Nielsen Music/MRC Data's U.S. Midyear Report reveals that amid unprecedented challenges, total audio consumption grew 9.4% over prior year.
The U.S. music industry experienced a tumultuous first half of 2020 when the coronavirus hit the country, prompting stay-at-home orders and suspending concerts by late March. Fortunately, recorded-music consumption has proven resilient: Audio streams are up 16.2% to 420 billion, and vinyl LP sales finished up 11.2%. (Through March 12, LP sales were up 45%, or 1.41 million units.) Total album-equivalent audio consumption — a measure of total consumption, including sales of albums and songs, as well as on-demand streams — was up 9.4% year over year, helped by new releases from Lil Baby, The Weeknd and Roddy Rich. Highlighting the power of a TikTok meme in the social media age, Roddy Ricch’s “The Box” topped all tracks with nearly 1.1 billion on-demand streams, and Doja Cat ranked fourth with 396 million streams with her hit “Say So.” And as people spent more time at home, country music was the big winner with a 21% gain in streams.
Download MRC Data’s full 2020 Midyear report here to find exclusive insights about an extraordinary six months in music business history.