The week ending 27 August saw just under 15.7m music downloads sold in the US according to Nielsen Music, which is the lowest weekly total in nearly eight years. And in neat symmetry, the week also saw the highest ever total for audio and video streams: 6.6bn. Billboard has been picking over the figures, noting that the top-selling song last week only sold 92k downloads – the lowest chart-topper since December 2006 – while US download sales for 2015 so far are down 10% year-on-year.
Oh, and audio and video streams in the US are up 100% year-on-year so far in 2015. As ever – and stop us if you’ve heard this one before – the pattern here is familiar, but it’s how that translates into revenues for rightsholders and how that income makes its way through to musicians and songwriters that’s important. Including the balance between video streams on YouTube, and audio streams through subscription services like Spotify, Google Play and now Apple Music. As a further data point for streaming’s growth, though, see Justin Bieber’s new single ‘What Do You Mean?’, which has just beaten One Direction to take Spotify’s record for first-week streams with 21m.