Americans are streaming more music than ever before

Americans are streaming more music than ever before

By Richard Morgan July 6, 2018 | 10:19pm

US music fans continue to increase their consumption of tunes.

Fueled by a 45 percent rise in on-demand streams, the amount of music Americans either bought or streamed during the first half of 2018 increased by 18 percent over the same period a year earlier, a report out Friday revealed.

During the six-month period, Drake’s “God’s Plan” was the top-streamed on-demand song, with more than 1.1 billion streams, according to the Nielsen Music Mid-Year Report.

Post Malone’s “Psycho” was the No. 2 streamed song, with 576 million streams, while BlocBoy JB’s “Look Alive” came in third with 543 million.

While streaming drove the industry, vinyl LP sales continued to enjoy a revival, posting a 19 percent gain in sales from the year earlier.

Outside of streaming and vinyl sales, the story was predictably less pretty. CD sales declined 20 percent, digital-album sales dipped 22 percent and digital-track sales fell 27 percent.

On balance, the performance was strong enough for Nielsen Music general manager Erin Crawford to declare the industry “still in the thick of an exciting growth spurt.”

The uptick began in 2016, when the US music industry posted double-digit gains for the first time in nearly two decades.

A year later, R&B/hip-hop overtook rock as music’s leading genre.

R&B/hip-hop widened its lead in the first half of 2018 to account for 31 percent of total volume, leaving rock music in the dust with 23 percent.

Two other genres posting solid growth in the year’s first half were Latin, up 39 percent, and pop, up 19 percent.

Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” boosted the former, while Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” moved the needle for the latter.


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