Plus: Album equal audio music consumption gained 23%, R&B/hip-hop continues dominance as hottest style, and whole on-demand streams grew 49%.

For the second time, Drake takes residence the respect having the most well-liked album the 12 months, in line with Nielsen Music. His Scorpion launch finishes 2018 because the 12 months’s high album within the U.S., following the hip-hop king’s coronation in 2016 with Views. The monitoring agency studies that Scorpion earned three.905 million equal album items through the 12 months, with 330,000 that sum coming from album gross sales.

In 2017, Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) was named Nielsen Music’s high album.

Scorpion’s three.905 million equal album items sum is a multi-metric consumption whole, which incorporates album gross sales, monitor equal albums (TEA) and on-demand audio streaming equal albums (SEA). The multi-metric formulation can also be used to compile the weekly Billboard 200 albums chart, which ranks the most well-liked albums the week within the U.S. (One TEA unit is the same as 10 tracks bought from an album. One SEA unit is the same as 1,250 paid subscription or three,750 ad-supported on-demand audio streams tracks from an album.)

Nielsen Music’s 2018 monitoring 12 months ran from Dec. 29, 2017 by means of Jan. three, 2019. Due to a quirk within the calendar, there have been 53 weeks in 2018, as an alternative the same old 52. So, for 2018 quantity comparisons to 2017, a corresponding 53-week interval is utilized by Nielsen Music for 2017: Dec. 30, 2016 by means of Jan. four, 2018. (Historical comparable references to quantity in 2017 versus that 2016 used the normal comparable 52-week years for each, as said in earlier Billboard tales.)

Numbers on this story are rounded. Nielsen Music started electronically monitoring gross sales and knowledge in 1991 (so a reference on this story to the “Nielsen period” means from 1991 to the current).

Scorpion’s year-end end as Nielsen Music’s high album was powered largely by its streaming exercise, because the set garnered three.293 million SEA items (equaling four.572 billion on-demand audio streams for the set’s songs in 2018). Scorpion can also be the most-streamed album 2018.

Scorpion marked Drake’s eighth No. 1 album on the weekly Billboard 200 chart, the place it dominated for 5 weeks. In the set’s debut body, it racked up a weekly report 745.9 million on-demand audio streams for its songs.

The set spun f three No. 1 hits on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 songs chart: “God’s Plan” (No. 1 for 11 weeks), “Nice for What” (No. 1 for eight weeks) and “In My Feelings” (No. 1 for 10 weeks). Drake’s mixed whole 29 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 2018 was probably the most weeks atop the record in a 12 months by any artist because the chart launched in 1958.

TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2018 IN U.S., BY TOTAL EQUIVALENT ALBUM UNITS   
Rank Artist, Title Total Units Album Sales TEA Units SEA Units
1 Drake, Scorpion three,905,000 330,000 282,000 three,293,000
2 Post Malone, beerbongs & bentleys three,251,000 374,000 234,000 2,643,000
three Soundtrack, The Greatest Showman 2,499,000 1,491,000 187,000 821,000
four Cardi B, Invasion Privacy 2,zero60,000 222,000 184,000 1,654,000
5 Travis Scott, Astroworld 1,985,000 464,000 49,000 1,471,000
6 XXXTentacion, ? 1,637,000 94,000 82,000 1,461,000
7 Migos, Culture II 1,599,000 115,000 90,000 1,393,000
eight Ed Sheeran, ÷ (Divide) 1,481,000 367,000 212,000 902,000
9 Soundtrack, Black Panther: The Album 1,459,000 234,000 104,000 1,120,000
10 Post Malone, Stoney 1,388,000 95,000 84,000 1,209,000
   

Source: Nielsen Music, for the monitoring interval Dec. 29, 2017 by means of Jan. three, 2019.

Post Malone captures two the 12 months’s high 10 albums, as his sophomore studio set Beerbongs & Bentleys, launched in 2018, finishes at No. 2 (three.251 million items) whereas his debut studio album Stoney, launched in 2016, is at No. 10 (1.388 million items). Post is the primary act to have two the 12 months’s high 10 albums since Nielsen Music started monitoring albums by general consumption in 2014. Dating again to when the 12 months’s general high 10 albums have been ranked solely by album gross sales (pre-2014), Malone is the primary act to double up within the high 10 since 2012, when One Direction had the Nos. three and 5 biggest-selling titles (with Up All Night and Take Me Home, respectively).

The No. three album 2018 is the multi-artist soundtrack to The Greatest Showman, with 2.499 million items. It is the highest-ranked year-end soundtrack since 2014, when Frozen was the 12 months’s most-consumed album, with four.471 million items earned that 12 months. Notably, The Greatest Showman’s success is essentially pushed by album gross sales, and never streams, like Scorpion and Beerbongs. The Greatest Showman bought 1.491 million copies in 2018, and was the top-selling album the 12 months (extra on that in a second).

Hip-hop albums overwhelmingly dominate Nielsen Music’s year-end high 10 albums tally, as there are simply two titles from outdoors the style: the pop units The Greatest Showman and Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide). A 12 months in the past, hip-hop held 4 the highest 10.

MUSIC CONSUMPTION CONTINUES TO GAIN: Album equal audio consumption in 2018 jumped 23 p.c, rising to 618 million items (up from 501 million). Those figures mix album gross sales, TEA items and SEA items from on-demand audio streams.

The R&B/hip-hop style dominated the 12 months in consumption, because it did in 2017. In 2018, the style equaled 25.6 p.c album equal audio consumption — the most important share any style in 2018.

"SHOWMAN" IS YEAR’S TOP-SELLING ALBUM: The soundtrack to the film musical The Greatest Showman is 2018’s top-selling album, with 1.491 million copies bought. It was the one album to promote greater than 1 million copies in 2018, and it marks the primary time since Nielsen started monitoring gross sales in 1991 that simply one album bought greater than 1,000,000 in a calendar 12 months. The prior fewest quantity million sellers had occurred in 2017, when simply two albums crossed the million mark: Taylor Swift’s repute (1.9 million) and Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) (1.1 million).

Showman additionally marks the primary time the 12 months’s top-selling album is a soundtrack since 2006, when the companion album to the Disney Channel TV musical film High School Musical was tops with three.719 million.

TOP 10 SELLING ALBUMS OF 2018 IN U.S.  
Rank Artist, Title Sales
1 Soundtrack, The Greatest Showman 1,491,000
2 Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (Soundtrack) 704,000
three Eminem, Kamikaze 493,000
four Travis Scott, Astroworld 464,000
5 Jason Aldean, Rearview Town 463,000
6 Justin Timberlake, Man the Woods 422,000
7 Carrie Underwood, Cry Pretty 401,000
eight Post Malone, beerbongs & bentleys 374,000
9 Dave Matthews Band, Come Tomorrow 369,000
10 Ed Sheeran, ÷ (Divide) 367,000
 

Source: Nielsen Music, for the monitoring interval Dec. 29, 2017 by means of Jan. three, 2019.

ALBUM SALES FALL AGAIN: Overall album gross sales in 2018 fell by 17.7 p.c to 141 million copies bought throughout all codecs (CD, digital albums, vinyl LPs, cassettes, and so forth.). The decline is about on par with the amount drop in 2017 vs. 2016 (17.7 p.c, to 169.15 million copies bought).

Scrolling again in time, album gross sales decreased 16.7 p.c in 2016, 6 p.c in 2015, 11 p.c in 2014, eight p.c in 2013 and four p.c in 2012.

Physical album gross sales (CD, vinyl, cassette, and so forth.) dropped by 15.eight p.c to 88 million in 2018. CD album gross sales comprised 70.7 million that sum (down 20.9 p.c). The CD format continues to be the chief for album purchases, whereas the digital format is the runner-up with 53.four million digital albums bought in 2018 (down 20.7 p.c).

The biggest-selling digital album 2018 is The Greatest Showman soundtrack, with 883,000 digital downloads bought. Rock music dominated album gross sales, because the style comprised a whopping 37.four p.c all album purchases in 2018.

TOP 10 SELLING DIGITAL ALBUMS OF 2018 IN U.S.  
Rank Artist, Title Sales
1 Soundtrack, The Greatest Showman 883,000
2 Travis Scott, Astroworld 435,000
three Eminem, Kamikaze 381,000
four Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (Soundtrack) 299,000
5 Drake, Scorpion 256,000
6 Post Malone, beerbongs & bentleys 222,000
7 Cardi B, Invasion Privacy 218,000
eight Justin Timberlake, Man the Woods 183,000
9 J. Cole, KOD 180,000
10 Lil Wayne, Tha Carter V 173,000
 

Source: Nielsen Music, for the monitoring interval Dec. 29, 2017 by means of Jan. three, 2019.

HOT WAX: Vinyl album gross sales proceed to be a vivid spot amongst an in any other case bleak album gross sales image. For the 13th consecutive 12 months, vinyl album gross sales have grown to a brand new yearly excessive, rising to 16.eight million bought in 2018 (up 14.6 p.c).

Vinyl LP gross sales accounted for 11.9 p.c all album gross sales in 2018. In 2017, the format comprised 6.5 p.c album gross sales. Impressively, vinyl album gross sales have been a whopping 19.1 p.c all bodily album gross sales in 2018 — a brand new Nielsen-era report share for the once-dormant format, up from 14 p.c in 2017.

In whole, 14 albums bought greater than 50,000 copies on vinyl – up from simply eight titles in 2017. Further, 79 titles exceeded 20,000 in LP gross sales in 2018, as in comparison with 77 in 2017, and 58 in 2016.

The top-selling vinyl album 2018 is the Guardians the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 soundtrack, with 84,000 copies bought. It is adopted by Michael Jackson’s Thriller (almost 84,000), Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (77,000), The Beatles’ Abbey Road (76,000) and Prince and The Revolution’s soundtrack to Purple Rain (71,000).

Rock music is tops amongst vinyl album patrons, because the style includes the most important share vinyl LP gross sales: 63 p.c. In 2017, the style amounted to 67 p.c LP gross sales, whereas in 2016 rock yielded 69 p.c LP gross sales.

Sales older albums proceed to drive the majority vinyl LP gross sales, as deep catalog titles (albums which are at the least 36 months previous) held a 65 p.c share vinyl album gross sales in 2018. The solely title amongst 2018’s high 10 promoting vinyl albums that isn’t a deep catalog title is Panic! on the Disco’s Pray for the Wicked (No. 10 with 59,000), which was launched in June 2018.

TOP 10 SELLING VINYL ALBUMS OF 2018 IN U.S.  
Rank Artist, Title Sales
1 Soundtrack, Guardians the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 84,000
2 Michael Jackson, Thriller 84,000
three Fleetwood Mac, Rumours 77,000
four The Beatles, Abbey Road 76,000
5 Prince and The Revolution, Purple Rain (Soundtrack) 71,000
6 Pink Floyd, The Dark Side the Moon 67,000
7 Bob Marley and The Wailers, Legend: The Best Of… 61,000
eight Queen, Greatest Hits 60,000
9 Amy Winehouse, Back to Black 59,000
10 Panic! on the Disco, Pray for the Wicked 59,000
 

Source: Nielsen Music, for the monitoring interval Dec. 29, 2017 by means of Jan. three, 2019.

"GOD" RULES STREAMING WORLD: Drake’s smash single “God’s Plan” finishes 2018 because the most-streamed tune the 12 months, because it accrued 1.566 billion on-demand audio and video streams. It was one 4 titles to surpass 1 billion streams in 2018, up from only one billion-streamer in 2017.

The high 10 most-streamed songs 2018 have been unsurprisingly dominated by hip-hop titles, with solely Sheeran’s “Perfect” being the non-hip-hop effort within the area (at No. 9, with 797.27 million streams).

“God’s Plan” was additionally the most-streamed tune in phrases audio-only on-demand streams (918.87 million) and video-only on-demand streams (647.84 million). Overall on-demand streams (audio and video mixed) rose 42.6 p.c in 2018 to 901 billion. On-demand audio streams vaulted 49 p.c to 611 billion, whereas on-demand video streams surged 30 p.c to 290 billion.

The R&B/hip-hop style led the best way in whole on-demand streaming, with 29.7 p.c all streams in 2018. The second-largest style was rock music, with 14.2 p.c.

TOP 10 MOST STREAMED SONGS OF 2018 IN U.S., ON-DEMAND AUDIO & VIDEO COMBINED
Rank Artist, Title Streams
1 Drake, "God's Plan" 1,565,711,000
2 Juice WRLD, "Lucid Dreams" 1,107,289,000
three Drake, "In My Feelings" 1,100,534,000
four XXXTentacion, "Sad!" 1,026,294,000
5 Post Malone that includes Ty Dolla $ign, "Psycho" 924,496,000
6 Post Malone that includes 21 Savage, "Rockstar" 905,440,000
7 Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin, "I Like It" 873,494,000
eight Drake, "Nice for What" 844,403,000
9 Ed Sheeran, "Perfect" 797,274,000
10 BlocBoy JB that includes Drake, "Look Alive" 766,073,000
 

Source: Nielsen Music, for the monitoring interval Dec. 29, 2017 by means of Jan. three, 2019.

TOP 10 ON-DEMAND STREAMS OF 2018 IN U.S., AUDIO-ONLY
Rank Artist, Title Streams
1 Drake, "God's Plan" 917,872,000
2 Post Malone that includes Ty Dolla $ign, "Psycho" 594,516,000
three Drake, "Nice for What" 576,214,000
four Juice WRLD, "Lucid Dreams" 572,972,000
5 XXXTentacion, "Sad!" 565,324,000
6 Post Malone that includes 21 Savage, "Rockstar" 525,971,000
7 Drake, "In My Feelings" 522,591,000
eight BlocBoy JB that includes Drake, "Look Alive" 522,155,000
9 Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin, "I Like It" 508,202,000
10 Travis Scott, "Sicko Mode" 479,509,000
 

Source: Nielsen Music, for the monitoring interval Dec. 29, 2017 by means of Jan. three, 2019.

TOP 10 ON-DEMAND STREAMS OF 2018 IN U.S., VIDEO-ONLY  
Rank Artist, Title Streams
1 Drake, "God's Plan" 647,839,000
2 Drake, "In My Feelings" 577,943,000
three Juice WRLD, "Lucid Dreams" 534,317,000
four XXXTentacion, "Sad!" 460,970,000
5 Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee that includes Justin Bieber, "Despacito" 422,743,000
6 Maroon 5 that includes Cardi B, "Girls Like You" 415,292,000
7 Camila Cabello that includes Young Thug, "Havana" 399,510,000
eight Ella Mai, "Boo'd Up" 398,445,000
9 Post Malone that includes 21 Savage, "Rockstar" 379,468,000
10 Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin, "I Like It" 365,292,000
 

Source: Nielsen Music, for the monitoring interval Dec. 29, 2017 by means of Jan. three, 2019.

"PERFECT" LEADS DIGITAL SONGS ROUNDUP: As shoppers more and more adapt to utilizing streaming providers to take pleasure in music as an alternative shopping for particular person songs and albums, music gross sales naturally lower. Digital tune gross sales aren’t any exception, as general gross sales fell 27.2 p.c in 2018 to 412 million. It marks the sixth 12 months in a row declines for the format.

The top-selling digital tune 2018 is Sheeran’s “Perfect,” with 1.three million bought, adopted by two extra million sellers: Drake’s “God’s Plan” (1.06 million) and Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line’s “Meant to Be” (1.04 million).

For the primary time since 2006, there have been no songs that bought 2 million downloads in a calendar 12 months. A 12 months in the past, there was only one: Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” that includes Justin Bieber, with 2.69 million. (Nielsen Music started monitoring digital tune gross sales in 2003.) Further, in 2018, there have been solely three million-sellers, down from 14 in 2017.

From 2004 by means of 2012, digital tune gross sales grew on a yearly foundation. The high-water mark for the format’s gross sales was in 2012, when 1.336 billion songs have been bought.

TOP 10 SELLING DIGITAL SONGS OF 2018 IN U.S.  
Rank Artist, Title Sales
1 Ed Sheeran, "Perfect" 1,300,000
2 Drake, "God's Plan" 1,056,000
three Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line, "Meant to Be" 1,042,000
four Maroon 5, "Girls Like You" 896,000
5 Imagine Dragons, "Whatever It Takes" 849,000
6 Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin, "I Like It" 844,000
7 Camila Cabello that includes Young Thug, "Havana" 828,000
eight Imagine Dragons, "Thunder" 772,000
9 Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey, "The Middle" 753,000
10 Drake, "In My Feelings" 708,000
 

Source: Nielsen Music, for the monitoring interval Dec. 29, 2017 by means of Jan. three, 2019.

SHEERAN IS RADIO’S FAVORITE, AGAIN: For the second 12 months in a row, Sheeran has the most-heard tune on the radio. “Perfect” was tops in 2018, with three.988 billion viewers impressions earned. In 2017, Sheeran’s “Shape You” was the most-heard tune, with 5.847 billion impressions.

“Perfect” spent 9 weeks atop Billboard’s all-genre Radio Songs chart and reached No. 1 on the Pop Songs, Adult Pop Songs and Adult Contemporary airplay charts.

TOP 10 RADIO SONGS OF 2018 IN U.S. (RANKED BY AUDIENCE IMPRESSIONS)
Rank Artist, Title Audience Impressions
1 Ed Sheeran, "Perfect" three.988 billion
2 Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line, "Meant to Be" three.533 billion
three Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey, "The Middle" three.505 billion
four Maroon 5 that includes Cardi B, "Girls Like You" three.zero79 billion
5 Dua Lipa, "New Rules" 2.841 billion
6 Camila Cabello that includes Young Thug, "Havana" 2.814 billion
7 Camila Cabello, "Never Be the Same" 2.747 billion
eight Drake, "God's Plan" 2.630 billion
9 MAX, "Lights Down Low" 2.616 billion
10 Taylor Swift, "Delicate" 2.509 billion
 

Source: Nielsen Music, for the monitoring interval Dec. 29, 2017 by means of Jan. three, 2019.

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