MRC Data’s 2021 Canada Year-End Report

MRC Data’s 2021 Canada Year-End Report, presented in collaboration with Billboard, reveals overall consumption grew 9.2% during 2021, due to continued growth in audio streaming, a milestone year for vinyl and a changing of the guard for Catalogue vs. Current music consumption.

It was another game-changing year for music consumption in 2021, as behaviors accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic led to several remarkable milestones. Overall consumption grew 9.2% year-over-year (YOY) in 2021, thanks to a 12.6% lift in on-demand audio streaming. Part of that lift is due to new albums from Adele, Drake, Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift and the controversial Morgan Wallen – but those releases only tell half the story of music listening in 2021. For the first time since MRC Data began tracking streaming music in 2015, audio streaming of Current music (music released less than 18 months ago) actually declined. This led to a significant increase in Catalogue’s share of the audio on-demand streaming universe with 69% in 2021 vs 64% in 2020, as consumers reconnected with old favorites or discovered them for the first time through platforms like TikTok. 

And vintage music formats took on new relevance in 2021 too, as vinyl album sales posted its highest one year total in MRC Data’s history (since 1995). Vinyl album volume increased a whopping 21.8% YOY and finished the year with 1.1 million units, surpassing the previous high in 2019.

Globally, red-hot genres like Afro-Pop and K-Pop continued to crossover to Canada and other territories in an even bigger way, led by hits from artists like Wizkid, CKay, BTS and BLACKPINK’s Lisa and Rosé. Many international territories continued ramping up their adoption of streaming services, too, led by Japan, Colombia, Poland, Turkey and the UK.

Download the full MRC Data Canada Year-End Report below for a deep dive on all the year’s biggest trends in music consumption that will help you navigate the year ahead.

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