Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” was Canada’s most streamed song last week with 795,000 plays, but Nielsen Soundscan’s mid-year music report points to continued slowdown in the overall Canadian market.
As with the US market, Canadians continue to replace CD and digital album purchases with streaming subscriptions. CD sales were actually up slightly year over year, but digital album and track sales declined 7.7% and 13% respectively. The report doesn’t state how many Canadians have decided to pay for digital streaming subscriptions, but the popularity of free services like YouTube and Songza have obviously been the growth catalysts.
Broadcast Data Systems (BDS), a division of Nielsen, streaming data was taken from Google Play Music, Nokia MixRadio, Xbox Music, Slacker Radio, Rdio and YouTube. It’s unclear why Deezer and Songza were not included, especially considering the latter’s continued success across the country.
The second most popular stream last week was Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” followed by Sia’s “Chandelier” with 653,000 and 528,000 plays respectively.
While the data points to users taking streaming music more seriously, the overall Canadian music industry, like that of the US, is slowing, with overall sales down 8.6% over mid-2013. These days, piracy is more seldom blamed as the harbinger of paid contents’ demise, but something, whether illegal downloads, increased ad-based streaming or declining interest, has lead to significant slowdown across the North American music industry.
With Spotify launching next month in Canada, it’s unclear whether it can succeed where so many others, from Rdio to Deezer, have struggled.