Drake, Adele take top spots on Nielsen Music for 2016

Now that 2016 is over, final tallies for the year in music are rolling in. 2016 was without a doubt the year for Drake to dominate and that he did with his fourth proper studio album Views From the 6. The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart and set records for streaming units. The set debuted having 245.1 million streams from the album and the format continued to carry the album spending 13 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1. Nielsen Music tracks all units in the U.S. and Views became the most popular album of 2016.

Altogether, Views moved a total of 4.14 million units with half of that coming from streams on platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. Equivalent units in the format reached 2.024 million after receiving 3.04 billion streams overall. The album saw 1.61 in sales, putting it at No. 2 for the year and sold 509,000 track units. For track downloads, every ten equals one unit while 1,500 streams from an album also equates to one unit. Views also was the top digital album of the year having 1.3 million in sales.

Adele, however, takes the top position for sales overall. Her Diamond status third album 25 roared onto the charts in 2015 breaking records and finished the year with 8.01 million units. In 2016, the album moved 2.37 million units having 1.73 million of that number in sales. The album was released to streaming seven months after only being available to purchase rather as a whole or individual songs. It saw 333,000 units in track downloads and 305,000 from streaming. Following Adele and Drake, Beyoncé's Lemonade came in third with 1.55 million in sales.

Adele's 25 is the lowest No. 1 in Nielsen's history which dates back to 1991 when point-of-sale purchases began being tracked. However, Adele has topped the year for sales in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016 and is the only artist to reach No. 1 for three or more years. In all, 25 has sold 9.17 million and was certified Diamond for digital sales and shipments exceeding one million.

In 2016, overall consumption rose 3 percent with 560.7 million units. Without video streaming which contributes to those units, the industry saw 440.8 million units. For yet another year though, sales dropped another 16.7 percent from the same period in 2015 with 200.5 million albums sold.