Streaming in the US rocketed 35.2% in the first quarter of 2017, according to new figures from Nielsen Music.
The total number of stream was up from 86.1 billion in Q1 2016 to 51.65 billion in Q1 2017.
The growth in streaming across the pond follows last year’s overall increase of 39.2% to 432 billion on-demand streams from 2015's 310 billion.
Programmed streaming was also on the up in Q1, increasing to 3.1 billion streams in the first quarter of 2017, versus 2.08 billion. That represents a 49.2% increase in the same period in 2016. It’s worth noting, however, that online radio service Pandora is not represented in these figures, as it does not report to Nielsen.
The gargantuan success of Ed Sheeran was also in evidence in the US throughout Q1, with the UK star’s hit single Shape Of You crowned as the No.1 selling song with 1.58 million downloads. Meanwhile, ÷ was the best selling album of the period, hitting total sales of 503,000.
On the physical front, sales suffered a sharp decline, falling 21.2% to 22.66 million units from 28.77 million in Q1 2016. Meanwhile, digital albums dropped 18.9 % to 17.7 million units from 21.8 million units, and digital slumped 23.8% to 158.4 million units from 207.9 million.
In total, US music consumption grew 5.9% in the first quarter of 2016.
James Donio, president of the Music Business Association (Music Biz), commented on Nielsen Music’s Q1 2017 sales numbers, which were issued via Billboard: “Nielsen’s Q1 2017 music numbers indicate that the overall upward momentum generated last year is continuing. Music consumption was up 5.9% from Q1 2016. That number was fueled once more by massive growth in the streaming sector.
“In terms of top albums and songs, Ed Sheeran proved to be the dominant force of Q1 2017, topping the albums chart with ÷ (Divide) and the digital songs chart with Shape of You,” he continued. “Up-and-coming hip-hop act Migos had the most-streamed song of the quarter via on-demand services with Bad And Boujee, and the La La Land soundtrack claimed No.1 on the vinyl albums chart. We can’t wait to see which artists, albums, and tracks will resonate with listeners in the next quarter.”