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By the Numbers: Drake's Monster 2016

Nielsen Music's U.S. Year End Report proves Drake's the most popular artist in music. Period.

On Thursday (January 5), Nielsen Music released their 2016 U.S. Year-End Report for the 12-month period that ended on December 29, 2016. Fueled by a 76% increase in on-demand audio streams, the music industry experienced a 3% volume increase year-over-year despite seeing a decrease in sales across all formats. 

Based on U.S album sales, track equivalent albums and stream equivalent albums, Beyoncé (3.2 million), Adele (3.1 million), Twenty One Pilots (2.8 million), Rihanna (2.6 million), The Weeknd (2.4 million), Justin Bieber (2.2 million) and Future (2 million) all racked up over two million in total sales, but none of them came close to matching the success of Drake, who finished the year with 6,389,000 in total sales.

Sure, we poke fun at Drake and we're often critical of him—okay, fine, we're very critical of him—but, in case there was any doubt, Drizzy is, in fact, the undisputed most popular artist in music.

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Here are a few more numbers to back up that boast...


The number of times a Drake song was played on an on-demand streaming service in 2016. The next closest artist was Drake's Summer Sixteen Tour co-headliner Future, who had 2,133,999,000 on-demand streams.


The number of times Drake's hit single "One Dance," featuring WizKid and Kyla, was played on an on-demand streaming service in 2016. The second most-streamed song was Rihanna's "Work," which totaled 346,914,000 plays and, of course, features Drake. "Too Good," the pair's second collaboration of 2016, also made the Top 10 most streamed songs of 2016, coming in at No. 7 with 275,837,000 total plays.


The number of Drake's digital song sales in 2016. The next closest act was alt-hip-hop duo Twenty One Pilots with 6,527,000.


The number of total sales for Drake's Views album, which includes album sales, song sales, and stream equivalents. The next closest album was Adele's 25, which piled up a measly 2,369,000 in total sales.



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