BuzzAngle may have come out of the gates first with its estimates for US music consumption in 2018, but now Nielsen – with its official chart-tracking status – has published its own figures.

The company says that total ‘album equivalent consumption’ was up 23% in the US in 2018, driven by a 49% increase in on-demand audio song streams. That compares to BuzzAngle’s claims of a 16.2% rise in overall consumption, and 41.8% growth in on-demand audio streams – a considerable difference.

Nielsen says there were 611bn on-demand audio song streams in 2018 in the US, while BuzzAngle says there were 534.6bn – clients of both companies will be keen to understand why there’s such a gap between their figures on this key metric. Nielsen added that once video (i.e. YouTube) is factored in, total US on-demand music streams surpassed 900bn in 2018.

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