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Nielsen: Canada Loved Taylor Swift, Streaming Music and, Yep, Vinyl in 2014

Kevin Mazur/WireImage
Iggy Azalea and Taylor Swift pose  backstage at iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2014, hosted by Z100 New York and presented by Goldfish Puffs at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 12, 2014 in New York City.  

Bobby Bazini was the only Canadian artist to sell over 100,000 units domestically in 2014, according to The 2014 Nielsen Music Canada Report. The other six albums were by Taylor Swift, various artists on the Frozen soundtrack, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and Lorde.

According to the newly issued 2014 Nielsen Music Canada Report, streaming activity exceeded more than 6.3 billion songs streams just in the last half of 2014. (Streaming stats cover six months because Nielsen SoundScan started tracking Canadian streaming providers in July.) Vinyl sales increased 71 percent, called "another bright spot for the industry" in the press release issued by Nielsen SoundScan. 

Nielsen Music's Year-End: Streaming Is Not Killing the Record Business

"With strong demand in digital streaming and record-setting growth in vinyl, we continue to see music fans showing their diversity in the way they consume music," David Bakula, SVO industry insights, Nielsen Entertainment in the US, said in statement issued with the 2014 Nielsen Music Canada Report.

But album sales declined for the third consecutive years in Canada.

Digital album sales accounted for nearly 40 percent of all album sales in for 2014. Total album sales -- including CD, LP, digital albums (but not track equivalent albums) -- were 27.8 million for 2014, 10.9 million from digital. That is actually a slight decrease from 2013, when the overall sales were higher, at 29.3 million and digital at 11.4 million but an increase in percentage from 38.9 percent to 39.2 percent.

The tabulations are for the 12-month period of Dec. 30, 2013 through Dec. 28, 2014.

In the report, LP figures are rounded off (400,000 vs. 200,000), making it appear that they have doubled, when in fact the actual numbers are 233,000 in 2013 and 399,000 in 2014 (+71 percent.), termed in the press release as a "continued resurgence" and "the biggest sales total in the SoundScan Era." The Top 10 Vinyl Sellers were Arctic Monkeys' AM at a mere 4,100, Bob Marley & the Wailers' Legend at 4,000, the Black Keys' Turn Blue at 3,800, Pink Floyd's The Endless River at 3,300, Jack White's Lazaretto at 3,200, Led Zeppelin's eponymous LP and Foo Fighters' Sonic Highway each with 2,900, and the remaining three titles with 2,600, Lana Del Ray's Ultraviolence and Zeppelin's II and IV.

Overall album sales, which includes TEA (10:1), was 37.9 million, down 7 percent from 2013's 40.9 million. CD sales were 16.5 million, also a change of -7 percent from 17.6 million. 

2014 Year-End Hot 100, By the Numbers

Genre-wise, sales declined overall with R&B, rap and classical taking the biggest dip. The biggest seller was alternative music (4,267,000), but even that was down 14 percent from 4,977,000 last year; followed by metal (2,616,000) with a change of just 6 percent from 2,779,000; R&B (2,137,000) decreased the most at 28 percent from 2,959,000, rap (1,698,000) by 23 percent from 2,214,000, classical (616,000) 22 percent from 788,000 and jazz (561,000) just 7 percent from 603,000. Some titles appeared in more than one genre.According to the report, in 2013 R&B and rap were the only two genres with increased sales.

Digital track sales were 101.7 million units, down 12 percent from 116.1 million. By genre, total on-demand streaming was dominated by three genres: pop (27.2 percent), rock (26 percent) and R&B/hip hop (20.6 percent). Next in line was dance/electronic (9.7 percent) and country (4.7 percent) and they gets even lower from there.

Just like the US, Taylor Swift's 1989, released late in the year on Oct. 27, was the top selling album of 2014 with 314,000 units; the Frozen soundtrack followed with 226,000; Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour racked up sales of 157,000 units and Ed Sheeran's X at 133,000. Coldplay's Ghost Stories scanned 117,000; Lorde's Pure Heroine 104,000; two Canadians from Quebec came next: Bobby Bazini with sales of 102,000 copies of Where I Belong and Serge Fiori's self-titled album at 99,000. One Direction's Four sold 98,000 and Pink Floyd's The Endless River at 89,000. 

The order for top 10 selling digital albums was slightly different: Swift sat at the top with 123,000, Frozen followed with 76,000, but Sheeran came next with 74,000 then Smith at 69,000. Coldplay was still No. 5 with 63,000, then came the appearance of Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack at 54,000 tied with Lorde, Imagine Dragons' Night Visions at 41,000, Katy Perry's Prism at 40,000 and Hozier's self-titled album at 39,000.

The top 10 selling artists were Taylor Swift (350,000), Eminem (200,000), Pink Floyd (182,000), Ed Sheeran (164,000), Sam Smith tied with AC/DC (159,000), One Direction (155,000), Coldplay (150,000), Michael Jackson (138,000) and Queen (135,000).

Total audio streams were 925,016,000 and total video streaming activity was 5,380,768,000. 

One Direction, George Strait Top StubHub's Year-End List of Biggest Sellers

Top 10 on-demand streaming songs recorded from just July to Dec. 2014 were Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" with 19.5 million streams; Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass," 18.5 mil; Sia's "Chandelier" and Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX each with 15.3 mil; Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" got 15 mil; Pharrell Williams' "Happy" enjoyed 13.7; PSY's "Gangnam Style" still got 13.2 mil, tied with John Legend's "All Of Me;" and Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" came in at No. 10 with 12.2 mil.

The top 10 streaming songs (July to Dec.) by Canadian artists were Magic!'s "Rude" in the No. 1 spot with 9.6 million; Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" with 4.1 mil; Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" with 3.3 mil, tied with Kiesza's "Hideaway"; Shawn Mendes' "Life of the Party" at 3.1 mil; The Weeknd's "Often" at 2.5 mil; Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" at 2.3 mil; Drake's "Started From The Bottom" at 2.2 and his "Hold On, We're Going Home" at 2.1 mil; and Hedley's "Crazy For You" at 2 mil.

Other notable stats in the report:

Top 10 Artist Airplay From Jan. 5 to Dec. 31, 2014: Hedley (207,000), Magic! (149,000), Maroon 5 (147,000), OneRepublic (146,000), Katy Perry (143,000), Lorde (122,000), Taylor Swift (115,000), Serena Ryder (112,000), Bruno Mars (111,000) and Ed Sheeran (105,000). Hedley, Magic! and Ryder all met Canadian content criteria. 

Top 10 Digital Songs, Canadian Artists (Combines All Versions of Same Song) -- Dec. 30, 2013 to Dec. 28, 2014: Magic! "Rude" at 278,000; Kiesza's "Hideaway" at 194,000, Hedley's "Crazy For You" at 166,000, Shawn Mendes' "Life of the Party" at 136,000, Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" at 93,000, Hedley's "Anything" at 90,000, Glenn Morrison's "Goodbye" at 88,000, Chromeo's "Jealous (It Ain't With It)" at 85,000, Hedley's "Heaven In Our Headlights" 82,000 and Down With Webster's "Chills" at 78,000.

Top 10 albums - Canadian artists Dec. 30, 2013 to Dec. 28, 2014: Bobby Bazini's Where I Belong (102,000), Serge Fiori's self-titled album (99,000), Fred Pellerin's Plus Tard Qu'on Pense (79,000), Michael Buble's Christmas (70,000), Leonard Cohen's Popular Problems (68,000), Nickelback's No Fixed Address (58,000), Marie-Mai's M (54,000), Sarah McLachlan's Shine On (45,000), Hedley's Wildlife (44,000) and Arcade Fire's Reflektor (41,000). 

Top 10 Selling Digital Songs (Dec. 30, 2013 to Dec. 28, 2014): Pharrell Williams in the No. 1 spot with 540,000 units sold; John Legend's "All of Me" at 460,000; Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" with 408,000; Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" with 391,000; Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" with 359,000; A Great Big World/Christina Aguilera with "Say Something" with 358,000; Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX' "Fancy" with 346,000;  Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" with 341,000, OneRepublic's Counting Stars with 323,000; and Pitbull ft, Kesha with 320,000.

Top 10 Selling Digital Tracks: Pharrell Williams in the top spot with 538,000 units; John Legend's "All of Me" at 409,000; Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" with 408,000; Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" with 390,000; Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" with 345,000; Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" with 341,000, OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" with 322,000; Pitbull ft, Kesha with 320,000; A Great Big World/Christina Aguilera with "Say Something" with 317,000 and Kongos' "Come With Me Now" with 288,000.