On-demand streaming is up precipitously year-over-year.
Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” is Canada’s biggest song of 2017, to date, and Drake’s album, More Life has significantly swiped The Weeknd’s record for one-week audio on-demand streams—which overall have risen precipitously—according to Nielsen Music Canada 2017 mid-year report issued today and presented by Billboard.
The data, which covers the 6-month period ending June 29, provides key insights into industry trends in sales and streaming, social media, and consumer engagement by Canadian music consumers.
in April, for example, weekly on-demand audio streams surpassed 700 million for the very first time. More recently, on-demand streams peaked at 755 million during the week ending June 22 and to date this year have reached 17.5 billion, up from 9.4 billion a year ago. This marks an 86.6 percent year-over-year increase while album sales have decreased 17 percent and digital track sales by 20 percent.
“The combined power of streaming, social media engagement and radio airplay continues to push overall music consumption to new heights,” said Paul Shaver, head of Nielsen Music Canada, in a statement. “We’re seeing that, as the music ecosystem evolves, the patterns of engagement, discovery and overall consumption has intensified.”
Just in time for some boasting when he hits the Air Canada Centre in Toronto for two sold-out concerts this weekend, Britain’s Ed Sheeran has the mid-year’s biggest song with “Shape of You” when it comes to total activity (sales and audio streaming equivalents combined), amassing 800,000 units. The song also tops the digital songs sales charts with 376,000.
“Shape of You” also comes in at No. 1 for total streams with 127 million, already far surpassing The Chainsmokers’ “Closer,” which was No.1 for all of 2016 with 83.4 million streams. His ÷ (Divide) is also the leading album in total volume to date (albums, track equivalent albums and audio on-demand streaming equivalent albums combined) with 312,000.
Two albums by Canadians, Drake’s More Life and The Weeknd’s Starboy, come in next, but Drake managed to break his pal’s one-week record of 26.7 million audio on-demand streams from an album (Starboy) when More Life enjoyed 42.8 million streams.
Radio remains the main source of music discovery for Canadians, Nielsen reports, with 68 percent of the surveyed population tuning in to radio broadcasts for that reason. Nearly 25 percent listen to AM/FM radio online, up from 21 percent in 2016, while 24 percent of the general population and 34 percent of Millennials use social platforms to engage with music. Interestingly, considering the popularity of gaming, 16 percent of Millennials use video games and game portals to find new music, compared to 7 percent of the general population.
Genre-wise, Nielsen also reports that children’s music experienced the largest audio streaming increase this year, at 146 percent more than 2016. World and rap genres showed an increase of 131 percent and 113 percent, respectively. Songs from soundtracks were responsible for the increase in the children’s genre with four songs posting over 5 million streams, compared to just one during the first six months of 2016.