Nielsen Music’s 2018 figures are in for Canada, reporting consumption increased 21 percent in 2018 and countryman Drake‘s Scorpion dominated as the year’s most listened to album.
“Canadian artists had a monumental 2018, from Drake breaking consumption records to Loud Luxury having the biggest radio hit of the year to Shawn Mendes and The Weeknd topping multiple charts, in Canada, the U.S. and around the world,” commented Paul Shaver, Nielsen Music Canada’s vice president, entertainment,
The 21 percent growth figure is for total album equivalent consumption — a term Nielsen defines as “the number of physical and digital albums that were sold and the total number of album equivalent songs from downloads and song streaming volume.” (It does not include listening to music on broadcast radio or digital radio broadcasts.) The uptick is credited to an increased ease of accessibility.
According to the report, the growth was driven by a 47 percent increase in on-demand audio song streams, which surpassed 59 billion.
Other statistics on Canadian music consumers show total on-demand music streaming, including video, increased 45 percent; vinyl purchasing was up 25 percent, surpassing 1 million copies; and, “despite sharp declines in digital purchasing,” Nielsen determined that overall digital consumption (digital albums, track equivalent albums and total streaming equivalent albums) was up 22 percent.
Drake’s Scorpion boasts 424,000 on-demand audio consumption units, including over 481 million audio on-demand streams. His single, “God’s Plan” also capped the year at No. 1 for most-consumed song (digital song sales with streaming equivalent on-demand audio) and was the top streamed song with over 138 million audio and video combined streams. Other singles “In My Feelings” and “Nonstop” received 99 million and 48 million on-demand streams, respectively.
Ed Sheeran, another familiar chart-topper and the biggest-selling artist in Canada in 2017, topped song sales with “Perfect,” which had just over 207,000 digital downloads. The biggest selling album was the A Star Is Born soundtrack, with more than 92,000 units.
Meanwhile, Ariana Grande’s Sweetener scored the big streaming week for a pop album by a female artist with 13 million on-demand audio streams at its August release. Three months later her single “thank u, next” became her first-ever Billboard Canadian Hot 100 No. 1 and has since received more than 47 million streams.
Alongside Drake, fellow Canadians Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, Michael Bublé and Loud Luxury also achieved note-worthy positions.
Mendes reached No. 1 on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart and the Billboard 200 in the U.S., and top 5 in a number of countries across Europe, with his self-titled album, while the single “In My Blood” topped Billboard’s U.S. Adult Top 40 airplay chart. London, Ontario duo Loud Luxury had a huge domestic hit with “Body,” topping the Billboard Canadian CHR and AC airplay charts for multiple weeks and amassing nearly 77 million streams in Canada.
The Weeknd’s My Dear Melancholy EP topped the Billboard album charts in both the U.S. and Canada; Tory Lanez landed two albums in the top 5, in Canada and the U.S., including his first No. 1 at home; and Michael Bublé reached No. 1 with two releases on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart.
Other Canadian breakthroughs: Daniel Caesar had two Billboard No. 1 songs on the U.S. Adult R&B airplay chart; High Valley enjoyed their first Top 10 airplay hit in the U.S. on the Billboard Country Airplay chart; Lindsay Ell achieved her first Canadian airplay No. 1 and Top 20 U.S. Country Airplay single, while Dallas Smith, Dean Brody, Tebey, Gord Bamford and Meghan Patrick also hit No. 1 on Billboard Canadian Country airplay charts.