UNTIL today, we thought Drake’s Views was
the best-selling album of 2016, but new music
industry figures suggest otherwise.
According to the IFPI’s annual report, both
Beyonce’s Lemonade and Adele’s 25 shifted more
copies worldwide.
Beyonce topped the chart with 2.4 million
sales, while Drake came third, having sold 2.1
million units.
The figure only includes CDs, vinyl and
downloads – which may explain Drake’s sudden
change in fortunes.
Once streaming is counted, he emerges as the
most popular artist of 2016; with his inescapable
single One Dance the year’s most popular song.
The explosion in streaming services also
helped the music industry grow in value for the
second year in a row, with revenue up by 5.9% to
$15.7bn (£12.35bn).
That’s the fastest rate of growth since the IFPI
began tracking the market in 1997; and comes
after 15 years of downturn, during which time
the music industry lost nearly 40% of its revenue.
“We are no longer running up a down
escalator,” observed Stu Bergen, Warner Music’s
CEO of International and Global Commercial
Services.
Subscription streaming services are largely
responsible for the turnaround. Revenue from
Spotify, Apple Music and their competitors rose
by 60% last year.
By contrast, earnings from CDs and vinyl fell
by 7.6%; while the value of downloads – once
seen as the saviour of the industry – plummeted
by 20.5%.
The International Federation of the
Phonographic Industry (IFPI) launched their
annual report at a low-key reception in London
on Tuesday morning, soundtracked by a lounge
pianist covering John Legend’s All of Me and
Coldplay’s Trouble.
All three of the major record labels – Universal,
Sony and Warner Music – attended the event;
giving their perspective on the figures.

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