People Paid for Music in 2017: Streaming Subscriptions and Vinyl Sales Rise
The numbers have arrived, and as it turns out, the music industry had a good year in 2017. Paid subscription streams rose 54 percent over last year and made up 80 percent of all streams in 2017, according to a new report on U.S. music consumption by data tracker BuzzAngle Music. Audio streams reached an overall record high of 376.9 billion, which is up 50% over 2016’s numbers. It was a good year for vinyl sales, too, which were up 20% over sales in 2016. Vinyl accounted for 10% of all physical album sales (which is up from 8% last year).
Downloads, however, are down once again. The daily average of 1.67 billion streams per day dwarves the number of song downloads for the entire year (563.7 million). Only two songs had more than two million downloads total (compared to five songs that surpassed that total in 2016 and 16 songs in 2015). Overall album and song sales continued to decline, as well, by 14.6% and 23.2% respectively.
It was a huge year for Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito.” It was the most streamed song of the year and became the first to cross the one billion streams mark. Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” followed with 979.3 million streams overall. Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE.” was the most audio-streamed song of the year—a tally that excludes video streams—with over 555.2 million plays. Drake and Future were, respectively, the two most streamed artists of 2017.
Ed Sheeran’s ÷ was the top album of the year overall with 2,645,600 total project consumption units. Taylor Swift’s Reputation led in pure album sales with 1,899,772 sold. November 10, the day Reputation was released, was the biggest day for album sales in 2017. Sixteen songs were streamed more than 500 million times in 2017 (compared to six in 2016 and two in 2015).