Nielsen Reports Major Jump in On-Demand Audio Streaming

According to Nielsen, on-demand audio streams — including music, podcasts and spoken word recordings — reached a new milestone for the U.S. market when the figure reached 7.5 billion during the week ending March 9. In its latest mid-year report, the measurement firm indicates that 184 billion on-demand audio streams this year mark a significant 62.4 percent increase over the same period last year. In addition, there has been more than 284 billion on-demand audio and video streams combined this year, a 36.4 percent jump over the same period in 2016.

Nielsen previously noted that podcast consumption by adults had doubled over five years. While its latest figures do not distinguish between music and other audio, “the rise of streaming music services like Spotify and Apple Music have surely played a role in reaching the new milestones,” suggests TechCrunch.


Meanwhile, Nielsen points to a 17 percent drop in physical album sales and 20 percent in digital albums. Track equivalent albums, which refers to 10 song sales, were also down 20 percent.

TechCrunch adds, “the top streaming on-demand song during the report’s time frame (including both audio and video combined) was Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You,’ with over 2 million downloads sold and 4.53 million units (i.e., metrics from on-demand streaming).”

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN is the top album in total volume so far this year. Other leading artists include Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber.