Source: Nielsen Music.
Song downloads plunged another 12.5 percent last year, and a depressing 23.4 percent since 2013, according to preliminary US-based stats from Nielsen Music. Indeed, downloading is plunging downward, but streaming is absolutely soaring: according to the same dataset, the total number of streams doubled in just one year.
As in, gained 100 percent, in 365 days.
Overall, Americans streamed 317.2 billion tracks last year, up from 164.5 billion songs streamed in 2014. Leading the pack were the typical suspects: YouTube, Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, and Google Play Music, but doesn’t include ‘non-interactive’ radio streams like Pandora. Most of that streaming was free, with YouTube and Spotify still avalanching the space with ad-supported music.
Indeed, ad-supported streaming is big and getting bigger, but it still makes less than vinyl. In 2015, according to the top-level look, total LPs boomed 29.8 percent to 11.9 million units. CDs, unsurprisingly, continued to slide into oblivion (more details on all formats in the coming days).