In their annual report detailing music sales over the past year, the Nielsen Sound Scan showed the greatest trends for music sales and purchases. Unsurprisingly, music streaming is had it’s highest rate of streaming yet, with 164 billion streams in 2014. Considering our 21st century era with all sorts of app at our disposal to do this, it makes sense that streaming would be the highest medium for obtaining music. But, interestingly enough- no doubt driven by a Millenial trend- vinyl record sales saw a 52% increase over 2013. This shows that 2014 was a year where folks were getting back to the power of sitting and indulging in their music.
In terms of musical blockbusters, Disney‘s sleeper hit Frozen seemed to not just dominate the hearts and minds of little children everywhere, but indeed managed to put a spell on the sound charts. Coming in at number one album of the year across all media, the soundtrack to the movie was the dominant force and only Taylor Swift’s 1989 seemed to be able to compete. In looking at the top 10, the only true soul based artists that broke the barrier were Brit star Sam Smith with his debut album and Beyonce’s, still holding firm to her end-of-2013 megahit eponymous album.
Unfortunately, Nielesen reports hip hop and R&B as the same genre so it’s difficult to differentiate how the two sale independently. And yet and still, they manage to be the top listened to and purchased genres outside of rock music. Perhaps a bit problematic though for the record industry is that of all the music medium, streaming seems to be the most popular for hip-hop/R&B, with a whopping 28.5% of all streamed music coming from those two genres.
To get the full 2014 U.S. Music Year-End Report from Nielsen, check below the jump!
Nielsen Music Report Shows 2014 A Year of Both The Old And the New