars for catalogue and new release titles. The format increased sales by 22 percent, selling 802,000 copies in the year. With HMV down, Sunrise Records’ expansion has helped propel LP sales, along with a growing number of high-end music stores such as Sonic Boom in Toronto, Saskatchewan-based online store Funky Moose, and Red Cat Records in Vancouver.
Canadians had a fair shake on the charts with six hitting the No. 1 spot: Gord Downie for his posthumous release, Introduce Yerself; and The Weeknd, Drake, Arcade Fire, Shania Twain and francophone grunge pop star Pierre Lapointe.
"The past year demonstrated that it's an exciting time for the music industry in Canada," Nielsen Music Canada VP Paul Shaver said in a statement. "Streaming continues to evolve and mature in the market, becoming a key source of music discovery for consumers. Streaming, physical sales, downloads, airplay and live attendance are all driving music consumption to new heights. The music landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, and we look forward to tracking and identifying industry opportunities for the year ahead."
A link to download a PDF version of the full Nielsen Music Canada Year-End Report is provided at the foot of this page.
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