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    Listening to Québec music artists: slow transition to streaming services

    Québec, June 22, 2022. – On October 15, 2021, data on music streaming became available for the first time in Québec. During the last 11 weeks of 2021, Quebecers streamed 4.6 billion tracks on music streaming platforms. Québec artists accounted for 9% of these streams, below their share for both album and track sales combined (32%). This was revealed in the bulletin Le marché québécois de la musique enregistrée en 2021, published today by the Observatoire de la culture et des communications of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.


    Share of Québec artists among the different types of sound recordings, Québec, 2021

    Share of Québec artists among the different types of sound recordings, Québec, 2021

    Source: Nielsen Music/MRC Data. All rights reserved.

    Compilation: Institut de la statistique du Québec, Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec.

    Upward trend in share of Québec products in a sales market on the decline since 2005

    In 2021, in Québec, sound recording sales in album equivalent units totalled 2 million units, a 12% drop from 2020. Sales were down for all types of products—CDs (-8%), digital albums (-23%) and digital tracks (-23%)—except vinyl records (+26%).

    The share of Québec products in sound recording sales stood at 32% (30% in 2020). This share varied by medium:

    • 35% for physical products (CDs and vinyl records)
    • 28% for digital products:
      • 34% for digital albums
      • 16% for digital tracks

    Since 2013, the share of Québec products has followed an upward trend, especially for digital albums (from 20% to 34%) and physical albums (from 30% to 35%). Among Québec album sales, the share held by French-language products was 53% in 2021, down from a high of 77% in 2017. However, for the first time, the drop was due more to an increase in the share of albums in other languages or without lyrics (from 6% to 25%) than to the share of English-language Québec albums (from 18% to 22%). Beyond the language issue, which is always present, these results suggest a positive breakthrough for local instrumental music with the Québec public.

    First charts on music streaming in Québec

    Although data on music streaming in Québec have only been available since October 15, 2021, here are the main findings:

    • Adele, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran were the three most streamed artists over this period.
    • Among the top 20 most-streamed artists in Québec, 3 are Québec artists: Enima in 13th place, Charlotte Cardin in 15th place, and Les Cowboys fringants in 17th place.
    • The top-streamed Québec track was Copilote (ft. Jay Scøtt) by FouKi.
    • Of the top 50 most-streamed Québec artists, 39 sing mainly or exclusively in French.

    The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for conducting all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.

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