Americans used on demand streaming platforms, such as Apple
Music, Google Play, Spotify, Pandora and Amazon Music, to listen
to 431 billion songs in 2016, led by hip hop and R&B artists
like Drake, The Weeknd, Kanye West and Rihanna, Nielsen said in
its 2016 U.S. year-end report.
Some six songs, including New York rapper Desiiigner's "Panda"
and Rihanna's "Work," surpassed 500 million total on demand
streams in 2016, compared with just three that hit that mark in
The growth in streaming was more than enough to offset declines
in other formats, particularly digital sales, leading to an
overall 3 percent increase in music consumption compared with
2015, the report said.
"The music industry continues to grow at a healthy rate, and
2016 showed us that the landscape is evolving even more quickly
than we have seen with other format shifts," said David Bakula,
senior vice president of industry insights at Nielsen Music.
Drake, 30, was by far the biggest beneficiary. The singer had
the most digital song sales, the most streams - more than 5.4
billion - by a huge margin, and the most heavily consumed album
of the year with "Views."
But the "Hotline Bling" singer had competition from Britain's
Adele and rock star Prince.
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Adele's 2015 release "25" was the best-selling album of 2016 for the
second straight calendar year with total sales of 1.7 million units.
It was also the best-seller for 2015.
Prince became the best-selling artist in terms of album sales,
selling more than 2.2 million units following his death in April at
age 57 of an accidental painkiller overdose. The day after his
demise, Prince sold over 1 million digital songs and more than
200,000 digital albums. His catalog was tightly controlled on
Among other bright spots for 2016, physical album sales became a
larger share of total album sales than the prior year for the first
time in a decade, the report said.
Vinyl continued an 11-year upward trend, reaching sales of 13
million in 2016 - the largest number since 1991.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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