Year End Report Shows It's All About Streaming; Vinyl Albums Up 25.9%

by VVN Music

The year end report is out for 2016 from BuzzAngle and it shows a rapidly changing marketplace for music in the United States.

Audio streams hit an all-time high of 250.7 billion in 2016, up 82.6% over the previous year. To put that into perspective, there were more streams each DAY then there were songs downloaded for the entire YEAR.

The only parts of the industry that actually saw growth were streaming and vinyl album sales which were up 25.9%. All other areas saw drops including digital albums (down 19.4%), physical albums (down 11.7%) and song downloads (down 24.8%).

Adding it all together, though, did paint a pretty good picture with overall music consumption up 4.9% from 2015 to 2016.


Get ready to pay. Subscription streaming made a HUGE jump over 2015 with 191 billion paid for streams, up 124.3%. Ad-supported accounted for 59 billion streams, up just 14.3%.

Video streams, on the other hand, are showing very low growth even though they are a major part of the equation. In 2016, there were 181 billion video streams, up from 169 billion in 2015, an increase of 7.5%.


For albums, Pop and Hip-Hop/Rap hold a huge lead at 14.6% and 14.4% of the market respectively. Third place R&B was far behind at 9.5% followed by Rock at 8.9% and Country at 8.7%.

From a growth standpoint, Dance had the biggest gain for the year, up 35% followed by Hip-Hop/Rap (24.8%), R&B (23.9%), Latin (23.6%) and Metal (up 7.3%). The big losers were Stage & Screen (down 13.2%) and Classical (down 8.4%).

Album genres with market percentage:
  1. Pop (14.6%)
  2. Hip-Hop/Rap (14.4%)
  3. R&B (9.5%)
  4. Rock (8.9%)
  5. Country (8.7%)
  6. Latin (6.1%)
  7. Alternative (5.5%)
  8. Indie Rock (4.8%)
  9. Metal (3.6%)
  10. Religious (3.2%)
  11. Punk (3.0%)
  12. Electronica (2.9%)
  13. Stage & Screen (2.7%)
  14. Dance (2.6%)
  15. Classical (1.6%)
  16. World (1.5%)
  17. Jazz (1.3%)
  18. Children's (0.9%)
  19. Reggae (0.9%)
  20. New Age (0.7%)
Current vs. Catalog

Consumers have a strong preference for the tried-and-true over new music with Deep Catalog (out longer than three years) accounting for 48.6% of the album market and 49.5% of individual song sales. 

Those that buy physical products were a little more old music oriented with 50.5% of the market where digital buyers went Deep Catalog 46.3% of the time. Even streamers went deep with 48.3% of the cuts at three years or older. 


The top selling artists of the year for Albums sound like they were all born without a last name, Adele, Drake, Beyonce and Prince.  Over the whole year, the late singer moved 1.45 million albums but he wasn't the only veteran artist to do well overall. Metallica was fifth with 1.40 million followed by David Bowie (#7 / 1.05 million), Garth Brooks (#10 / 958,000), Elvis Presley (#14 / 710,000), the Beatles (#16 / 641,000), Michael Jackson (#20 / 597,000), the Eagles (#24 / 560,000) and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (#25 / 555,000). 

To see all the statistics, go to BuzzAngle's report

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