Music data firm BuzzAngle Music has some good news for the recorded music industry, unless one loves old-fashioned purchasing habits. Album and song sales dwindled in 2017, dropping 14.6% and 23.2% respectively, with physical sales declining only 7%percent, according to BuzzAngle.
Audio stream consumption leaped 50.3 percent to 377 billion streams, up from 127 billion streams in 2016. Subscription streams are now 80 percent of total audio streams, up from 76 percent the year before.
There were more than twice as many streams on any given day during 2017 than there were song downloads for the entire year, according to BuzzAngle. Meanwhile, vinyl album sales continued their curious climb, up 20 percent from 2016, and accounted for 10 percent of all physical album sales for the year.
Ed Sheeran had the top album with more than 2.6 million project consumption units. His album ÷ and Taylor Swift's reputation were the only two albums to break 1 million pure album sales. Reputation was the top digital album of 2017.
It's probably no surprise which song topped 1 billion streams: “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee (1.1 billion streams). It was also the most streamed song of the year. “Despacito” also had 594 million video streams (its official YouTube video currently stands at more than 4.6 billion views)
Sheeran's “Shape of You” was the second-most streamed song with 979.3 million streams. The previous record was held by “Panda” by Desiigner, which had 736.3 million streams in 2016.
Only two songs in 2017 had more than 2 million song downloads versus five in 2016, and there were only 14 songs that sold more than 1 million song downloads in 2017 compared with 36 in 2016 and 60 in 2015, according to BuzzFeed. No surprise: one the two most-downloaded songs was Sheeran's “Shape of You” with more than 2.6 million sales.
Also of note: on-demand streams broke the 2 billion mark for a single day for the first time on April 21 and the single day for the most total on-demand streams in 20127 was Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, with more than 2.2 billion streams.