Last year around this time, we learned that old music was outselling new music for the first time ever. That stat included digital downloads, but curiously, not album streams. Now, we have some idea how thoroughly streaming has changed the music marketplace, especially in the last year: on any given day in 2016, there were more songs stream than there were song downloads for the entire year.
According to a new report on U.S. music consumption by analytics tracker BuzzAngle Music, on the average day in 2016, 1.2 billion songs were streamed in the U.S. In all of 2016, roughly 734 million songs were downloaded.
And people were more willing to pay for their cloud-based music; paid subscription streams rose 124% and made up more than three-quarters of all streams in 2016, up from 62% of the total last year. Plays from ad-supported streaming services only rose 14%.
Overall album sales fell, too: 15.6%. Physical sales dropped 11.7%, while digital album sales dropped nearly 20%. The vinyl revival, on the other hand, apparently isn't near through as sales there climbed better than 25%. Those are the biggest sales numbers since the '90s.
On the whole, overall music consumption (a metric that includes physical sales, digital sales, and on-demand streams) was up about 5% and overall song consumption was up 27.2%, which tells us something about how we're mainly listening to music nowadays.
Is there any surprise the report named Drake Artist Of The Year? Views was the most listened to album of 2016, raking in 3.9 million album units, and "One Dance" was named Song Of The Year with 5.6 million song consumption units (song sales + on-demand audio streams/150). He stopped short of locking down most-streamed song though. That distinction belongs to Desiigner with "Panda."
The biggest day for streams? Surprisingly, Christmas Eve when 1,588,455,616 songs were streamed. The biggest day ever actually.
Want to read more numbers followed by percent signs and try to better grasp 2016 in music consumption? You can read the full report here.