It’s been an action-packed start to the year, with records broken, chart history made and several categories growing quickly,” Erin Crawford, SVP Nielsen Entertainment, General Manager Nielsen Music, reports. “Lady Gaga headlined the Super Bowl and saw a spike in sales, Drake shattered streaming records, and Future hit number one with two different albums in successive weeks.”

“A significant streaming milestone was also reached in March, when weekly on-demand audio streaming surpassed seven billion,” Crawford writes. “For the first six months of the year, there have been 184.3 billion on-demand audio streams – a 62% increase over the same period in 2016.”

Crawford writes. “The year to date has not been without sadness: we’ve bid farewell to some music greats including Chuck Berry, Chris Cornell and Gregg Allman.”

Weekly on-demand audio streams surpassed seven billion for the first time during the week ending March 9th. Halfway through the year, weekly on-demand audio streams have reached over 7.5 billion.

For the first time in Nielsen Music history, R&B/Hip-Hop has become the largest share of overall volume (Album + TEA + SEA), with 25.1% of the total volume coming from the R&B/Hip-Hop genre. Rock, which had always been the largest genre in the past, slips to second with 23% of the total volume.

R&B/Hip-Hop has become the largest genre by dominating share of streaming consumption. Over 30% of audio on-demand streaming comes from R&B/Hip-Hop, nearly as much as the next two genres combined (Rock 18% and Pop 13%).

While Rock still dominates album sales, with over 40% share of the industry’s albums, its share of streaming is only 16%. Country, also a strong 12% in albums and nearly 14% in physical albums, continues to lag in streaming share with just 5.6% of total streaming coming from the genre. The Latin genre continues to be very strong in streaming, particularly video streaming where it makes up 15% of the total. Pop continues to get a disproportionately high share of digital track sales, with the consumer clearly still having a desire to own the big pop hits.

Source: Nielsen Holdings plc

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Music is just so easy. It’s so nice to have everything at your fingertips at all times. It’s well worth the monthly subscription fee.

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