Nielsen Releases Year-End Report: Best-Selling, Most-Streamed Everything Of 2016

There are no big surprises with Nielsen’s annual year-end report. Basically, streaming is up (by 76%, and now accounts for 38% of music consumption), digital sales continue to drop (but digital still remains the top platform for music consumers) and vinyl sales have increased for the 11th year in a row.

Chance The Rapper‘s Coloring Book (a 2016 Idolator favorite) is the first album to surpass 500,000 units in a year based on streams alone, Drake‘s Views was the most consumed album (4.1 million units) of 2016, Justin Timberlake‘s “Can’t Stop The Feeling” was the biggest seller (2.4 million) for singles and Adele‘s 25 ruled in LP sales (1.7 million) for the second year in a row. That said, Prince, who passed away in April 2016 and whose music is largely absent from streaming services, was the overall best-selling album artist, with over 5.4 million song sales and 2.2 million album sales throughout the past 12 months.

With regards to vinyl, Twenty One PilotsTop 10 mainstay Blurryface (68,000 sold in 2016) narrowly edged out David Bowie‘s Blackstar (66,000) as the year’s top seller.

“The music industry continues to grow at a healthy rate, and 2016 showed us that the landscape is evolving even more quickly than we have seen with other format shifts,” said David Bakula, SVP of Music Industry Insights, in a press release. “Thanks to the rapid emergence of new technologies and channels for discovery and engagement, consumers are finding and listening to more music in new ways.”

Below, see who sold and streamed the most throughout 2016, per Nielsen and Billboard.

TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2016, BY  EQUIVALENT ALBUM UNITS

1. Drake, Views (4,140,000) 2. Adele, 25 (2,369,000) 3. Beyonce, Lemonade (2,187,000) 4. Rihanna, Anti (1,966,000) 5. Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface (1,732,000) 6. Justin Bieber, Purpose (1,678,000) 7. Chris Stapleton, Traveller (1,421,000) 8. Broadway Cast Recording, Hamilton (1,327,000) 9. Soundtrack, Suicide Squad (1,126,000) 10. Ariana Grande, Dangerous Woman (1,070,000)

TOP 10 SELLING ALBUMS OF 2016

1. Adele, 25 (1,731,000) 2. Drake, Views (1,608,000) 3. Beyonce, Lemonade (1,554,000) 4. Chris Stapleton, Traveller (1,085,000) 5. Pentatonix, A Pentatonix Christmas (904,000) 6. Broadway Cast Recording, Hamilton (820,000) 7. Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface (738,000) 8. Prince, The Very Best of Prince (668,000) 9. Rihanna, Anti (603,000) 10. Justin Bieber, Purpose (554,000)

TOP 10 SELLING DIGITAL ALBUMS OF 2016

1. Drake, Views (1,299,000) 2. Beyonce, Lemonade (1,200,000) 3. Adele, 25 (514,000) 4. Chris Stapleton, Traveller (447,000) 5. Broadway Cast Recording, Hamilton (422,000) 6. Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface (377,000) 7. Prince, The Very Best of Prince (371,000) 8. J. Cole, 4 Your Eyez Only (356,000) 9. Rihanna, Anti (347,000) 10. Panic! at the Disco, Death Of A Bachelor (334,000)

TOP 10 SELLING VINYL ALBUMS OF 2016

1. Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface (68,000) 2. David Bowie, Blackstar (66,000) 3. Adele, 25 (58,000) 4. Amy Winehouse, Back To Black (58,000) 5. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool (57,000) 6. The Beatles, Abbey Road (54,000) 7. Bob Marley And The Wailers, Legend: The Best Of… (49,000) 8. Twenty One Pilots, Vessel (46,000) 9. Miles Davis, Kind Of Blue (42,000) 10. Lana Del Rey, Born to Die (39,000)

TOP 10 SELLING DIGITAL SONGS OF 2016

1. Justin Timberlake, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” (2,495,000) 2. The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey, “Closer” (2,268,000) 3. Flo Rida, “My House” (2,241,000) 4. Lukas Graham, “7 Years” (2,113,000) 5. Drake feat. WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance” (2,008,000) 6. Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out” (1,867,000) 7. Justin Bieber, “Love Yourself” (1,817,000) 8. The Chainsmokers feat. Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down” (1,795,000) 9. Rihanna feat. Drake, “Work” (1,767,000) 10 Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens” (1,748,000)

TOP 10 ON-DEMAND STREAMS OF 2016, AUDIO

1. Drake feat. WizKid & Kyla, “One Dance” (527,430,000) 2. Rihanna feat. Drake, “Work” (346,914,000) 3. The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey, “Closer” (340,908,000) 4. Rihanna, “Needed Me” (322,059,000) 5. Desiigner, “Panda” (320,828,000) 6. The Chainsmokers feat. Daya, “Don’t Let Me Down” (310,596,000) 7. Drake feat. Rihanna, “Too Good” (275,837,000) 8. D.R.A.M. feat. Lil Yachty, “Broccoli” (268,790,000) 9. Drake, “Controlla” (267,647,000) 10. G-Eazy feat. Bebe Rexha, “Me, Myself & I” (252,230,000)

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