Nielsen has released some initial data from its upcoming, comprehensive 2014 year-end music report. Overall on-demand streaming of music (both audio and video) grew by 54 percent last year, from 106 billion streams in 2013 to 164 billion in 2014.
"Digital music consumption continues its robust growth, with On-Demand streaming up 54 percent over last year and 164 billion song streams being played in 2014," says David Bakula, SVP Industry Insights, Nielsen Entertainment. "Although overall music sales are showing declines, Vinyl album sales were up 52 percent in 2014, shattering last year’s record-setting total by more than 3 million LPs. In 2014, Vinyl album sales accounted for more than six percent of all physical albums sales."
Vinyl album sales grew by an impressive 52 percent in 2014, from 6.1 million records in 2013 to 9.2 million last year. This is the highest year for vinyl sales since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan first began tracking music sales. Vinyl album sales have increased (year-over-year) for the past nine consecutive years.
However, overall album sales were down by 11 percent in 2014, from 289.4 million in 2013 to 257 million last year. Digital album sales dropped nine percent to 106.5 million (from 117.6 million in 2013) and digital song sales dipped 12 percent to 1.1 billion from 1.26 billion the year before. According to Nielsen, 41 percent of all albums sold in 2014 were digital downloads, the same number as 2013.
Taylor Swift's 1989 was the top-selling album of 2014, with over 3.66 million copies sold, which is even more impressive considering the album was only released in late October. The 2013 release of the Frozen soundtrack was the second-biggest seller last year, followed by Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour, That's Christmas To Me from Pentatonix and the Guardians of the Galaxysoundtrack.
"Happy" from Pharrell Williams was the top-selling digital single of 2014, with over 6.45 million sales. John Legend's "All Of Me" was #2, followed by "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry, Meghan Trainor's breakthrough hit "All About That Bass" and "Fancy" from Iggy Azalea f/Charli XCX.