Music Consumption Rises; President James Donio Releases Statement

Music Biz President James Donio released the following statement on the 2016 end-of-year sales and consumption reports released by BuzzAngle Music and Nielsen (published in Billboard):

“For the second straight year, overall music consumption was notably up, strengthening hopes for a new era of music industry growth driven largely by on-demand streaming. Nielsen reported that overall music consumption grew 2% to 440.8 million equivalent album units in 2016 (3.1% to 560.7 million units when on-demand video streams are included). BuzzAngle Music concurred on the direction of the industry, though their actual numbers varied from Nielsen’s due to their differing data collection and reporting methodologies. As such, BuzzAngle cited a 4.9% increase in overall music consumption to 413.9 million album units in 2016. It’s all due to the explosion of on-demand audio streaming, which grew a whopping 76.4% in 2016 to 251.9 billion streams (39.2% to 431.7 billion streams when video is included) according to Nielsen and 82.6% to 250.7 billion streams according to BuzzAngle Music. Even more encouraging, a significantly higher percentage of these streams are now coming via paid subscriptions. According to BuzzAngle Music, 76% of on-demand streams came from paid subscriptions in 2016, up from only 62% last year. These spikes were more than enough to offset declines in album and song sales, while vinyl continued to demonstrate the resiliency of physical retail with Nielsen citing the best sales year for vinyl since they began tracking sales in 1991. Combined, these findings illuminate a path toward a sustainable future for music in which new digital formats and resurgent physical formats co-exist to the benefit of music lovers and music sellers alike.”

“Furthermore, listeners are proving to be even hungrier for music than ever before, and streaming seems to be making them even more ravenous. According to BuzzAngle Music, there were over 28 million unique songs played via streaming services in 2016 vs. only 7 million unique songs that were purchased. In addition, an average of 1.2 billion streams were served each day in 2016, more than the 734 million songs that were sold in the entire year. It’s a staggering figure that proves what we already know: people love music now more than ever and are eager to bring as much of it into their lives as possible.”