Nielsen Q3 SoundScan finds streaming doubles

Nielsen Q3 2015 soundscan

The latest quarterly SoundScan report from Nielsen found further growth in music streaming. It found that 232 billion tracks were streamed in the first nine months of 2015, up 96.4% from the year-ago period. Stream-equivalent albums also totally 154.6 million units, a rise of 96%. Nielsen calculates 1,500 streams as one album sale.

SoundScan also showed further declines for digital downloads. Digital album sales fell just a fraction of a percent from the year-ago period, but track sales dropped to 756.3 million from 848.5 million in the first three quarters of 2014. Billboard observed that catalog sales have been making steady gains against sales of new recordings since 2004. If the current trends hold, this could be the first year for current albums to be outsold by catalog ones.

Anna Washenko