In the first half of 2015, streaming nearly doubled in popularity, generating 135.2 billion streams, up from 70.3 billion in the same period of 2014. Even with all that growth, album sales still declined 4%, though that’s the smallest decline since 2012. However, track sales saw a lager 10.4% drop. Streaming equivalent albums (SEA) is the biggest driver of consumer consumption. Physical album sales fell to 62.41 from 67.3 million in the previous six-month period. CD sales were down 10% and vinyl grew by 38.4%.
Taylor Swift of Local 257 (Nashville, TN) topped many sales categories. Her 1989 was the best selling album in the first half of 2015, scanning 1.33 million units so far. (It topped in 2014 as well.) She also led in vinyl sales (34,000 units), and in a combined tally of album sales, track downloads, and streams (2.011 million album and album equivalent units).