Nielsen has unveiled its 2019 Music Mid-Year report for the United States.
Breaking down the study, music streaming services reached over 507 billion on-demand streams. The monstrous milestone — more than half-a-trillion streams — was boosted by singles and albums from Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Halsey, Khalid, BTS, and Bad Bunny.
In the first six months of 2019, total album equivalent consumption (which includes albums and on-demand audio/video streaming) rose to 351.6 million. This figure jumped 15.7% over the same period last year, when consumption reached 304 million. Total album equivalent consumption audio streams rose 12.7% to 305.2 million
Combining audio and video alone, on-demand streaming reached 507.7 billion streams.
This figure rose 31.6% over the same period last year, when on-demand streaming reached 385.7 billion. On-demand audio song streaming jumped 27.8% to 333.5 billion. On-demand video song streaming rose 39.6% to 174.2 billion.
Physical and digital downloads, however, continue to drop substantially.
Physical album sales for the first half of 2019 – including vinyl LPs – declined 15.1% to just 32.5 million. Total album sales – including physical and downloads – dropped 18.8% to 51.6 million. Digital album sales and track sales suffered the most, plummeting 24.4% to 19.1 million and 25.6% to 154.1 million, respectively.
In good news for record lovers, vinyl LP sales rose 9.6% to 7.7 million. That’s a figure that’s likely to get a substantial bump in the second-half, thanks to a monstrous pre-sale by Garth Brooks.
For the tracking period of January 4th to June 20th, 2019, Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next ranked as the most popular album. Her single, ‘7 Rings,’ ranks as this year’s most-consumed song with 777 million on-demand streams.
An unprecedented crossover into film & tv is also boosting music streams and sales.
Thanks to A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s ‘Shallow’ reached 684,000 digital downloads and 316 million on-demand song streams. Elton John’s biopic, Rocketman starring Taron Egerton, caused an 84% increase of consumption of the singer’s entire catalog.
Also, following the airing of Netflix’s The Dirt biopic of the group, Motley Crue’s catalog consumption skyrocketed 683%. The dueling Fyre Festival documentaries on Hulu and Netflix allowed Ja Rule to experience a minor 33% consumption of his catalog.
Controversial documentaries on Michael Jackson (Leaving Neverland) and R. Kelly (Surviving R. Kelly) led to a 41% and 13% increase in catalog consumption, respectively.
You can view the complete report below.
Featured image by Yan Pei-Ming and Yann Caradec (CC by 2.0).