Music Industry

Published on January 5th, 2018 | by Alan Cross

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More Year-End Canadian Music Stats for 2017

While it’ll be a few more weeks before we get all the numbers from 2017, Nielsen Music has a few more statistics about how Canadians consumed music over the last twelve months. Here are some highlights.

  • Overall consumption of albums, songs and streams grew 13.6%.
  • Streaming was the big hero. On December 3, Canadian streaming passed 900 million streams/week for the first time. It won’t be long until we’re at a billion streams/week.
  • The fastest growing music genre of the year was R&B and hip-hop with an 86% increase in streaming. This can largely be explained by the fact that young people are the big early adopters of music tech like streaming and that’s their music preference.
  • Seven of the year’s 10 most-streamed artists in Canada were from R&B and hip-hop.
  • The biggest single streaming artist? Ed Sheeran, thanks mostly to the song “Shape of You.”
  • “Despacito” became the first Latin single in history to reach #1 in Canada.
  • While there were no Justin Bieber albums in 2017, he collaborated on four top 5 songs this year.
  • Six Canucks at #1 albums on the Canadian charts this year: The Weeknd, Drake, Arcade Fire, Shania Twain, Pierre Lapointe and Gord Downie.
  • After Gord died, consumption of Tragically Hip music increased by 1,000% the following week.
  • Vinyl sales were up for the seventh year in a row. Catalogue sales accounted for 59% of sales. In other words, old records are driving vinyl sales.

More stats as they become available.

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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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