As previously reported, the music industry’s physical sales, including vinyl, dropped considerably in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Interestingly, however, so too did the United States’ music streaming figures. It appears that the widespread disruption to Americans’ normal way of life—schools and not a few businesses have closed indefinitely, and many state and local governments have banned large gatherings—has ushered in far-reaching changes to their entertainment habits.
A newly published study from Billboard (featuring data from Nielsen SoundScan) has shed additional light on coronavirus-prompted music- and video-streaming developments. Video experienced a 3.7 percent viewership uptick throughout the last week, in addition to a 6.9 percent increase during the prior seven days. Bolstered by an influx of at-home viewers, the first quarter of 2020 has seen a more than 28 percent jump in video streaming, compared to the same period in 2019.
Furthermore, audio streams declined by another 3.2 percent during the same weeklong period. In a sense, this drop is relatively positive, as the previous week brought a staggering nine percent reduction in overall music streaming. Accordingly, the movement away from audio streaming and towards video seems to be leveling off; if the next seven days’ figures also present a lessened (or steady) shift from music streaming, artists will have reason to be encouraged.