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Nielsen Releases 2016 Mid-Year U.S. Music Report

2 minute read | July 2016

Powered by a 59% increase in On-Demand streaming, overall Music growth is up 9% over last year Vinyl LP sales up 12% and now comprise nearly 12% of physical album sales

New York, NY—July 7, 2016—Today, Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN), the music industry’s leading data information provider, announced the 2016 Nielsen Mid-Year U.S. Music Report for the six-month period of Jan. 1, 2016, through June 30, 2016.

The report results show that streaming continues to be a growing format in 2016, with 209 billion songs streamed on-demand through audio and video platforms—an increase of 59% over the same period last year. Audio on-demand streams now make up 54% of total streams, while video is now 46% of the total. Audio has grown 97% over the first half of 2015, while Video has grown by 29%.

“In the past year we have seen a continued shift in the music industry from a buying model to a streaming model,” says David Bakula, SVP Industry Insights, Nielsen. “Streaming now makes up nearly 50% of the overall volume, while we continue to see declines in digital purchasing.”

Other key findings from 2016 Nielsen Mid-Year U.S. Music Report:

  • Total consumption for the year, based on albums plus track equivalent albums and streaming equivalent albums, is up 9% from last year.
  • Thanks to continued growth in streaming, overall digital consumption (sales and streams) is up 15%. However, digital tracks are showing the most weakness of any format, down 24% compared to the first half of 2015.
  • Overall album sales are down 14%, including an 18% decline in digital album sales.
  • Physical album sales are down 10%, despite continued record-setting strength in Vinyl LPs, which are up 12% to 6.2 million units.


Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content—video, audio and text—is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


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