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Nielsen Music/MRC Data publishes its latest Covid-19 study

Research firm Nielsen Music/MRC Data has been diligently surveying music fans on their Covid-19 entertainment habits in recent months. This week, the sixth release of its study has been published.

Among the updated findings: there’s been a jump both in the percentage of people who’ve added a new subscription streaming service (from 31% in early June to 42% in early July) AND who’ve cancelled a subscription streaming service (from 33% to 40%).

The question covered entertainment generally, so video streaming as well as music streaming. Of those people who’ve added one or more streaming subscriptions, 79% said they’d added a video service; 56% a music service; and 17% a gaming service.

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Canada music consumption up 5.7% this year despite Covid-19

Nielsen Music / MRC Data has published its mid-year report on the Canadian music market, revealing that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, total audio consumption rose by 5.7% in Canada in the first half of 2020.

That’s based on the research firm’s formula blending album and track sales with on-demand audio streams. Breaking that down, Canadians streamed 42.2bn on-demand audio tracks in the first half of this year, up by 16.7% year-on-year.

That was enough to outweigh a sharp decline in total album sales (down 38.4% to 3.1m units for digital and physical combined) and a 26.6% drop in digital track sales.

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Despite Covid-19, US on-demand audio streams are up 16.2%

There’s been a gruesome pull to watching the week-by-week audio stream totals in the US during the Covid-19 pandemic: fretting about the dip in streams in the early weeks of the global crisis, then welcoming their return to growth – while nervously wondering how many people might be thinking of cancelling their paid music subscriptions to cut costs.

Nielsen Music / MRC Data, which provides that weekly data, has now stepped back for a wider view of 2020 so far for music consumption in the US, with its mid-year report. The good news: on-demand audio streams have grown by 16.2% year-on-year to 419.8bn in the first half of 2020.

The report makes it clear that Covid-19 had an impact though. Those streams were up by 20.4% in the period up until 12 March, but the year-on-year growth was 13.8% over the rest of the first half of 2020 – leading to the 16.2% average for the six-month period. Total audio consumption – a metric that covers streams and sales in the US – grew by 9.4%.

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Covid-19: US music industry ‘missed out on nearly 900m streams’

Research firm Nielsen Music/MRC Data has published the ‘fifth wave’ of its ongoing study of Covid-19’s impact on the music and entertainment industries, based on surveys in the US up to the week of 10-14 June.

Among the findings: audio and video music streams have recovered from their initial decline in the early weeks of the US locking down, and a second dip in early June coinciding with protests across the country.

The net impact of those declines, though: “Given how streaming was trending, we can approximate the industry missed out on nearly 900 million streams,” suggests the report.