2016 Was a Big Year for Canadian Music

Nielsen Music has released their Canada Year-End Report for 2016. It confirms that the Canadian music industry experienced steady and consistent growth this past year. Total audio consumption increased 5.3% from 2015, fuelled by a 203% increase in on-demand audio streams. Vinyl sales increased 29% from 2015.

Of the top ten best-selling albums, six belonged to Canadian musicians. Drake’s Views came in at number one, the first time since 2004 that a Canadian musician has taken the top spot. Half of the top ten airplay songs also belong to Canadians with Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself landing number one.

Eight different Canadian musicians had number one albums on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart. These include Drake, The Tragically Hip, Justin Bieber, Billy Talent, Celine Dion, Shawn Mendes, Leonard Cohen, and The Weeknd.

This Nielsen report really shows that 2016 was an interesting and exciting year in Canadian music. Some other highlights include:

  • Drake’s Views was the most consumed album of the year with 457K total consumption units, edging out Adele’s 25 as the highest selling album and picked up the highest digital song sales for an album
  • Views also had over 290M streams, double that of the second-most streamed album, Justin Bieber’s Purpose, setting a new streaming standard
  • Digital song sales decreased in 2016; only four songs sold over 300K digitally, less than half from 2015. Streaming consumption takes up the slack, however, with 14 songs having over 50M streams rather than just one
  • The Tragically Hip had both their latest album, Man Machine Poem, and their 2005 best of, Yer Favourites, reach number one on the charts. Plus, their catalogue sold over 250K units and had over 67M streams
  • The highest-sold vinyl album was Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Legend; albums from both the Tragically Hip and Gord Downie also placed in the top ten
  • Rock is strong genre in sales, but R&B/hip-hop dominate streaming

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