No doubt remains that it is the year of streaming — the format has come to dominate music consumption in the U.S.
In the first half of 2015 streaming nearly doubled in popularity over last year, generating 135.2 billion streams, up from 70.3 billion streams in the same period last year. (Some of this growth can be attributed to improved data capture, according to Nielsen Music.)
Audio-only listening generated 58.6 billion streams, versus 33.7 billion last year, an increase of 74.2 percent. Audio’s growth was topped by video streams, which accounted for 76.6 billion view-listens, an increase of 109.2 percent from the 36.6 billion streams counted in 2014.
Taylor Swift is ruling the year so far, with 1989 the best-selling album of the first half of 2015 (not to mention topping 2014, too). Last year, 1989 grabbed the top spot with 3.66 million units moved. The album has scanned 1.33 million units so far this year, followed by Drake‘s If You’re Reading This… with 965,000 units. In vinyl sales Swift also reigned, selling 34,000 units. A combined tally of album sales, track downloads and streams leaves Swift, yet again, atop the mountain, totaling 2.011 million album and album equivalent units.
Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk!” featuring Bruno Mars is this year’s top-selling single so far, scanning 4.9 million units. Drake’s If You’re Reading This… takes the lead on digital album sales, moving (or transferring, if you prefer) 895,000.
Universal Music Group has improved on its industry lead in market share within album plus track equivalent albums (TEA), growing to 39.2 percent of the total market in the first half of the year.