Music Industry

Published on January 6th, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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Still More Year-End Canadian Music Stats for 2017

BuzzAngle makes it their business to track how we consume music in this country. This is a word-for-word look at what we Canadians listen to in 2017. CAUTION: Lots of data ahead!

  • Audio stream consumption continued its growth with a 70% increase to 38.0B streams, almost 16B more streams than in 2016.
  • Subscription streams are now at an impressive 78.9% of total audio streams, up from 71.9% in 2016.
  • Both album sales and song sales continued to decline, 18.9% and 23.5% respectively.
  • Physical sales declined 27.2%, primarily due to the HMV store closure. That also affected vinyl sales, which decreased 9.3% over 2016.

 

Year End Top Highlights

  • Ed Sheeran was the most consumed artist in 2017 with 593,910 album project units.
  • Audio streams reached a new record high of 39 billion, up 75% over 2016 (22.3 billion streams).
  • Total on-demand streams reached a new all-time high with 48.1 billion streams in 2017, up 38% over 2016 (35.6 billion streams).
  • Subscription streams grew a staggering 86% and accounted for 78% of total audio streams in 2017, up from 71.9% of total in 2016.
  • There were twice as many streams on any given single day during 2017 (daily average of 135.3 million) than there were song downloads for the entire year 2017 (61.1 million).

 

Top Consumption Highlights

Albums:

  • Top album of 2017 was ÷ by Ed Sheeran with 473,711 total album project consumption units.
  • ÷ by Ed Sheeran was also the Top-selling Album of the year with 181,161 units, followed by reputation by Taylor Swift, coming in at #2 with 110,097 album sales.
  • Top-selling vinyl Album of 2017 was also ÷ by Ed Sheeran with 3,501 sales.

Streaming Activity

  • In 2017, the #1 on-demand streamed song was Shape of You by Ed Sheeran (178.5M).  Despacito by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee (140.5M) was the second most streamed song for the year and the only two songs to break 100 million streams.
  • There were 22 songs that were streamed more than 50 million times in 2017 compared to 14 songs in 2016.
  • Shape of You by Ed Sheeran was the most on-demand audio streamed song in 2017 with 86.9 million streams and the most on-demand video streamed song with 91.7 million video streams.
  • The top 1,000 streamed songs in 2017 accounted for 12.7 billion streams, representing 26% of all streams for the entire year, compared to 9.3 billion in 2016.
  • 65% (8.1 billion streams) of the Top 1,000 streamed songs in 2017 were either in the Pop (29%) or Urban genre (Rap/Hip Hop, 27% and R&B, 9%).
  • The most streamed album in 2016 was ÷ by Ed Sheeran with 455,219,363 streams from the project’s songs.  The next most streamed album was More Life by Drake with 287,446,171 streams.
  • Ed Sheeran was the most streamed artist in 2017 with 605,482,626 streams.  Drake was #2 with 603,159,603 streams. This marks the first time an artist streamed more than 600 million in one year.
  • The top 500 streamed artists in 2017 equated to more than 23.9 billion streams, representing 50% of all streams for the entire year.

 

Song Sales:

  • There were two songs that had more than 400,000 song downloads in 2017.
  • There were 24 songs that sold more than 100,000 song downloads in 2017 compared to 41 songs in 2016.
  • Despacito by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee was the most downloaded song in 2017 with 460,837 units, followed by Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You with 456,482.
  • 35% of the top 1,000 songs downloaded in 2017 were Pop songs (7.1M), 18% (3.8M) were Rock, 17% were Urban songs (Rap/Hip-Hop or R&B) and 12% (2.4M) were Country.
  • The Top 1,000 Song sales accounted for 20.6 million sales, down 25% from 2016. The top 1,000 represented 34% of all song sales for the year.
  • Ed Sheeran was the only artist to break the one million song sales mark in 2017 with 1,223,430 song downloads.

 

Industry Trends – Genre

  • Rock (27.1% of total) was the top genre in terms of total album consumption, followed by Pop (22.1%). Easy Listening and Blues were the top-growing genres, gaining 202.6% and 79.3% respectively versus 2016.
  • Rock (24.8%) was the top genre in terms of total song consumption, with Pop (21.3%) second followed by Rap/Hip Hop at 17.5%.
  • Urban songs (Hip Hop/Rap and R&B) were the most streamed songs in 2017 accounting for 26% of all streams.  24.4% were from Rock titles and 20.5% were Pop songs.
  • 32.5% of all album sales in 2017 were from the Rock genre with more than 5.1 million sales (down from 2016 when Rock was 41% of all album sales).  23.8% were Pop titles, 10% were from each Country and Urban albums.
  • 52% of vinyl albums sold in 2017 were from the Rock genre (down significantly from 69% in 2016).   14% were Pop titles (up from 9% in 2016) and 12% were Urban titles (up from 10% in 2016).
  • 27% of song sales in 2017 were titles from the Rock genre, 25% were Pop songs, 16% were Urban and 10% were Country songs.

 

Industry Trends – Release Period

  • More than half (51%) of all album sales in 2017 were from deep catalog titles, those released over three years ago. That figure jumps to 54% for all physical album sales and 62% for vinyl album sales.
  • Thirty percent (30%) of all streams were from songs released between eight weeks and 78 weeks, while 45% were from deep catalog titles.
  • New releases, those released less than eight weeks old, represented 12% of audio streams and 19% of album sales (23% of digital album sales).

 

Industry Trends – Day of Week

  • Once again, Friday was the day of the week that had the most album sales (19.3% of the total), digital album sales  (20.5%) and physical album sales (18.3%).
  • Vinyl album sales were highest on Fridays and Mondays, with 16.3% of the total on each day.
  • For the second straight year, vinyl sales on Saturday showed the largest drop, going from 14.4% of the total in 2016 to 12% of the total in 2017.
  • The largest day for audio streaming activity (15.3% of the total) was Friday.  Saturday was the largest day for video streams (16.5% of the total).
  • Audio streaming on Friday was the day with the largest unit growth; up 78% over 2016.

 

Largest Single Days or Weeks of the Year for Music Purchasing and Listening

 

Streaming Activity:

  • The biggest single day for total on-demand streams in 2017 was Christmas Eve, December 24th – 192,737,286.
  • Audio on-demand streams never broke 100 million for a single day prior to 2017. Friday, March 3 was the first-time audio on-demand streaming broke the 100 million mark (100.1M).
  • The biggest single day for audio on-demand streams in 2017 was December 8, with 144,663,089 streams.
  • The biggest single day for video on-demand streams was also Christmas Eve, December 24, with 57,227,674 video streams.
  • The week of September 15 was the first time that the combined audio and video streams surpassed one billion in one week.
  • The week of December 15 was the largest streaming week of the year with a combined audio/video total of 1,197,906,557 billion.  That figure is also the biggest ever for total streams in one week.
  • Audio on-demand streams for one week broke the 900 million mark for the first time in 2017.  The week with the most streams was the week of December 15 with 943.8 million audio on-demand streams.

Album Sales:

  • The single day in 2017 with the most album sales and physical album sales) was Friday, September 29 with 116,900 albums sold (86,638 physical album sales).  That day was the official release of Shania Twain’s much anticipated Now album which had 65,290 sales that day.
  • Friday, November 10 was the day for the most digital album sales with 59,981 sales.  Taylor Swift’s reputation album was released that day and was downloaded 45,907 times, accounting for 77% of all the digital album sales that day.
  • Thursday, December 21, was the day with the most album sales with 8,902 LPs sold.
  • The week of December 15 saw the most album sales (532,387), physical album sales (382,734) as well as for CD and vinyl album sales (350,220 and 32,126 respectively).

Song Sales:

  • Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25, had the most song downloads with 350,506.  That’s down 30% from Christmas Day 2016 when there was 493,414 song downloads.
  • The first week of 2017 (12/30/16 – 1/5/17) had the most song sales with 1,569,815.  In past years, the last week of the year typically has the the largest amount of song sales.   In 2016, the week of December 23 had the most song sales with 2,105,293 downloads.

 

Oh Canada … Canadian-born Artist Facts

Album Sales:

  • Two out of the top five selling albums in 2017 were by Canadian-born artists.
  • The top 1,000 albums by Canadian-born artists accounted for 1.5 million album sales in 2017 and 10% of the total album sales for the year.
  • For the second year in a row, the top selling Canadian-born artist in 2017 (based on total consumption) was Drake with 488,314 sales.
  • The top selling Canadian-born female artist in 2017 (based on total consumption) was Shania Twain with 159,801 sales.
  • The top selling Canadian-born group in 2017 (based on total consumption) was Tragically Hip with 178,396 album sales.
  • The top 300 Canadian-born artists accounted for more than 1.6 million album sales in 2017 which equates to 10% of all album sales for the entire year.
  • The Canadian-born artist with the most album sales in 2017 was Shania Twain with 133,720 album sales.

 

Streaming Activity:

  • Two out of the top three most streamed artists in 2017 were Canadian-born artists, Drake (#2 – 605.5M), and The Weeknd (#3  – 336.8M).
  • The top 300+ Canadian-born artists accounted for more than 3.1 billion streams in 2017, which equates to 6.5% of the total streams for the year.

 

Holiday Season Highlights (2017 Holiday Season = Nov. 17th – Dec. 28th)

Album Sales:

  • Album sales during the 2017 Holiday Season were down 36% from 2016.
  • Physical album sales during the 2017 Holiday season were down 42% compared to 2016.
  • Two-thirds of all albums purchased (66%) during the 2017 Holiday Season were a physical album (either a CD, a vinyl album or Cassette), down from 75% in 2016.
  • Vinyl album sales during the 2017 Holiday Season were down 26% compared to 2016 (183,475 vs 128,857) while CD album purchases were down 43%.
  • Digital album sales during the 2017 Holiday Season were down 24% over 2016.
  • The biggest selling album during the 2017 holiday season was reputation by Taylor Swift with 34,392 sales.
  • The biggest selling Christmas album during the 2017 holiday season was Christmas by Michael Buble with 16,847 album sales (#5 overall for holiday season).
  • The biggest selling vinyl album during the 2017 holiday season was The Dark Side of The Moon by Pink Floyd with 1,012 sales.
  • The artist with the most album sales during the holiday season was Eminem with 38,823 sales.  Taylor Swift was second with 37,426 album sales.
  • Interestingly, Elvis Presley once again was in the top 10 of artists with the most sales during the holiday season.  Elvis was #4 with 33,638 album sales.

Streaming Activity:

  • On-demand audio streams during the 2017 holiday season totaled 4.5 billion plays, up over 75% compared to 2016 (3.3 billion).
  • The most streamed artist during the holiday season was Ed Sheeran with 64.7 million streams (58% of those streams were on-demand audio streams).   Post Malone was second with 50.6 million streams.
  • Michael Bublé was the most streamed Canadian-born artist during the 2017 holiday season with 39.7 million streams.
  • In on-demand audio streams, rockstar by Post Malone was the most streamed song during the holiday season with 12.4 million plays, while Havana by Camila Cabella was the most streamed video with more than 11.4 million views during those same weeks.
  • The most streamed Christmas song during the holiday season was All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey with more than 8.8 million streams (overall the #8 most streamed song during the holiday season).

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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