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Market Watch


As the music industry continues its multi-year rebound back to a position of growth, the trends underlying that resurgence have become as important as ever. And now the ready availability of reliable, week to week — and even day to day — data has created a cottage industry of those who spend their days breaking down how the market is moving, shifting, growing and receding, based on audio and video streams, digital and physical album sales, track sales, catalog vs. current performance and overall consumption units.

Record labels and publishers have kept an eye on figures based on their own systems while Billboard subscribers were able to access that information since we debuted the Market Watch feature in the May 14, 1994, edition of Billboard on page 109. Since then, Market Watch has consistently been available at one time or another through the magazine, website and in Billboard Bulletin, and for certain periods through all three vehicles. Billboard is once again making that data available on the website so that readers and industry watchers can also follow along as the markets shift and move.

Below are several different metrics that allow insights into the weekly performance of the U.S. recorded music market, starting with the weekly unit count, which shows week-on-week changes and year-on-year metrics on both a unit and percentage basis. There is also a year-to-date tracker measuring how the year in consumption is stacking up based on the same period last year, as well as consumption broken out by format, with the ability to track units by CD, vinyl, digital album sale, track-equivalent unit and audio on-demand-equivalent unit. Finally, there is a release age tracker, allowing readers to follow how the industry is changing in terms of current releases — those that have become available within the past 18 months — and catalog releases, or those older than that period. —Dan Rys



Weekly Unit Count

Year To Date

Album Consumption Units By Format

AOD Streaming by Age