Nielsen Music 2017 Year-End Music Report for Canada

The Nielsen Music 2017 Year-End Music Report was recently released and there is some interesting data located in its pages. Although total consumption of music is up, sales of both physical and digital music went down. The only thing to go up was the sale of Vinyl LP which rose 21.8% in 2017.

To help understand this info, you will need to know what a track equivalent album (TEA) is and what a stream equivalent albums (SEA) is. A TEA is 10 individual song downloads /purchases that are counted as 1 album. If there were 45 individual song downloads, that would be 4.5 TEAs. Because song downloads or purchases have a higher value than on-demand streaming of music, 1500 streams is equivalent to a single album and is called an SEA.

Nielsen Rating

Here is some of the data that was released.

Canadian Music Trends in 2017

-Total Consumption in Canada (Album + TEA + SEA) – 2017 = 49.5M , 2016 = 43.6M , Change of +13%

-Total Digital Music Consumption (Digital Albums + TEA + SEA) – 2017 = 38.4M , 2016 = 30.8 , Change of +24.6%

-Total On-Demand Streams – Audio – 2017 = 39.1B , 2016 = 22.9B , Change of +70.9%

-Total Album Sales – 2017 = 17.5M , 2016 = 21.1M , Change of -17.4%

-Total Album + TEA Sales – 2017 = 23.4M , 2016 = 28.5M , Change of -17.8%

-Digital Album Sales – 2017 = 6.3M , 2016 = 8.2M , Change of -22.7%

-Physical Album Sales – 2017 = 11.1M , 2016 = 12.9M , Change of -14.1%

-Vinyl LP Sales – 2017 = 804K , 2016 = 660K , +21.8%

-Digital Track Sales – 2017 = 60.0M , 2016 = 74.0M , -18.8%

Ed Sheeran was the most popular musician, destroying Taylor Swift and the Chainsmokers in categories of Top Artist (Total Album = TEA = SEA) , Top Album (“Divide” Album Sales + TEA + SEA), Top Song (“Shape of You”), and Top Radio Song (“Shape of You”). He doubled and tripled his 2nd and third place competition in 3 out of 4 of these categories.

Drake was the Top Artist and had the Top Album in the Hip Hop category. French Montana took the Top Song (“Unforgettable”) and The Weeknd took Top Radio Song (“I Feel it Coming”).



Live Music Trends

CBC Music Festival

The release also presented insights into the Canadian live music trends of the year.

-38% of Canadians attended a concert of some sort.

-26% of Canadians attended a small live music session like at a coffee shop.

-24% attended a music festival

-14% attended a live DJ at a club

-59% of annual music spend was on live music events.

-70% of attendees of live music events use social media



Other Data

Some other interesting numbers were the total number of CDs or Vinyl sold for the top albums. The top selling CD was Shania Twain’s “Now” which sold 100,000 copies. To compare, Shania Twain’s “Come On Over”, which was released in 1997, has sold over 2 million CDs/Cassettes. Ed Sheeran, the most listened to artist of the year by a long shot, only sold 89,000 CDs in Canada in 2017. He did have over 400 million streams though. He also sold the most Vinyl LPs at 4,900, ahead of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (4,000) and The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (3,900).

Here are some of the tables of data.

Nielsen Music Nielsen Music Nielsen Music Nielsen Music


For more information on Nielsen Ratings or to view the full report, please visit the Nielsen Music website.





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Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography