Nielsen report: Adele smashed records; vinyl sales were up!

Written by Scott Mervis on .

adelepicThe Nielsen U.S. Music Year-End Report for 2015 was released Wednesday, revealing that Adele is very popular, so is Taylor Swift, and that while CD and digital sales were down, vinyl was up.

Among the facts in the report:

- More than 317 billion songs were streamed on-demand last year through audio and video platforms, an increase of 92.8 percent from 2014. 

- Adele obliterated the first-week Nielsen SoundScan record for weekly album sales with over 3.377 million units for “25,” breaking the record previously held by ‘N Sync’s album “No Strings Attached” (2.416 million).

“25” became the first album to scan more than 1 million in multiple weeks, selling 1.112 million in week two and 1.157 million in week three. Her total sales were 8 million.

- Swift's "1989" (from 2014) was the second-biggest seller with sales of 3.1 million.

- Total album sales were down 6 percent at 241.4 million compared to 2014’s 257 million. The breakdown was 125.6 million CDs, 103.3 million digital and 11.9 million vinyl.

- It was the 10th straight year of growth for vinyl LPs, which were up 30 percent, while still accounting for less 5 percent of sales. 68 percent of the vinyl sales were rock.

- The biggest selling vinyl LPs were Adele (116k) and Taylor Swift (74k) followed by “Dark Side of the Moon” (50k) and “Abbey Road” (49.8k).

- Rock is the biggest-selling genre, with nearly 33 percent of all album sales, followed by R&B/hip-hop at 18.2 percent and pop at 15.7 percent. Country is 8.5 percent and jazz is 1.3.

- R&B/Hip-hop is the dominant streaming genre at 21 percent of streams.

- The Wiz Khalifa/Charlie Puth hit “See You Again” was the third biggest-selling digital song at 3.8 million, following Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” (5.5) and Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” (3.9).


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