Drake outpaces Adele for top mid-year sales
If you want to paint a picture of the ever-shifting music landscape, look no further than Views.
Drake’s latest is the top-selling album of 2016 so far with 2.6 million equivalent album units sold since April, according to Nielsen Music’s mid-year report. The colossal haul reflects a tracking metric adopted by the Billboard 200 albums chart in 2014, which counts 1,500 song streams as one album sale and 10 digital track sales as a single album sold. Views accumulated 1.5 billion streams, 3.2 million song downloads and 1.3 million traditional album sales.
That most people are choosing to stream Views — in a year where digital album and song sales are down 18 per cent and 24 per cent, respectively — shows that streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal are fast becoming the go-to methods for music consumption.
“The growth of (streaming) is exploding,” says David Bakula, Nielsen Entertainment’s senior vice president of analytics. With Drake, “it’s one of those things where you’ve got the right artist, the right fan base that is very active on streaming platforms and the right partner in Apple (Music),” which premièred Views exclusively on its service.”
But how impressive is Drake’s reign? When it comes to pure albums (both physical and digital), Adele actually tops mid-year sales with last year’s 25, which sold 1.4 million copies between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2016, and only hit streaming services in mid-June. And although Drake’s One Dance is the year’s most “consumed” digital song when you factor in its 286.4 million streams, Flo Rida’s My House easily bests it in sales (1.9 million downloads vs. Dance’s 1.4 million).
Overall, total album sales dropped 14 per cent from the first six months of last year (100.3 million), while digital song sales plunged 24 per cent (404.3 million).
But there are still some bright spots among the buying masses: Vinyl sales rose 3 per cent to make up 12 per cent of all physical music business.
So far, Drake is out in front.