Sure, a bunch of us bought hard copies of Adele’s latest album since 25 wasn’t available on most streaming services, but it’s no secret that many music lovers do a hefty amount of listening on Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming platforms. In fact, more than 317 billion songs were streamed across audio and video platforms in 2015, according to Nielsen’s year-in-review report. This marks a 92.3% increase from 2014.
“While music fans continued to drive dramatic growth in on-demand streaming music, with volume up 93% over 2014, it’s clear that the album is still a viable format for music fans,” Nielsen Senior Vice President of Industry Insights David Bakula said in a release.
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While streaming numbers nearly doubled from the previous year, vinyl album sales actually saw an increase in sales as well. In 2015, vinyl albums accounted for 9% of physical album sales, and experienced a 30% increase from the previous year. Album sales plus track equivalent albums and streaming equivalent albums were up more than 15% over 2014, but isolated album sales suffered an 11% decline.
Some other surprising stats from Nielsen’s report:
- After only 6 weeks of sales, Adele’s 25 is already the 61st best-selling album in Nielsen SoundScan history with over 7.4 Million sales.
- An all-time weekly record was set week-ending 12/24 with nearly 7.5 Billion on-demand streams.
- Radio remains the main way of discovering new music.
- 24 hours is the average time spent listening to music each week.
- Digital music consumption increased 25% in 2015.
- Album sales were down 6.1% over 2014, with digital album sales down 2.9%.
- Digital track sales also decreased since 2014, by 12.5%.
- Billboard’s overall top 10 album sales of 2015:
1. Adele, 25
2. Taylor Swift, 1989
3. Justin Bieber, Purpose
4. Ed Sheeran, X
5. The Weeknd, Beauty Behind The Madness
6. Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too late
7. Megan Trainor, Title
8. Sam Smith, In The Lonely Hour
9. Sam Hunt, Montevallo
10. Fetty Wap, Fetty Wap