The Washington Post reports:
Drake has sold only about 300,000 physical CDs. But the album enjoyed 1.2 million digital album sales, 5 million digital singles sales and an astonishing 2.8 billion audio streams. Nielsen divides digital singles by 10 and audio streams by 1,500 to create new numbers that equal the revenue from a single album sale.
For over a decade the music industry fought the Internet as their business model was CDs. But now CDs make up 8% of revenue for Drake. Digital sales make up 44% and online streaming 48%.
Looking at the health of the music industry in this way — with a mishmash of financial ratios that attempts to capture how people consume music today — shows that overall music sales are up 3 percent through 50 weeks in 2016, compared with last year, Bakula said.
So, yes, traditional album sales are down 16 percent. That’s bad. (Interestingly, digital album sales fell faster than physical album sales, too.) Digital single sales are down 25 percent. That’s even worse. But revenue from on-demand digital streams exploded 77 percent over last year, reaching 234 billion streams.
This shows that the business model keeps changing – not just from physical to digital but from sales to streaming.