Here’s a cheering stat for the global music business, the amount of music streamed in the United States in the first half of this year grew by the largest volume ever seen.
According to new figures released by Nielsen Music, vinyl album sales were up 19.2 percent in the first half of 2018, with 7.6 million vinyl albums sold so far and White’s third solo album, Boarding House Reach, is the year’s top-selling vinyl record, with 37,000 copies sold.
Of that figure, 268.2 billion streams were on audio platforms (+45.4%) and 135.2 billion were on video platforms (+34.7%).
The total jump in US-based, on-demand music stream volume from first half of 2017 to first half of 2018 was 118.6 billion plays.
That’s more than the first half annual volume growth seen in 2017, 2016 or any prior year.
Similarly, the annual mid-year growth in total US audio music streams in H1 2018 stood at 83.8 billion (i.e. from 184.4 billion to 268.2 billion) again, the biggest jump in history.
The rise in six-month video music streaming volume, however at 34.8 billion, was smaller than that seen in 2015, when the year-on-year jump stood at 40 billion.
Physical album sales in the States fell 14.6% year-on-year to 41.3 million, although within this vinyl LP sales grew again – up 19.2% to 7.6 million.
Meanwhile, digital track sales continued to fall, down 27.4% on H1 2017 to 223.1 million.
Taking a more historical view, that track download number (223.1 million) is less than half the volume of digital track sales seen as recently as 2015 (531.6 million).
Digital album sales volume fell 21.7% year-on-year in the first half of 2018, down to 27.5 million.
Across all formats, using Nielsen/Billboard’s ‘equivalent consumption’ metrics, Post Malone (pictured, main) was judged the US’s biggest artist of the first six months of 2018.
The act racked up 2.625 million ‘total album equal consumption’ in the period, with 324,000 pure album sales, 2.03 million track downloads and 3.146 billion on-demand audio streams.
The third biggest audio streaming artist of H1 2018 in the US was the sadly departed XXX Tentacion, followed by Migos and J Cole.