BuzzAngle Music: Overall Music Consumption Up 4.2%; Subscription Streaming Up 124%

BuzzAngle Music just released their first-ever yearly report, on 2016 U.S. music consumption. 2016 was another successful year in music, with overall consumption rising 4.2% over 2015, marking the second year in a row with solid growth.The continued explosion of audio stream consumption, which increased 82.6% to 250B streams, fueled this increase.

Both album sales and song sales continued to decline but the transition to these new access methods has shown to provide overall growth and a sustainable business model for the future. Breaking down the tremendous streaming growth shows what is perhaps the most important stat of the year: the percentage of subscription streams rose from 62% of the total in 2015 to 76% of the total in 2016.

The number of 2016 subscription streams grew over 2.25x the 2015 subscription streams amount.In addition to providing the industry with a great business model, streaming services offer music lovers a much wider selection of music at their fingertips. In 2016, there were over 28M unique songs played via a streaming service compared to 7M songs that were purchased. An average day’s audio-streaming volume in 2016 (1.2B) was much larger than the entire year’s volume of song sales (734M).

Audio streams hit a record high of 250.7 billion, which is over 80% more than the previous year. For the first time, two songs reached over 700 million streams including “Panda” by Desiigner (736.8m) and Rihanna’s “Work” (716.6m).


While streaming and overall consumption are up, music sales have continued to take a hit in almost every category. With a daily average of 1.2 billion, there were more streams per day than song downloads for the entire year (734 million). Album sales are also down 15.6% and song sales dropped 24.8%. The only category of album sales to increase was vinyl, which saw sales rise by 25.9%. Unfortunately for overall physical album sales, vinyl only accounts for 8%.


BuzzAngle’s analysis by genre showed that Hip Hop/Rap continues to be the most popular genre in terms of total song consumption and accounts for 30% of all streams, while Rock continues to lead in sales. They also pointed out that in 2016 approximately 50% of all music consumed were ‘Deep Catalog” titles, meaning they were released over three years ago.

buzzangleStill, even with a drop of over 4%, Pop music held onto its lead in album consumption at 14.6% with Hip Hop/Rap coming in second with 14.4%. Hip Hip/Rap saw album consumption rise 24.8% and took the top spot for song consumption. Drake was named BuzzAngle’s Artist of the Year with his album “Views” and song “One Dance” leading in consumption units.

EDM saw a 35% increase in album consumption and 72.% in songs, clocking in as the largest genre growth of the year.

The Rock genre which includes rock, alternative, metal, indie rock, punk, and folk had the most album sales, accounting for 63% of all vinyl sales.

Adele sold the most albums in 2016 with her 2015 release “25” with 1,550,584 album sales, beating Drake’s “Views” by less than 40,000 units.

The BuzzAngle 2016 U.S. music report is filled with stats on consumption, top artists, albums and songs, as well as a number of interesting and fun highlights. Download the full report – BuzzAngle Music 2016 U.S. Report