74.5% of music consumption in the United States now results from catalog releases


Even with an almost 10% increase in audio streams in the United States, catalog releases in 2021 accounted for nearly 75% of national music consumption. Photo credit: MRC data

Catalog releases – or tracks that debuted over 18 months ago – saw a 24.8% year-over-year increase in consumption in the United States in 2021 and accounted for nearly three-quarters of national listening, even as total audio streams in the United States grew nearly 10 percent year-over-year.

These and other interesting statistics were revealed in MRC Data’s new 2021 year-end report. In addition to the 9.9% increase in on-demand song streaming in the United States (which ended at 1.13 trillion streams), global on-demand audio streams (not counting video) jumped 26.3% year-on-year to 2.74 trillion, according to the analysis.

Despite the improvement – and in particular the growth of audio streams in the United States – the consumption share of catalog versions in the United States jumped from 24.8% year-on-year, as reported, to 74.5%, according to the report.

And despite the strong streaming performance of 2021 tracks from Olivia Rodrigo, Adele, and BTS, to name a few, out-of-catalog consumption, covering releases under 18 months, fell 33.6%. in 2020 to 25.5% in 2021, by the failure.

When it comes to the 2021 growth in US streaming volume and catalog consumption, it’s worth highlighting that some older tracks found younger audiences after going viral on social media. Predictably, according to the report, 99% of Gen Z residents of the United States use streaming services to enjoy music, compared to 98% of Gen Y and 96% of Gen X, with each total easily exceeding those of other nations.

Perhaps the most telling data on that front, however, is on America’s baby boomers, 89% of whom play music weekly, according to the text. Mexico ranked second in the category, with 75% of residents aged 56 to 74 using streaming services to access music “in a typical week.”

But the figure (and the percentages for other generations) is relatively low in the largest music markets in the world except the United States, including the United Kingdom (41% of baby boomers broadcast music. music in a typical week), Japan (34%) and Germany. (37 percent).

Also in terms of national listening trends in 2021, total US album consumption – encompassing actual albums, track-equivalent albums (10 digital tracks per album), and stream-equivalent albums (1,250 premium streams / 3,750 ad-supported streams per album) – grew 11.3% year-on-year, to 893.1 million, according to MRC Data.

As a result of this growth in streaming and a major year-over-year gain in vinyl sales in the United States, total United States album sales, both digital and physical, reached 109 million (in 6.3% year-over-year increase), according to the document.

In line with recently released data in other markets, vinyl continued to grow in the United States in 2021, when consumers purchased 41.7 million vinyl records, 51.4% more than in 2020, and enough to exceed CDs and their 40.6 million units shipped to the United States during the year. The latter total nevertheless reflects a 1.1% year-over-year improvement for the format.

Finally, Morgan Wallen Dangerous: the double album placed first on the list of best albums, its total consumption of album equivalents of 3.23 million in 2021 surpassing that of Olivia Rodrigo. Sour (2.86 million) and Drake’s Boy in love certified (1.97 million).

that of Adele 30 placed first on the list of best albums in terms of total sales (1.46 million units), also at the top of the ranking for digital album sales (245,000 units) and physical sales (1.22 million units), including 318,000 vinyl units sold.


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