By The Numbers: Canada 2019 Year End Music Report

The numbers have been tallied for 2019 and for the past decade. What follows is a snapshot taken from the 49-page Nielsen Music/MRC Data Canada Year-End Report that was released Thursday.

By The Numbers: Canada 2019 Year End Music Report

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The numbers have been tallied for 2019 and for the past decade. What follows is a snapshot taken from the 49-page Nielsen Music/MRC Data Canada Year-End Report that was released Thursday.

All data cited in the report is compiled by Nielsen Music/MRC Data Canada. This report covers the 12-month period from Jan 4, 2019, through Jan 2, 2020 (as compared to Jan 5, 2018—Jan 3, 2019).

This year’s report marks the beginning of a new era for Nielsen Music/MRC Data, which on December 17 was acquired by Valence Media as the anchor unit for the company’s newly established MRC Data division. The asset creates “the most comprehensive global provider of data and analytics to the music industry and consumers, servicing and representing all digital service providers (DSPs), record labels, radio and music retailers.” Other companies in the Valence Media portfolio include dick clark productions, Billboard—The Hollywood Reporter Media Group, MRC Film & Television and MRC Non-Fiction.



Data Highlights

Aggregated numbers for total Album equivalent consumption that combines sales and on-demand channels give an 18.1% lift over equivalent 2018 data, for a TEA ‘consumption’ tally of 75.4M.

On-demand audio song streams increased in the year by 31.2%

On-demand video songs increased by 59.7%. 

Combined on-demand streams increased by 36.8%.

Total physical Album sales declined 23.3%, to 10.4M copies.

Digital Album sales declined 24.5%, to 3.8M copies.

CD sales declined 26%, to 5.5M copies.

Vinyl LP sales increased by 2.2%, to 1.3M copies.

Digital Track sales declined 27.6%, to 32.9M downloads.

Catalogue vs Currents

Catalogue had 61% in the overall Album equivalents consumption; 59% in the Digital Albums category; 52% of the CD category; 67% of the Vinyl LP category; 64% of Digital Tracks; 61% of overall on-demand streams; 61% of on-demand audio; and 66% of on-demand video streams. 


Artists who hit Major Milestones

2019 was a big year for Shawn Mendes as duet singles and Juno wins drove new consumption highs for the Pickering native.  Following Mendes’ five wins at the Juno Awards on March 17, his streaming and digital song sales increased 5% and 62%, respectively. His two biggest hits of the year, Senorita and If I Can’t Have You, saw 114 million and 49 million in on-demand streaming respectively.

Celine Dion released her first English-language album in six years, Courage, in November. The album achieved 2019’s biggest single-week consumption for an album, earning 55,000 equivalent album units, and marked the best Canadian consumption week since Drake’s Scorpion in July 2018. Dion has sold over 8.3 million album sales since Nielsen Music began tracking data in 1995, more than any other artist (and 3 million more than the No. 2 best-seller, Eminem). 

Other local acts that achieved new consumption highs in 2019 include classical composer Alexandra Streliski, electronic-pop singer Frank Walker and pop singer/songwriter Lennon Stella.

K-Pop Won’t Stop

Korean acts found success across multiple formats, including notable achievements from BTS and BLACKPINK. With 30 million on-demand streams, Boy with Luv (featuring Halsey) was BTS’ most-consumed song to date in Canada.  BLACKPINK took Canada by storm when the girl group's album Kill This Love became its first to reach the top 10 of the Canadian Albums Chart, with 2 million first-week on-demand audio streams in April.


Hits of the Decade

Adele is the top Album Artist of the 2010s, as her albums 21 and 25 are the decade’s No. 1 and No. 2 bestsellers, respectively. They are also the only two titles to have sold over 1 million copies each during the time period. Adele finishes the decade with nearly 3 million total albums sold, 1 million more than the runner-up, Eminem.


Adele and Mumford & Sons each have two albums in the top 10 Albums of the 2010s, while Michael Bublé’s Christmas is the top-selling album from a Canadian artist (No. 3 overall).

Three Canadian artists place in the top 10 of the highest-selling Album Artists of the 2010s:  Michael Bublé at No. 3, Justin Bieber at No. 5 and Celine Dion at No. 7.

Rounding out the top 10 are two legendary catalogue artists, The Beatles (No. 6) and Elvis Presley (No. 10), and pop stars Taylor Swift and One Direction.

Top Digital Songs of the 2010s

Pop stars dominate the top 10 Digital Songs Artists of the 2010s, with Taylor Swift at No. 1, Rihanna at No. 3, Katy Perry at No. 4, Maroon 5 at No. 6, Ed Sheeran at No. 8 and Adele at No. 10.

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s blockbuster Despacito is the No. 1 Digital Song of the 2010s, while Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons and The Chainsmokers each have two songs in the top 10.

Top Streaming Songs of the 2010s

Eight artists scored more than 1 billion streams in Canada for the decade. Canadian rapper Drake boasts the most with more than 3 billion streams, over 1 billion more than the runner-up, Eminem. Ed Sheeran, Post Malone, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Taylor Swift and Rihanna also crossed the 1 billion thresholds during the 2010s.

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s Despacito was the No. 1 Streaming Song of the 2010s, followed by Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You. Proving how much of a blockbuster the song was this year, the 2019 release Old Town Road by Lil Nas X is the No. 3 Streaming Song. Drake’s God’s Plan is the most-streamed song from a Canadian artist, at No. 9.

Top Radio Songs of the 2010s


Five of the most played artists at radio in the decade belong to rock acts, including three Canadian artists. Bryan Adams is the No. 1 most played, followed by The Tragically Hip at No. 6 and Nickelback at No. 7. Maroon 5 is the top pop act (No. 2 overall), and Shania Twain is the top country act (No. 14 overall). Adams also is the No. 1 Airplay Audience Artist of the 2010s, followed by U2 and The Tragically Hip.

Despite its 2009 release, Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling is the top Radio Song of the 2010s. Kid Rock’s 2007 hit All Summer Long is the second most played song. Avicii’s Wake Me Up is the most-played song released during the 2010s (and No. 3 overall for the decade.) Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe is the most played song by a Canadian artist in the 2010s and No. 6 overall.

Vinyl’s continuing resurgence

Billie Eilish highlights another growth year for LP format. Two titles from Billie Eilish helped buck the catalogue trend among the year’s top 10 best-selling vinyl albums, as her debut full-length When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go? and 2017 EP Don’t Smile at Me finished 2019 as the No. 2 and No. 4 bestsellers, respectively.


Vinyl finished the year with a 2.2% increase in total sales volume, to 1.03 million units.  It also accounted for 16% of all physical sales throughout the year, compared to 84% for CDs.

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