MRC 2021 Canada Year-End Report In Music

Analytics firm MRC Data has released its Canada 2021 Year-End Report, presented in collaboration with Billboard. The analysis spans Jan. 1 through December 30, 2021.

 The two most consumed albums were from new artists: Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour and Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album, while Drake and Adele pushed up music streams to create two of the year’s biggest consumption weeks. And global genres like K-pop and Afro-Pop reached larger audiences in Canada through blockbuster hits such as BTS’ Butter and Wizkid’s Essence.

On-demand streaming reached a new high of 107.6 billion streams in 2021, up 10.6% from 97.3 billion in 2020. Notably though is the decline in Current music listenership that decreased 5.3% for the first time since MRC Data began measuring streaming data. Off-setting this, fans spent more time with Catalogue titles, which increased by 19.5% in the year.

Physical music sales rebounded in 2021, with vinyl posting 1.1M sales, a 21.7% increase over the previous year and the highest unit total since MRC Data started measuring music sales in 1995.

CD sales tumbled 6.9% in the year to 2.7M, and total album sales in Canada, which includes physical and digital) dropped 12.1%, to 6.1M.

Justin Bieber, Drake and The Weeknd own the three biggest albums of 2021 among Canadian artists, as Justice, Certified Lover Boy and After Hours finished at Nos. 1-3 on the year-end top albums recap. Justice is the 3rd-most popular album overall, trailing American artists Olivia Rodrigo and Morgan Wallen. Shawn Mendes and Bieber’s teaming on Monster proved to be a, well, monster-sized hit, as it’s the No. 3 biggest song by a Canadian act in 2021 on radio. The Weeknd’s Save Your Tears, boosted by a remix with Ariana Grande, is the year’s biggest song on radio by a Canadian. The latter is also the most-consumed song overall by a Canadian artist in 2021, topping the year-end top song countdown.

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