The year had barely begun when we were already saying goodbye to musical heroes gone far too soon. David Bowie, Paul Kantner, Glenn Frey, Leon Russell, Maurice White, Prince, Juan Gabriel, George Michael, Sharon Jones… the list goes on. And yet, while it’s sad that 2016 became a meme of its own, there is so much for the industry to celebrate.
Music consumption is at an all-time high. Overall consumption of album sales, song sales and audio on-demand streaming volume was up 5% over 2015, fueled by an incredible 203% increase in on-demand audio streams, enough to offset declines in sales and return a positive year for the business. 2016 also marked the highest vinyl sales total to date.
It was an incredible year for Canadian artists, at home and abroad. Eight different Canadian artists had #1 albums in 2016, led by Drake whose album Views was the biggest album of the year in Canada as well as the U.S. The Tragically Hip had two albums reach the top of the chart as well, their latest release and their 2005 best of album, and their emotional farewell concert in August was something we’ll remember for a long time. Justin Bieber, Billy Talent, Céline Dion, Shawn Mendes, Leonard Cohen and The Weeknd also spent time at No. 1. Break out artist Alessia Cara as well as accomplished superstar Michael Buble also enjoyed successes this year.