Drake Is King In 2018 US Music Market Report

The following is a synopsis of the 2018 BuzzAngle Music Industry report and is reprinted here without editorial comment.

Drake Is King In 2018 US Music Market Report

By FYI Staff

The following is a synopsis of the 2018 BuzzAngle Music Industry report and is reprinted here without editorial comment. While the genre ratios do not necessarily mirror the Canadian market, the trends by degrees are applicable in many of the cases cited.

BuzzAngle, a US-based music technology company (part owned by Penske Media Corporation (PMC) – owner of Variety and Rolling Stone) that collects data from major physical and digital retailer and over 225 independent record stores, direct-to-fan sites, venue sales agents, major digital on-demand streamers, and radio airplay from Mediabase. The company also provides the Canadian Independent Music Association with the weekly CIMA 40 chart that tracks the top 40 Canadian and International independent artists' album packages using a methodology that combines sales, downloads and streams in the Canadian market.    


FYI Music will publish Nielsen Music Canada 2018 data for the domestic market on or near Jan. 18. In the meantime, readers can find Nielsen Canada's latest Market Watch summary of  domestic streaming and unit sales here.

2018 BuzzAngle Music U.S. Highlights

●        For the second straight year, Drake took the three largest awards, Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Scorpion, and Song of the Year, God’s Plan.

●        During the 4th quarter of 2018, subscription streams accounted for 85% of all on-demand audio streams (157.4 billion).

●        Subscription streams grew 50% during the 4th quarter of 2018 and accounted for 85% of total audio streams for the quarter. In 2017, subscription streams were up 57% over 2016.

●        Song consumption in 2018 reached a new high of 5.8 billion, up 27% over 2017.

●        Vinyl album sales were up 12% in 2018 after seeing a 20% growth in 2017 over 2016.  Vinyl album sales accounted for 13.7% of all physical album sales, up from 10% in 2017 and 8% in 2016.


●        There were only nine songs that that were streamed more than 500 million times in 2018, compared to 16 in 2017, six in 2016 and two in 2015.

●        There were 417 songs that streamed more than 100 million times in 2018, compared to 383 songs in 2017, 226 songs in 2016 and 111 songs in 2015.

●        The top 1,000 streamed songs in 2018 accounted for 121.8 billion streams, 122.2 billion in 2017, 91.8 billion in 2016.

●        In 2017 were two songs that had more than two million song downloads, in 2016 there were five and 16 in 2015. In 2018 there was not a single song that broke one million sales. In 2017, there were only 14 songs that sold more than one million song downloads compared to 36 in 2016 and 60 songs in 2015.

●        The top 1,000 song sales accounted for 92.3 million sales (23% of all song sales); which is down drastically from 170.9 million sales in 2017 (a drop of 53%).


Industry Trends - Genre

●        The Hip-Hop/Rap genre had the largest genre-share of total album consumption, 21.7% up from 17.5% in 2017. Pop and Rock followed with 20.1% and 14% respectively.


●        For the third year in a row, Hip-Hop/Rap was the top genre in terms of total song consumption, 24.7% up from 20.9% in 2017, with Pop second at 19% share followed by Rock at 12%.

●        For the past three years, Urban songs (Hip-Hop/Rap and R&B) were the most streamed songs among all genres.  In 2018 they accounted for 36% of all on-demand streams, up from 32% in 2017. 19.3% were from Pop titles, up from 15.6% in 2017.

●        Streaming of titles in the Rock genre (including Rock, Alternative, Metal, Indie Rock, Punk) went from 19% in 2017 down to 11% in 2018.  11% were Latin songs.


●        Album titles from the Rock & Pop genres each accounted for 26% of all album sales in 2018.  In 2017, they accounted for 29% and 19.7% respectively.  In addition, 13% of all album sales were Country albums and 12% were Urban albums (Hip-Hop/Rap and R&B).

●        Just three years ago more than 65% of all vinyl album sales fell into the Rock genre.  In 2018, 42% of vinyl albums sold were from the Rock genre, down from 54% in 2017.  26% were Pop titles up from 14% in 2017 and 14.4% were Urban titles.

●        26% of song sales in 2018 were titles from the Pop genre, 25% were Urban songs, and Rock and Country songs each accounted for 15% of song sales.

●        92% of Hip-Hop/Rap’s total consumption is from on-demand streams while only 3.7% is from album sales. 


Industry Trends - Release Period

●        Deep Catalogue titles, those released more than three years ago, accounted for 55% of all album sales in 2018, up from 51% in 2017.

●        For vinyl sales, deep catalogue titles continue to be the majority of sales, climbing to 66% and for video streams it is 57%.

●        Nearly two out of every three songs streamed in 2018 were titles released more than 18 months ago and 50% of all total on-demand streams were released more than three years ago.

●        New titles, less than eight weeks old, represented 11% of all streams, 19% of album sales, down slightly from 21% in 2017 and 23% of digital album sales.


Title Distribution

●        In 2018, the top 500 titles were responsible for greater than 30% of all album sales, 11% of all audio streams and 18% of all video streams.


●        The top 50 albums in 2018 accounted for 11% of all album sales, while less than 1% (0.7%) of all audio streams and 5% of all video streams came from the top 50 titles.

●        There were more than 1.2 million album titles that were purchased at least once in 2018, down from 1.4 million in 2017.

●       In 2018, there were 496,200 song titles that were streamed through a video streaming service, down slightly from 504,215 in 2017.


Calculation Notes:                                                                                               

The 2018 measurement period is 12/29/2017 through 12/27/2018                                                           

The 2017 measurement period is 12/30/2016 through 12/28/2017                                                                                                           

Album Consumption is calculated as follows:                                              

Total Album Project Units (Audio Streams) = Album Sales + (Song Sales/10) + (On-Demand Audio Streams/1500)                                                        

Total Album Project Units (Total Streams) = Album Sales + (Song Sales/10) + (On-Demand Audio Streams/1500) + (On-Demand Video Streams/1500)                                                                                                 

Song Consumption is calculated as follows:                                                 

Total Song Project Units (Audio Streams) = Song Sales + (On-Demand Audio Streams/150)                                                  

Total Song Project Units (Total Streams) = Song Sales + (On-Demand Audio Streams/150) + (On-Demand Video Streams/150)                                                                                                       

Album Sales Weighting:                                                   

BuzzAngle Music does not providing any weighting factors on the physical album sales market. All units are exactly as reported from the retailers.                                                                                                      


Retailer/DSP Reporting Notices:                                                

Tidal stopped reporting their streams at the end of July, 2017.                                                                                                          

Release Period Category Definitions:                                                     

New: Releases up to 8 weeks old                                                 

Recent: Releases greater than 8 weeks old and up to 78 weeks old                                                 

Catalogue: Releases greater than 78 weeks old and up to 156 weeks old                                                        

Deep Catalogue: Releases greater than 156 weeks old                                     

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla
@anmollium / Anmol Raina

DIVINE (L) and Karan Aujla

Chart Beat

Karan Aujla & DIVINE Debut in Top 25 on Billboard Canadian Albums Chart

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE land the No. 22 spot on this week's Canadian Albums chart with their new collaborative release, 'Street Dreams.' On the Canadian Hot 100, Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em" ascends to No. 1, while Canadian pop artist Preston Pablo makes a debut.

B.C.-based Punjabi artist Karan Aujla and Indian rapper DIVINE are making moves together on Billboard's Canadian Albums chart this week, with their collaborative project, Street Dreams, debuting in the No. 22 spot.

The seven-track album, released Feb. 16, blends harder hip-hop and smooth R&B pop, the latter shining through especially on the Jonita Gandhi-assisted "Yaad." It's not Aujla's highest spot on the Albums chart — he reached No. 5 in 2023 with Making Memories, his collaboration with Canadian Punjabi artist Ikky — but it gives him some momentum going into his upcoming performance at the Juno Awards on Mar. 24, where he's nominated for TikTok Juno fan choice and breakthrough artist.

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