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Nielsen Music Wraps 2017 With "Despacito" As Most-Streamed Song
Nielsen Music released its 2017 U.S. Music Year-End Report on Jan. 3, including highlights such as R&B/hip-hop becoming the most popular genre for the first time, vinyl album sales' second record-breaking year in a row and the 1.3 billion streams that made "Despacito" 2017's most-streamed song on its way to winning four Latin GRAMMY Awards in 2017 and receiving three 60th GRAMMY Awards nominations —Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.
While Nielsen prides itself on "the science behind what's next," 2017's multimetric combination of digital and physical sales also provides a more granular view of what's happened, allowing fine-point comparisons between how leading artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift jockey around top spots.
Comparisons between singles and albums take on a wider dimension. For example, Sam Hunt's GRAMMY-nominated "Body Like A Back Road" came in just behind "Despacito" and Sheeran's "Shape Of You" for best digital song sales. But on the country album side, Chris Stapleton dominates with GRAMMY-nominated album From A Room: Vol. 1 and GRAMMY winner Traveller taking the top two slots.
The report also shows that the 59th GRAMMY Awards came in first as "the most social special event of the year," and this receives a more detailed look as well. For example, Prince became the most-streamed artist online during the telecast, and Adele's Record Of The Year acceptance speech produced more than 44,000 Twitter interactions in a single minute.
Slipping back into "what's next?" mode, it is exciting to see growing demographic support for live music. More than 50 percent of American consumers go to at least one live music event per year. More than 50 percent of average consumer music dollars go for live music attendance.
According to the report, millennials are the most likely to attend live shows, offering a testament that efforts such as Record Store Days and New Music Fridays are having an impact as on-demand streaming makes the discovery of new artists easier than it has ever been.
As a postscript, the Top 40 debut of K-pop band BTS' hit "Mic Drop" — the first time ever for a Korean artist — ranked on Nielsen's highlights as well.