It’s official: Streaming is now the number one way Americans listen to music

It’s been a trend for some time, but now it’s official: Americans consume more music through on-demand streaming than digital album and track sales from services like iTunes.

That’s according to a recent report from research firm Nielsen, which said that 2016 was the first year to officially mark the shift to streaming. What’s more, Nielsen says sales of digital albums declined even faster than those of physical albums, as a result of the massive shift to streaming through YouTube, Spotify, and the like.

This chart from Statista shows just how stark the shift was. Year-over-year, Nielsen says audio streams were up 76.4%, while digital album and track sales were both down more than 20%.

Music consumption chart

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