U.S. music streams surpass one trillion milestone in 2019

Apple Music
Apple Music

For the first time ever, on-demand streams in the U.S. reached over 1 trillion, according to a year-end report from Alpha Data, the data analytics platform formerly known as BuzzAngle that powers the Rolling Stone Charts.

Emily Blake for Rolling Stone:

Just how big is music streaming? The format continued on its path toward total dominance in 2019, and kept up its years-long resuscitation of the U.S. music industry… Streaming’s growth drove overall album consumption up with it, up 13.5 percent year-on-year to 795.9 million album units. Overall song consumption, meanwhile, was up 21.1 percent to 7 billion units in 2019.

Streams accounted for 84.6 percent of total album consumption in the U.S., its biggest portion to date. Album sales drove 11.7 percent of consumption — down from 17 percent last year — while song sales dropped from 7 percent to just under 4 percent.

Album units combine digital and physical album sales, digital song sales, and audio streams, using a custom weighting system. Song units combine digital sales and song streams. (Units were introduced in 2015 as a new way to measure consumption in the U.S. in the streaming era.)

Back in 2016, music streaming reached a tipping point of sorts when streams swelled to 432 billion and streaming became the primary source of music consumption in the U.S., according to Alpha Data.

That upward trend soldiered on in 2019. On-demand streams grew were up 24.8 percent from 2018 to 1.01 trillion. Streaming on services like Spotify and Apple Music saw the biggest boot, as on demand audio streams grew 32 percent to 706 billion. Video streams, meanwhile, were up 10.6 percent to 304 billion.

Source: BuzzAngle Music
Source: BuzzAngle Music

MacDailyNews Take: Also reported is the fact that growth in on-demand streams was down nearly 30% versus 2018, when streams saw 42% gain. So, music streaming’s own market saturation may be approaching, at least in the U.S. Luckily for music producers, it’s a great big world out there where streaming is just beginning!

1 Comment

  1. This would be like counting the number of times a song has been played on the radio. It’s a false equivalency to actual music sales, and not a useful metric in that regard.

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