Streaming music and video reached new heights in 2015, Nielsen finds

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Streaming music and video services enjoyed impressive growth in 2015. According to a year-end report from Nielsen, on-demand audio services grew 83 percent while video streaming increased 101.9 percent year-over-year.

The rise in popularity of streaming continues to cannibalize album sales. Sales in 2015 across all platforms were down 6.1 percent, from 257 million in 2014 to just 241.4 million. Digital track sales continue to slide as well, down 12.5 percent to 964.8 million tracks last year.

Digital music as a whole, which includes digital albums, track equivalent albums and streaming equivalent albums, increased an impressive 26 percent.

Interestingly enough, sales of vinyl LPs continued to grow in 2015, setting a new all-time high with nearly 12 million units sold. Nielsen said 2015 marked the 10th straight year of growth in the category, passing last year's previous record by 2.8 million units.

Something else that may come as a surprise in this digital age is how we discover music. Last year, a whopping 61 percent of people said they heard new music first on the radio. Friends and relatives accounted for 45 percent of music discovery followed by 31 percent that said they hear new tunes from movies. Only 27 percent of respondents said they discover new music via online audio / streaming apps and services.

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A whopping 61% heard new music from the radio,now why does that sound familiar?


TS Evangelist
Digital music is simply overpriced.
Why would I pay $15 for al album when I can pay 5 Bucks a month as a student and get unlimited streaming and offline listening? Of course I'm a huge fan of physical media too but it's also overpriced...