A new report from BuzzAngle Music spells a promising, but changing, landscape for the future of the music industry. Examining industry trends and highlights throughout 2018, BuzzAngle attempts to create an accurate road map for the following year.


Overall, music consumption has grown by double digit percentages in 2018. According to the report, total consumption grew 16.2% over 2017, which already showed a 12.8% increase over 2016. More people are listening to more music than ever before. (The number of unique titles audio-streamed in 2018 totaled 3M more than in 2017, a 9.2% increase.) Including both audio and video sources, total streams were over 809 Billion for 2018. With a ‘B.’

No doubt part of this is due to the massive rise in Asian pop groups like BLACKPINK, Baby Metal, and BTS going absolutely viral, but American and European artists like Drake and Ed Sheeran are doing their fair share, as well.

However, the rise in streaming is also indicative of the death of sales.

“Album sales and song sales continued to decline, 18.2% and 28.8% respectively,” states the report, “and physical sales declined 15.3%.” Though vinyl sales continued to grow, with an increase of 11.9% over 2016, the total number of sales (8.6M) is still a far cry from CD sales even in their declining state (74.5M).

Regarding music exploration, the future is bright. There were only nine songs that were streamed more than 500 million times in 2018, compared to 16 in 2017, six in 2016 and two in 2015. However, there were 417 songs that streamed more than 100 million times in 2018, compared to 383 songs in 2017, 226 songs in 2016 and 111 songs in 2015. This shows that while consumers still appreciate the hits, they’re also broadening their taste and expanding into new territories. You can thank features like Spotify’s Discovery playlists for a lot of this.

Still, for the second straight year, Drake took the three largest awards: Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Scorpion, and Song of the Year, “God’s Plan.”

You can read the full report available here.