The total volume of on-demand music streams, which include both video and audio streams such as those from Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora, among others, increased 93 percent in the United States in 2015, according to recently released data from Nielsen Music. Total streams rose from 164 billion in 2014 to 317 billion in 2015.
There were six songs to surpass 400 million on-demand streams last year, compared to none the year before, when the most-streamed song of 2014, Katy Perry’s Dark Horse, only racked up 268 million plays.
Southern-influenced rapper Fetty Wap had the most-streamed track of 2015, with his hit single Trap Queen accruing 616 million total streams.
It was a good year for beat-heavy music. The biggest genres fueling the streaming increase were hip-hop and R&B, which combined to capture six out of the top ten most-streamed songs of last year. That’s an interesting change from 2014, a year that only saw four hip-hop or R&B songs make the top ten.
As the popularity of streaming music continues to rise, payouts to artists will increase with it, but due to the decreased overall revenue they are seeing from streaming as opposed to physical or digital download sales, some musicians, such as current worldwide phenom Adele, are still opting to stay stream-free.
Interestingly enough, Adele’s video streams alone were enough to earn her a spot in the top ten this year, with nearly 200 million streams since she first released the music video for her latest smash hit, Hello.
As streaming becomes more and more popular, and more and more profitable, major artists will likely be more financially incentivized to opt-in rather that out of streaming services, and with near triple-digit growth in digital playback, streaming is only becoming more of a force to be reckoned with.