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Nielsen Music Canada Mid-Year Report Reveals On-Demand Audio Streaming is Up 86.6% in 2017

3 minute read | July 2017

Drake’s More Life Set a One-Week Record for Audio On-Demand Streams

NEW YORK – July 5, 2017 – Nielsen Music—the industry’s leading source for music data and insights—today released its Canadian Mid-Year Report for the six-month period ending June 29, 2017. Included in the report are the coveted Nielsen Music Mid-Year charts, presented by Billboard, as well as key insights into the most important industry trends in sales and streaming, social media, and consumer engagement across today’s most popular platforms.

The Nielsen Music Canada Mid-Year Report confirms that streaming is still on the rise, with weekly on-demand audio streams surpassing 700 million for the first time ever, during the week ending April 6th. On-demand audio streams peaked at 755 million during the week ending June 22nd and have reached 17.5 billion so far in 2017, up from 9.4 billion a year ago. This 86.6% year-over-year increase in audio on-demand streaming has helped alleviate a 17% decrease in album sales and 20% decrease in digital track sales.

“The combined power of streaming, social media engagement and radio airplay continues to push overall music consumption to new heights,” said Paul Shaver, Head of Nielsen Music Canada. “We’re seeing that, as the music ecosystem evolves, the patterns of engagement, discovery and overall consumption has intensified.”

Drake’s More Life set a one-week record for audio on-demand streams from an album, with 42.8 million streams, surpassing the previous record of 26.7 million held by The Weeknd for his album, Starboy. Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” holds the top spot for total streams with 127 million, already far surpassing “Closer” by the Chainsmokers, which was the No. 1 streamed song for all of 2016 with 83.4 million streams. Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) is the leading album in total activity of 312,000 so far this year (albums, track equivalent albums and audio on-demand streaming equivalent albums combined). ÷ (Divide) is followed by Drake’s More Life and The Weeknd’s Starboy.

Radio still reigns supreme in Canada for music discovery, with 68% of Canadians tuning in to radio broadcasts to discover new music. Nearly 25% of Canadians listen to AM/FM radio online, up from 21% in 2016. Social media is also a major source of new music discovery in Canada, with 24% of the general population and 34% of Millennials using social platforms to engage with music. Meanwhile, 16% of Millennials are using video games and game portals to find new music, compared with 7% of the general population.

The Children’s genre has seen the largest audio streaming increase this year, with a 146% increase over 2016. The World and Rap genres follow close behind, with increases of 131% and 113%, respectively. Songs from big soundtracks led to the large increase in the Children’s genre with four songs posting over 5 million streams so far this year, compared with just one during the first six months of 2016. Driving much of the increase has been Alessia Cara’s “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana.

The biggest song at the mid-year point, in terms of total activity (sales and audio streaming equivalents combined), is Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” with 800,000 units. The song also tops the Digital Songs Sales charts with 376,000.

For more information, download the Nielsen Music Canada Mid-Year report, including charts.


Brian Giglio: (212) 878-5029;