×

Drake, Post Malone Rule Nielsen Music Mid-Year Charts; Album Consumption Up 18%

Drake and Post Malone had the highest volume of on-demand streams and Ed Sheeran has the top song in Nielsen Music’s mid-year report for the six-month period ending June 28, 2018, which was released Friday morning.

“The first half of 2018 has shown robust growth for the music industry, building upon the successes of the business in recent years,” said David Bakula, SVP of Industry Insights for Nielsen Music, in a statement. “Fans have never before had access to music on the scale that we see today, and we expect even more gains for the industry in the six months ahead.”

Total album equivalent consumption — which includes physical and digital album sales, song sales and on-demand audio and video song streams — is up 18%, passing 400 billion streams for the first time. On-demand audio streaming volume is up 45%, having already exceeded 268 billion so far in 2018, and on-demand video streaming volume is up 35% year-over-year, according to the report. (The report notes that total album equivalent audio consumption — albums + track equivalent albums (TEA) + on-demand audio streaming equivalent albums (SEA) — is up 13.8% year-to-date over 2017, while total album equivalent consumption — albums + TEA + on-demand audio/video SEA — is up 18.4%.)

Drake and Post Malone had the highest volume of on-demand audio streams in the U.S., with 3.3 billion and 3.1 billion, respectively, but higher album sales put Post Malone on top of all artists in total album equivalent consumption. Drake’s “God’s Plan” is the year’s biggest song thus far, in terms of total song consumption (digital song sales with streaming equivalent on-demand audio); it has clocked 5.3 million units, including 655 million on-demand audio streams. It is followed by Post Malone’s “Psycho” and BlocBoy JB’s “Look Alive.”

Post Malone’s “Beerbongs & Bentleys” is the leading album in total album equivalent audio consumption this year with total activity of 1.8 million units (albums + TEA + on-demand audio SEA), although that number is likely to be eclipsed by Drake’s “Scorpion,” which broke Malone’s one-day streaming records upon its release last Friday, one day after the Nielsen mid-year mark. It is followed by “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack with 1.6 million units and Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” with 1.1 million units.

Ed Sheeran leads all pop artists at the mid-year mark, as his song “Perfect” is the top pop single for streaming and radio airplay spins; it is also the year’s most-downloaded song, with just over 1 million units. Imagine Dragons held down three of the top five rock songs with “Thunder,” “Believer” and “Whatever it Takes.”

The report noted that three genres in particular have helped drive the year’s gains: Latin (+39% over last year), R&B/Hip-Hop (+26%) and Pop (+19%) all saw increases in total album equivalent consumption.

Latin has grown to 7.7% of total industry volume (albums + TEA + on-demand audio/video SEA), up from 6.5% at the same time last year. R&B/Hip-Hop continues its growth as the industry’s most-consumed genre, with 31.2% of total volume (album + TEA + on-demand audio/video SEA). That genre’s lead over the next-biggest genre, Rock, has increased from 3.8% last year (28.6% vs. 24.8%) to a whopping 8.1% this year (31.2% vs. 23.1%). R&B/Hip-Hop now represents 36.4% of all song streams and 37.5% of all audio song streams this year.

Vinyl sales continue to climb at an impressive clip, up 19.2% year over year. Other album sales formats continue to decline, with CD sales down nearly 20% and sales of digital albums declining by 21.7%. Digital track sales continue to fall faster than all other formats, with sales down 27.4%.

More Music

  • Sturgill Simpson Announces New Anime Film,

    Sturgill Simpson Announces an Anime Film — and Album to Go With It — at Comic-Con

    From alt-country hero to anime producer, Grammy winner Sturgill Simpson is broadening his horizons. Appearing on a panel Saturday night at Comic-Con, Simpson announced an animated Netflix film, “Sound & Fury,” that he’s producing and wrote the original story for, to be accompanied by a simultaneously released album this fall he describes as “sleazy, steamy [...]

  • Garth Brooks Brings Blake Shelton to

    Garth Brooks Brings Blake Shelton to Boise for a Beer-and-Tears Stadium Gig (Watch)

    “I was singing with Garth Brooks! I’m freaking out!” said Blake Shelton, shortly after joining his fellow Okie on stage in Boise, Idaho Friday night. Shelton had flown out to the first of Brooks’ two nights at Albertsons Stadium to shoot a live music video for “Dive Bar,” the recently recorded duet that Brooks just [...]

  • Cara Delevingne'Carnival Row' TV show photocall,

    Cara Delevingne Says Her 'Carnival Row' Character Is Pansexual, Explains Defending Taylor Swift Against Justin Bieber

    Cara Delevingne and Orlando Bloom’s love affair may be at the center of the upcoming Amazon Prime Video series “Carnival Row,” but the British actress doesn’t want viewers to assume her faerie character is heterosexual. “I’m a pansexual faerie,” Delevingne told Variety during an exclusive one-on-one interview at Comic-Con adding that there are other queer [...]

  • Ryan Adams Sexual Harassment

    Ryan Adams Re-Emerges After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

    Singer/songwriter Ryan Adams, who was blasted with accusations of sexual misconduct earlier this year, including inappropriate texting with a minor, re-emerged on social media with a long post early Saturday. “I have a lot to say. I am going to. Soon,” he wrote. “Because the truth matters. I know who I am. What I am. [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content