Nielsen’s 2018 Mid-Year Music Report illustrates that the streaming surge is showing no signs of slowing down.
According to Nielsen’s 2018 Mid-Year Music Report, on-demand music streams have reached a new high, with 403 billion US video and audio streams recorded in the first half of 2018. Using the industry standard equation, which equates 1500 streams to one album sold, this means that 270 million albums were sold in the past six months via streaming.
As the Statista chart (above) illustrates, on-demand streaming now accounts for 75% of music consumption in the U.S. compared to physical and digital sales, which fell by 4-5% in the period. Increasing from 50% in H1 2016, the streaming surge continues.
Despite this, vinyl LP sales are up 19.2%, illustrating the continued growth of the format off the back of Record Store Day and successful independent retail campaigns.
Record-breaking releases from the likes of Drake, Post Malone, J. Cole and Cardi B have illustrated the reach of R&B/Hip-Hop at the moment. Drake and Post Malone rank closely with the highest volume of on-demand US audio streams, with 3.3 billion and 3.1 billion, respectively. Interestingly, Drake’s huge hit “God’s Plan” is the most on-demand streamed song of the year to date. “God’s Plan” and “Nice For What” have spent a combined 18 of the first 26 weeks of the year at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100, with a staggering 1.12 billion and 484 million on-demand streams.