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Over the course of the first six months of 2017, listeners in the US initiated 184.3 billion on-demand audio streams. That's an increase of 62 percent versus the same period a year earlier, Nielsen notes. When streaming video is factored into the equation, the figure climbs to 284.7 billion.
Nielsen also reports that weekly on-demand audio streams surpassed seven billion for the first time during the week ending March 9.
Several artists including Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Future have made the most of 2017 thus far.
After headlining the Super Bowl halftime show in February, Lady Gaga saw sales increase 844 percent the following week (with digital track sales climbing 1,580 percent). Overall on-demand streams shot up 210 percent during the same period.
Kendrick Lamar saw his album DAMN spend three weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 chart with songs from the record earning 341 million streams in the first week. Lamar also gained 53,000 Facebook likes, had 380,000 people talking about him on the platform and added 113,000 new Twitter followers during the album's first week of availability.
Drake set a new record for audio on-demand streams in a single week with 385 million streams for his album More Life which debuted in mid-March. Rapper Future, meanwhile, became the first to have back-to-back number one debuts in successive weeks on the Billboard 200 with his albums Future and HNDRXX.
Lady Gaga image via Rolling Stones