2016 was another successful year in music, with overall consumption rising 4.2% over 2015, marking the second year in a row with solid growth.
The continued explosion of audio stream consumption, which increased 82.6% to 250B streams, fueled this increase. Both album sales and song sales continued to decline but the transition to these new access methods has shown to provide overall growth and a sustainable business model for the future. Breaking down the tremendous streaming growth shows what is perhaps the most important stat of the year: the percentage of subscription streams rose from 62% of the total in 2015 to 76% of the total in 2016. The number of 2016 subscription streams grew over 2.25x the 2015 subscription streams amount.
In addition to providing the industry with a great business model, streaming services offer music lovers a much wider selection of music at their fingertips. In 2016, there were over 28M unique songs played via a streaming service compared to 7M songs that were purchased. An average day’s audio-streaming volume in 2016 (1.2B) was much larger than the entire year’s volume of song sales (734M). More music is being listened to by more people than ever before.