COVID-19 can’t stop the streams: How music streaming has grown even more in 2020

Despite what some had predicted, music streaming has continued to grow worldwide in 2020 in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis.

Nielsen Music / MRC Data have given us our first insight into what happens to music in a global pandemic. As expected, album sales have dropped of for the year but 7 months into 2020 it seems like music streaming is continuing it’s long-running growth, even now.

The new report shows how activity on popular music streaming services was up 20.4% over 2019 at the start of the year. Whilst exactly how much music streaming has grown in the last year has slightly dropped in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic it was still 13.8% higher between March 13th and July 2nd.

Some analysts predicted that we might see music streaming see it’s first drops in popularity in years as less people listened to music in the car and couldn’t go to the gym. Whilst growth has slowed, music streaming is still undeniably getting more popular at home – and to be fair, we’d be going mad on lockdown if we didn’t have good music to accompany us.

Hip-Hop and R&B are undoubtedly the leading genres in music as we move into the new decade. 9 out of the 10 most listened to artists were hip-hop and R&B artists and Roddy Rich takes the most streamed spot so far this year with his track The Box earning more than 1 billion streams.

Elsewhere vinyl record sales have also been growing, continuing their trend of returning to popularity as people look to the old format for the physical side of their music library. LP sales grew by 11.2% from last year as approximately 9.2 million records have been sold in the first 6 months of 2020.

Music sales however have unsurprisingly continued to drop, seeing a larger decline than usual after the impact of the Coronavirus. Nielsen Music / MRC Data showed that music sales fell over 25% between March 13th and July 2nd. Physical album sales dropped 20.3% whilst digital album sales fell 14.3%.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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