The numbers don't lie - in 2016 (and 2015), recorded music has been a GROWTH industry. It's just that you can't use the traditional metrics (sales of physical media) to measure the growth.
Some interesting points, for those who don't want to bother to read this (very well-organized) report:
"2016 was another successful year in music, with overall consumption rising 4.9% over 2015, marking the second year in a row with solid growth. The continued explosion of audio stream consumption, which increased 82.6% to 250B streams, fueled this increase. Both album sales and song sales continued to decline but the transition to these new access methods has shown to provide overall growth and a sustainable business model for the future.
Breaking down the tremendous streaming growth shows what is perhaps the most important stat of the year: the percentage of subscription streams rose from 62% of the total in 2015 to 76% of the total in 2016. The number of 2016 subscription streams grew over 2.25x the 2015 subscription streams amount. So not only is streaming growing nicely, but the overall composition is also shifting to subscription-based consumption. The combination of these two trends will result in higher average revenue per user and more profitability for the industry."
"Audio streams reached a new record high of 250.7 billion, up 82.6% over 2015."
"Drake is Artist of the Year, with over 6.1 million in album consumption units."
"Physical album sales were down 11.7% from 2015. (89.4 million in 2016 vs. 101.3 million in 2015). Physical album sales accounted for 51.6% of all album sales in 2016."
CD album sales were down by 14%. Digital album sales were down 19.4%. Vinyl record sales were up 25.9%. Vinyl albums accounted for 8% of all physical album sales. (Calculated on a per-unit basis, not dollars).
The top 20 biggest selling albums (all formats) in 2016 were (these albums sold between 1.5 million copies at the top, and 394,000 at the bottom).
1. Adele - 25
2. Drake - Views
3. Solange - Lemonade
4. Chris Stapleton - Traveller
(the above are the only albums that sold more than 1 million in 2016).
5. Pentatonix - A Pentatonix Christmas
6. Hamilton Cast album
7. Twenty-One Pilots - Blurryface
8. Prince - The Very Best of Prince
9. Rihanna - Anti
10. Garth Brooks - The Ultimate Collection
11. Blake Shelton - If I'm Honest
12. Panic At the Disco - Death of a Bachelor
13. Justin Bieber - Purpose
14. Metallica - Hardwired to Self Destruct
15. Bruno Mars - 24K Magic
16. J. Cole - 4 Your Eyez Only
17. Suicide Squad: The Album
18. Prince - Purple Rain
19. Joey & Rory - Hymns
20. Keith Urban - Ripcord
The top 20 selling vinyl records in 2016: (these albums sold between 49,000 copies at the top, and 22,500 at the bottom).
1. Twenty-One Pilots - Blurryface
2. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
3. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
4. The Beatles - Abbey Road
5. Adele - 25
6. David Bowie - Blackstar
7. Prince - Purple Rain
8. Bob Marley - Legend
9. Twenty-One Pilots - Vessel
10. Miles Davis - Kind Of Blue
11. Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix V.1
12. Chris Stapleton - Traveller
13. Lana Del Rey - Born to Die - EP
14. Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
15. Michael Jackson - Thriller
16. Blink-182 - California
17. Panic At the Disco - Death of a Bachelor
18. The Lumineers - Cleopatra
19. Taylor Swift - 1989
20. Adele - 21
Top 10 Distributors by album sales:
1. Universal Music Group (56.1 million)
2. Sony Music Group (37.5 million)
3. Warner Music Group (30.9 million)
4. Alternative Distribution Alliance (8 million)
5. RED (7.3 million)
6. TuneCore (3.8 million)
7. The Orchard (3.4 million)
8. CD Baby (2.5 million)
9. INgrooves (2.5 million)
10. Caroline (2.3 million)