Adele, Streaming and Vinyl Rule Nielsen’s Year-End Music Report

Adele BBC American special
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Adele’s 2015 domination has been confirmed by Nielsen Music, which released its year-end report Wednesday.

According to Nielsen, Adele’s “25” was the year’s largest release by far, tallying 8.01 million units (7.4 million physical copies) sold in the final six weeks of the year alone. It was the most successful seller in a single year since 2004.

“25” was also the top seller in vinyl sales, a format which continues its renaissance. Vinyl sales were up 30% from 2014 and accounted for almost 9% of total physical album sales.

Streaming music saw an even greater surge, with on-demand streaming up 93%, notching 317 billion streams.

“While music fans continued to drive dramatic growth in on-demand streaming music, with volume up 93% over 2014, it’s clear that the album is still a viable format for music fans,” said David Bakula, Nielsen’s senior VP of Industry Insights.

Other noteworthy findings in the 2015 report include the fact that radio remains the No. 1 source of music discovery and that 61 songs sold more than one million downloads each in 2015 (down from 82 in 2014 and 106 in 2013).

Below find some of the report’s salient rankings.

Top 10 Selling Albums of 2015 in U.S. (in physical copies)

1. Adele, “25,” 7,441,000
2. Taylor Swift, “1989,” 1,993,000
3. Justin Bieber, “Purpose,” 1,269,000
4. Ed Sheeran, “X,” 1,162,000
5. Drake, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late,” 1,142,000
6. Sam Smith, “In the Lonely Hour,” 1,018,000
7. Meghan Trainor, “Title,” 1,007,000
8. The Weeknd, “Beauty Behind the Madness,” 862,000
9. Soundtrack, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” 861,000
10. Luke Bryan, “Kill the Lights,” 851,000

Top 10 Selling Digital Songs of 2015 in U.S.

1. Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk!,” 5,529,000
2. Ed Sheeran, “Thinking Out Loud, “3,976,000
3. Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth, “See You Again,” 3,801,000
4. Adele, “Hello,” 3,712,000
5. Maroon 5, “Sugar,” 3,343,000
6. Walk the Moon, “Shut Up and Dance,” 2,986,000
7. Fetty Wap, “Trap Queen,” 2,730,000
8. OMI, “Cheerleader,” 2,698,000
9. The Weekend, “The Hills,” 2,586,000
10. Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar, “Bad Blood,” 2,580,000

Top On-Demand Streams of 2015 in U.S. (audio and video streams combined)

1. Fetty Wap, “Trap Queen,” 616,463,000
2. Silento, “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” 563,406,000
3. Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk!,” 555,808,000
4. Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth, “See You Again,” 472,264
5. The Weeknd, “The Hills,” 444,018,000
6. Ed Sheeran, “Thinking Out Loud,” 350,579,000
7. Adele, “Hello,” 335,799,000
8. Omi, “Cheerleader,” 328,365,000
9. Fetty Wap feat. Remy Boyz, “679,” 322,176,000
10. The Weeknd, “Can’t Feel My Face,” 314,499,000

Top LP Vinyl Albums of 2015 in U.S. (in physical copies)

1. Adele, “25,” 116,000
2. Taylor Swift, “1989,” 74,000
3. Pink Floyd, “Dark Side of the Moon,” 50,000
4. The Beatles, “Abbey Road,” 49,800
5. Miles Davis, “Kind of Blue,” 49,000
6. Arctic Monkeys, “AM,” 48,000
7. Sufjan Stevens, “Carrie & Lowell,” 44,900
8. Alabama Shakes, “Sound & Color,” 44,600
9. Hozier, “Hozier,” 43,000
10. Soundtrack, “Guardians of the Galaxy,” 43,000

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  1. hobnob says:

    Hello could be no1 if it were released at the very beginning of the year like Uptown funk. Its only had 2 months of sales & will overtake the sales of the #2 & #3 songs in a week or so. Plus its from an album thats sold 7.4 million in 6 weeks so that loses it sales also. ps; thats not physical album sales totals as it includes digital sales too.

  2. Vinyl Rules !!!! Thanks to all the big name acts for helping bring vinyl records to a new audience !

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