Tag Archives for " Nielsen Music "

January 30, 2017

Most Billboard Album Charts To Now Include Streaming

Billboard 200After updating the Billboard 200 chart to reflect both streaming and track sales a few years ago, Billboard is now doing the same for most of it’s other genre-based album charts as well.  The following charts will now reflect the new measurement methodology starting this week:

Top Country Albums

Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, plus:
-R&B Albums
-Rap Albums

Top Rock Albums, plus:
-Alternative Albums
-Hard Rock Albums
-Americana/Folk Albums

Top Latin Albums, plus:
-Latin Pop Albums
-Regional Mexican Albums
-Tropical Albums
-Latin Rhythm Albums

Top Dance/Electronic Albums

Top Gospel Albums

Top Christian Albums, plus:
-Christian/Gospel Albums

Soundtracks

Top Catalog Albums

Holiday Albums

The charts are still primarily based on sales, but 10 digital track sales from an album will equate to one equivalent album sale (TEA), and 1,500 on-demand song streams from an album will be equivalent to one album sale (SEA). Sales and streaming data is compiled by Nielsen Music. Billboard will also continue to publish pure album sales charts for the above genres using Nielsen’s sales data exclusively.

By moving to a “consumption” methodology, Billboard is trying to make sure that the top-ranked titles each week on the above charts align with the top titles of those genres on the Billboard 200.

The on-demand subscription services that provide the data for the charts are Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Music, Soundcloud, Slacker, Napster, Google Play, Groove Music and Medianet.

This is actually a good thing in that all the “official” charts will be measured the same way with data from physical sales, digital sales, and stream consumption. That said, with sales of both physical and digital costing more than streams, you have to wonder whether they’re worth more and should be pro-rated as such. This is a step in the right direction though, at least until music sales become a much smaller part of the picture.

Top Selling Albums Of 2016

Nielsen MusicAlbums just aren’t selling like they used to, and that goes for physical and digital. The end-of-the-year Nielsen numbers are out and they show that only 4 albums made it to platinum-level last year, which is sales of 1 million or more. If you add in sales of digital albums, you get 3 more, which is still way off from previous years.

We live in a streaming world, and that means that the single rules and consumers are buying far fewer individual albums, preferring to spend their money on a monthly streaming subscription instead. Here are the top 10 albums in the US for last year, both physical and digital.

Top Selling Physical Albums In The US In 2016

1 Adele, 25 1,731,000
2 Drake, Views 1,608,000
3 Beyonce, Lemonade 1,554,000
4 Chris Stapleton, Traveller 1,085,000
5 Pentatonix, A Pentatonix Christmas 904,000
6 Original Broadway Cast Recording, Hamilton: An American Musical 820,000
7 Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface 738,000
8 Prince, The Very Best of Prince 668,000
9 Rihanna, Anti 603,000
10 Justin Bieber, Purpose 554,000

Adele has had the top selling album in the US for 4 out of the last 6 years, something that’s never happened before.

 

Top Selling Digital Albums In The US In 2016

1 Drake, Views 1,299,000
2 Beyonce, Lemonade 1,200,000
3 Adele, 25 514,000
4 Chris Stapleton, Traveller 447,000
5 Original Broadway Cast Recording, Hamilton: An American Musical 422,000
6 Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface 377,000
7 Prince, The Very Best of Prince 371,000
8 J. Cole, 4 Your Eyez Only 356,000
9 Rihanna, Anti 347,000
10 Panic! at the Disco, Death of a Bachelor 334,000

The Album Is Dying, And Good Riddance

Album salesThe music business was once all about the single song, transitioned to the album, and looks to be transitioning back again, as album sales sink lower and lower. While the writing may be on the wall that the concept of an album may be as outmoded as a buggy whip, artists, bands and record labels continue to hang on to the idea rather than looking at the data before them. Like it or not, the album is clearly dying.

According to Billboard quoting the Nielsen Music mid-year report, album sales have fallen by 16.9% so far this year, but even more worrisome is the fact that albums by current artists aren’t catching on, falling by more than 20%. Digital album sales and CD sales continue to fall like a rock, with only vinyl sales increasing (although the growth has slowed to 11.4% with just 6.2 million sales – hardly enough to write home about in the grand scheme of things).

The fact of the matter is that in this Music 4.0 world we now live in, is there even a reason for an artist to automatically make an album without considering some other alternatives first?

Albums are expensive and time consuming to make and, for the most part, amount to a lot of wasted effort as consumers only listen to one or two songs (the singles) anyway even if they buy the album. Most people that get their music from a streaming service will end up cherry-picking the most visible songs (again, the singles), and will never experience the rest of the album cuts anyway. Even if they do, chances are they’ll only listen to each a few times at most, and in most cases, not at all. That’s a lot of wasted effort for so little in return.

The Album In The Age Of Digital
The album concept may actually have been over for a lot longer than it seems, since the sales numbers have been propped up artificially since the beginning of the digital age. Track equivalent-albums, where 10 downloads equal one album sale, never really represented a true album of 10 songs. Most of the time one or two songs that happen to be from the latest album release were downloaded over and over again, but to label bean counters, that somehow amounted to a purchase of a real album. Move ahead in time to the present and stream-equivalent albums (or SEA, where 1,500 streams equal one album sale) presents the same dilemma.

While this might have made a convenient apples sort-of to apples data point that made a balance sheet look good, the problem is that it doesn’t reflect the reality of 80 to 90% wasted resources, since most of the songs of an album are ignored both internally by the label’s marketing department, and by potential listeners. Still artists and labels insist on making a product that’s increasingly becoming irrelevant to current audiences. [Read more on Forbes…}

Which Music Genre Do We Like Best?

Rock's Not DeadRock's Not DeadIf you were to listen to a week of nothing but radio, you’d think that all we listen to in the U.S. is pop and country music. If you were to read a week’s worth of the music news, you might think that dance/electronic/EDM was close to the top of the heap in what we enjoy. The problem with those assumptions is that they’re wrong, at least according to the 2015 Nielsen Year End Music Report that, among other things, looked at each music genre and discovered which we liked the best last year.

When taking into account the total amount of music consumption, which includes physical and downloaded albums, downloaded tracks, and streams, here’s the order of music genre preference that the study determined:

Rock – 24.5%

R&B/Hip-Hop – 18.2%

Pop – 15.7%

Country – 8.5%

Latin – 4.5%

Dance/EDM – 3.4%

Christian – 2.8%

Holiday/Seasonal – 1.7%

Classical – 1.3%

Childrens – 1.1%

When it came to number of albums consumed, Rock was far ahead at 32.6%, followed byR&B/Hip-Hop at 15.1% and Pop at 22.6%.

For streams, R&B/Hip-Hop came out on top at 21.1%. Rock at 17.5%. and Pop at 14.5%.

Rock might not be the hippest music genre and it’s frequently portrayed in the press as spiraling downward in popularity and relevancy, but it still continues to out-perform other music genres, for better or worse.