Music Consumption up 14% in First Half of 2021

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Thursday, Jul 22
Overhead view of a grey desk that has a laptop, turntable, record, and headphones on it.

In 2021, people are listening to more music: more streaming audio, more radio, and more vinyl. According to MRC Data’s 2021 U.S. Midyear Report, presented in collaboration with Billboard , music consumption grew 13.5% worldwide during the first six months of 2021. The growth was largely due to a 15% year-over-year increase in audio stream listening. Vinyl also spurred growth, with sales of vinyl albums more than doubling compared to a year ago.

According to the report, “Consumers are relying on musical optimism to get them through the aftermath of a stressful year, with 55% of music-listening survey respondents in an April study citing ‘Uplifting/happy music’ as the number one most important thing the music industry can offer during the COVID-19 outbreak.” The year’s most consumed songs, including Chris Brown & Young Thug’s “Go Crazy” (No. 1) and Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” (No. 2) reflected consumers’ desire for mood-boosting music. 

Radio has always held a vital role in breaking records, and an MRC tracking survey conducted in April found that 18% of radio listeners are spending more time listening to radio than a year ago. Of Dua Lipa’s “Levitating,” Warner Records Executive VP of Promotions Mike Chester, said in the report, “Radio certainly helped to thrust the song into the marketplace initially. Subsequently, TikTok absolutely stimulated the marketplace and gave it afterburners.” 

In a milestone year for vinyl, 2021’s vinyl sales have already surpassed CD sales for the first time in MRC Data history (since 1991), with 19.2 million total vinyl sales versus CD album volume at 18.9 million.

With more people turning to music in its various formats, now is the time to advertise on broadcast, streaming, or satellite radio. Contact SMI today to get your commercial on the radio.

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