The music streaming world is on a fresh high, according to the latest Nielsen’s mid-year Music Report released this week.
In the first half of 2019, music streaming numbers clocked in at 507.7 billion, or more than half a trillion, on-demand streams. According to the Nielsen report, this record number — an increase of 31.6% over the first half of last year — was attributed to the success of singles and albums from Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, Halsey, Khalid, BTS, Lil Nas X and Bad Bunny, among other factors.
The TikTok Impact
The report noted the impact of TikTok and its global audience of 500 million monthly users.
“No emerging app helped break more songs in 2019 than TikTok” – Nielsen.
The report mentioned various TikTok hits like the most-streamed song, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” with 1.3 billion total on-demand streams year-to-date; as well as Ava Max’s “Sweet But PsychoI“, with 310 million on-demand streams; and Joji’s “Slow Dancing in the Dark,” with 165 million on-demand streams.
Top 10 Songs On-Demand Streams (Audio+Video)
The top ten most streamed songs, audio and video both, are as follows:
- Lil Nas X – “Old Town Road” (1.3B)
- Post Malone & Swae Lee – “Sunflower” (850M)
- Ariana Grande – “7 Rings” (776M)
- Travis Scott & Drake – “Sicko Mode” (623M)
- Halsey – “Without Me” (599M)
- J. Cole – “Middle Child” (582M)
- Post Malone – “Wow.” (582M)
- Blueface – “Thotiana” (558M)
- Marshmello & Bastille – “Happier” (528M)
- YNW Melly – “Murder On My Mind” (498M)
Video Streaming Growing Faster
Nielsen broke down the 507.7 billion streams into audio streams and video streams and found it’s the latter that’s growing faster. Video streaming grew 39.6% from 124.7 billion streams in the first half of 2018 to 174.2 billion streams in the first half of 2019. Meanwhile, audio streams only grew 27.8% by comparison, going from 261 billion streams in the first half of last year to 333.5 billion streams in the first half of 2019.
Audio Streaming, Album Sales Decline
Despite streaming numbers at an all time high, annual growth in audio streaming is actually declining. According to this report by Music Business Worldwide, this year’s 27.8% growth in audio streaming from H1 2018 to H1 2019 was a reduction from the 41.5% growth seen from H1 2017 to H1 2018.
The number of physical album sales continued to decline, according to the same report. Physical album sales declined by 15.1% to 32.5 million. Digital album sales fell by 24.4% to 19.1 million, and sales of vinyl fell by 9.6% to 7.7 million. Digital track sales was also down by 25.6% to 153.1 million.
Vinyl Sales Surprise
One of the biggest surprising factor has been the sale of vinyl records. The the Top 10 selling artists in the vinyl category are legacy acts like Queen, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, Fleetwood Mac and Michael Jackson. But, surprisingly, Billie Eilish also features in the Top 10 selling 75,000 vinyl albums combined between her debul album WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? and her 2017 EP Don’t Smile at Me. This shows that younger people are buying vinyls by the artists they love. Eilish, who has emerged as a superstar of the pop-music scene, motivates her fans enough to purchase vinyl records as well, an action firmly rooted in love for an artists’ music.