Music streaming leads impressive 2020 growth in audio despite COVID’s drawbacks

A year that has seen drops in sales and music consumption has defied the odds with continued growth thanks to the boom in music streaming.

In the last few years the music industry has been growing considerably with increasing revenues for the first time in over a decade in some countries. After the devastation caused by music piracy early in the millennium, streaming has been coming to the rescue.

Despite years of growth, thanks in large part to streaming, this year could have seen that boost undone by the impact of Coronavirus. Thankfully it seems streaming is still on the up so much that it’s bringing the whole music industry with it, Neilsen Music and MRC Data’s midyear report shows.

Their report shows that overall audio consumption in the US has grown 9.4% for the first half of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. Audio streaming was up an incredible 20% at the very start of the year.

Things changed after March and the report takes that into consideration. Whilst plummeting sales/revenues were seen across the board, especially in physical music, streaming maintained 13.8% growth in the most difficult period between March and June.

The effects of the Coronavirus have had an impact on people’s listening habits. For example, many fewer people are driving to work or for travel meaning that listening to music on the commute and in the car has been reduced. But that hasn’t stopped people listening at home or wherever they are.

In fact, Nielsen and MRC asked people about listening to music during such a troublesome year and 73% of people said that they “would go crazy without entertainment during this time”.

So streaming isn’t only boosting an injured industry, it’s giving people a much needed outlet and escape during these difficult times through the power of music.

Elsewhere vinyl records have seen impressive growth, starting the year with an impressive 20% rise in sales. Since March they have slowed down but are still growing in spite of setbacks to the point where they are now a bigger industry than CDs for the first time since the 1980s.

Writing about music, listening to music, and occasionally playing music.

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