With Canadian year-end numbers still forthcoming, let’s bide our time by studying how Americans consumed music in 2017. BuzzAngle’s year-end summary and analysis reveals that rock continues to do well despite reports of its imminent death. I’ve highlighted some of the more interesting facts.
Read on for more fascinating facts.
2017 saw a significant increase in overall consumption, an outstanding 12.8% over 2016 that marks the third year in a row with increasing growth.
Audio stream consumption continued its explosive expansion with a 50.3% increase to 377B streams, an amazing 127B more streams than in 2016. Subscription streams are now at an impressive 80% of total audio streams, up from 76% in 2016.
Both album sales and song sales continued to decline, 14.6% and 23.2% respectively, but physical sales declined only 7%, while vinyl sales continued its impressive growth with an increase of 20.1% over 2016 and now comprises 10.4% of all physical album sales.
Additional Consumption Highlights
● Audio streams reached a new record high of 376.9 billion, up 50% over 2016.
● Subscription streams grew 57% and accounted for 80% of total audio streams in 2017, up from 76% of total in 2016.
● There were more than twice as many streams on any given day during 2017 (daily average of 1.67 billion) then there were song downloads for the entire year (563.7 million).
● Vinyl album sales were up 20% over 2016 and accounted for 10% of all physical album sales (up from 8% in 2016: ).
Top Consumption Highlights:
● The top album of 2017 was ÷
by Ed Sheeran with 2,645,600 total project consumption units.
● There were only two albums to break 1 million pure album sales during 2017: top-selling album of the year, reputation
by Taylor Swift, with 1,899,772 sales and ÷
by Ed Sheeran with 1,042,255 album sales.
● The top-selling vinyl album of the year was Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix V. 1 with 64,175 sales.
● The top digital album of 2017 was reputation by Taylor Swift with 865,446 digital sales.
● In 2017, one song broke the one billion-stream mark for the first time ever, Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee (1.1 billion streams) and was also the most streamed song of the year. Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You was the second most streamed song with 979.3 million streams. The previous record was held by Panda by Desiigner which had 736.8 million streams in 2016.
● HUMBLE. by Kendrick Lamar was the most audio-streamed song in 2017 with more than 555.2 million streams.
● Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee was also the most video-streamed song in 2017 with 594,059,722 million streams.
● There were 16 songs that were streamed more than 500 million times in 2017, compared to six in 2016 and two in 2015.
● There were 383 songs that streamed more than 100 million times in 2017 compared to 226 songs in 2016 and 111 songs in 2015.
● The top 1,000 streamed songs in 2017 accounted for 122.2 billion streams, an increase of 33% over 2016’s top 1,000 streamed songs (91.8 billion).
● Consistent with last year, 70%+ of the top 1,000 streamed songs in 2017 were either in the Urban or Pop genre.
● 50% of the top 1,000 streamed songs were Urban songs (Rap/Hip-Hop at 40% and R&B at 10%).
● Drake was the most streamed artist with 6 billion streams in 2017. This is the second year in a row that Drake broke 6 billion streams in one year. He is the only artist to have more than 6 billion in one year. The next closest was Future with 4.2 billion streams.
● There were two songs that had more than two million song downloads in 2017 compared to five in 2016 and 16 in 2015.
● There were only 14 songs that sold more than one million song downloads in 2017 compared to 36 in 2016 and 60 songs in 2015.
● Shape of You by Ed Sheeran was the most downloaded song in 2017 with 2,653,251 sales. (roughly 150,000 more downloads than last years most downloaded song Can’t Stop the Feeling!by Justin Timberlake).
● The top 1,000 song sales accounted for 170.9 million sales; down 30% over 2016’s top 1,000 songs (243 million sales).
Industry Trends – Genre
● The Rock genre (22.2% of total) was the top genre in terms of total album consumption, Rap/Hip Hop and Pop followed with 17.5% and 17.2% respectively. Latin was the top-growing genre, gaining 23% versus 2016.
● Once again, Hip-Hop/Rap (20.9%) was the top genre in terms of total song consumption, with Rock close behind with 19.8% share.
● Consistent with 2016, Urban songs (Hip-Hop/Rap and R&B) were the most streamed songs in 2017 accounting for 32% of all streams. 19.3% were from titles in the Rock genre (including Rock, Alternative, Metal, Indie Rock, Punk) and 15.6% were Pop songs.
● 29.3% of all album sales in 2017 were from the Rock genre with more than 43 million sales. 19.7% were Pop titles, 14.1% were Urban albums (Hip-Hop/Rap and R&B) and 12% were Country albums.
● 54% of vinyl albums sold in 2017 were from the Rock genre. 14.4% were Pop titles and 13.4% were Urban titles.
● 23% of song sales in 2017 were titles from the Rock genre, 22.2% were Urban songs, 21.9% were Pop and 12.6% were Country songs.
Industry Trends – Release Period
● Deep Catalog titles, those released more than three years ago, accounted for 51% of all album sales in 2017 and 54% for physical album sales. For vinyl sales that figure jumps to 63% and for video streams, it is 59%.
● New titles, less than eight weeks old, represented only 9% of all streams, but more than 21% of album sales.
Industry Trends – Day of Week
● Friday was the day with the most album sales (19.7% of the total) as well as both digital (22.1%) and physical album sales (17.84%).
● Thursday was the day of the week that saw the largest increase in album sales compared to 2016, going from 13.08% to 13.57% of the total in 2017.
● Consistent to last year, Friday and Saturday were the days with the most vinyl album sales, each at 16.36% (1.4 million in sales) and 16.17% respectively.
● Vinyl album sales experienced a unit increase of 24% on Wednesday’s compared to 2016.
● Friday was the day for the most audio streaming activity (15.3% of the total), while Saturday was the day for the most video streams (16.4% of the total).
● Audio streaming saw the largest unit growth on Sunday (56%) while video streaming experienced the largest unit growth on Saturday (25%).
Largest Single Days or Weeks of the Year for Music Purchasing and Listening
● Total on-demand streams broke the two billion mark for a single day for the first time on April 21, 2017.
● The single day for the most total on-demand streams in 2017 was Christmas Eve, December 24 with 2,219,827,740 streams.
● Christmas Eve, December 24th was also day for most video streams in 2017, with 972,100,352 video streams which also marks the first-time video streams broke 900 million for a single day.
● Audio on-demand streams broke the one billion mark on a single day for the first time on February 3, 2017, with 1.01 billion.
● The daily average number of audio on-demand streams in 2017 was 1,057,218,000.
● The single day for the most audio on-demand streams in 2017 was December 15 with 1,383,099,642 streams.
● The week of January 27 was the first time that the combined audio and video streams surpassed 10 billion. The weekly average for combined audio and video streams in 2017 was 11.45 billion.
● The week of December 15th was the largest streaming week of the year with a combined audio/video total of 14.2 billion. This same week marked the first-time total streams reached 14 billion for a single week.
● The single day for the most album sales (and digital album sales) in 2017 was Friday, November 10 with 1,205,648 albums sold (698,150 digital album sales). This was the release day of Taylor Swift’s reputation, which accounted for 61% of all albums sold that day (240,000 physical albums and 497,000 digital albums).
● Thursday, December 21 was the largest single day for physical album sales with 584,548 sales. Black Friday, November 25, was the next largest day for physical album sales with more than 581,018 sales.
● December 21 was the day for the most vinyl album sales with 130,635 vinyl albums sold. Record Store Day, Saturday, April, 22, was the next with more than 102,000 vinyl albums sold.
● The average number of vinyl albums sold each day during 2017 was 23,787.
● The week of December 15th was the largest week of the year for album sales with a total of 5.1 million sales.
● Once again, Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25, was the largest single day for song downloads with 3,060,729 downloads.
● The most downloaded song on Christmas Day was Perfect by Ed Sheeran with 32,888 sales
Holiday Season Highlights (2017 Holiday Season is Nov. 17 through Dec. 28)
● Album sales during the 2017 holiday season were down 24.9% over 2016.
● Physical Album sales during the 2017 holiday season accounted for 20% of all physical album sales for the entire year.
● Physical album sales during the 2017 Holiday season were down 23% compared to 2016.
● 69% of albums purchased during the 2017 holiday season were physical albums (either CDs, vinyl albums or cassettes).
● Vinyl album sales accounted for 14.5% of all physical album sales during the 2017 holiday season and were up 17% compared to vinyl album sales in 2016 (2.4M vs. 1.99M).
● Vinyl album sales during the holiday season (the last 6 weeks of the year) accounted for 27% of all vinyl album sold in 2017.
● There were 26,699 cassettes purchased during the holiday season (an increase of 130% over 2016).
● The best-selling album during the 2017 holiday season was reputation by Taylor Swift with 632,651 sales and the best-selling vinyl album during the holiday season was Abbey Road by The Beatles with 28,548 sales.
● The artist with the most album sales during the holiday season was Taylor Swift with 699,038 sales. Pentatonix was second with 438,194 album sales.
● Once again, Elvis Presley was in the Top 10 of the best-selling artists (based on album sales) during the holiday season, this time at #10 with 183,767album sales.
● On-demand audio streams during the 2017 holiday season were up 26% compared to 2016 with 43.2 billion streams.
● On-demand video streams during the 2017 holiday season were up 36% compared to 2016 with 29.9 billion streams.
● The most streamed artist during the holiday season was Post Malone with 638.7 million streams. Drake is #2 with 483.2 million streams.
● rockstar by Post Malone was the most streamed song during the holiday season with 215.6 million streams (111.5 million audio streams) and Gucci Gang by Lil Pump was the most streamed video with more than 135.1 million streams during the holiday season.
● Once again, the most streamed Christmas song during the holiday season was All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey with more than 111.9 million streams (overall the #7 most streamed song during the holiday season).
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Highlights
● There were 583,310 physical albums purchased on Black Friday (11/24/17), which was down 28% compared to Black Friday 2016 (11/25/16).
● reputation by Taylor Swift was the best-selling physical album on Black Friday with 39,857 sales.
● Vinyl album sales on Black Friday (11/24/17) were flat compared to 2016 (11/25/16) and accounted for just over 12% of all physical album sales on Black Friday (up from 8.7% in 2016).
● Black Friday album sales at independent music stores were up 2% compared to 2016.
● Black Friday vinyl album sales at independent music stores were up 4.2% compared to 2016.
● 63% albums purchased on Black Friday at independent music stores were vinyl albums.
● Harvest Moon by Neil Young was the best-selling album and vinyl album on Black Friday at independent music stores.
● Overall online album sales (physical & digital) on Cyber Monday (11/27/17) were down 11.5% compared to Cyber Monday 2016.
● Physical online album sales on Cyber Monday (11/27/17) were down 2% compared to 2016 and accounted for 60% of all Cyber Monday album sales.
● Vinyl online album sales on Cyber Monday (11/27/17) were up significantly (55% compared to 2016 with more than 35,000 vinyl albums sold).
● The best-selling album online on Cyber Monday was reputation by Taylor Swift with 7,999 sales.
● The best-selling vinyl album online on Cyber Monday was Abbey Road by The Beatles. Awaken, My Love! by Childish Gambino was the second best-selling vinyl album on Cyber Monday.