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Canadian Music Industry's Charts in 2022

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

Luminate is the organization that serves all the music people in Canada buy and listens to, from CDs, and LPs to streams and cassettes. Here are some highlights from 2022.

In the past, we estimated music consumption by the albums' selling numbers with radio airplay. Nowadays calculations are a combination between sales, track-equivalent albums (TEA), and SEAs which means stream-equivalent albums, where 1,250 premium audio streams, 3,759 ad-supported audio streams, and 3,750 video streams equal one physical album. Combining these metrics lead to the result that Canadians consumed 11.2 percent more music in 2022 than we did in 2021. In other words, Canadians consumed 93.2 million albums in 2022.

Canadians streamed more music

More and more people in Canada are embracing streaming as their main source of music. Streaming activity increased by about 13.4 percent from 2021 with the annual number of on-demand audio streams of music reaching 100 billion for the first time. That’s less than the global increase of 22.6 percent (3.4 trillion songs!), but still a good number.

Streaming is killing paid downloads

Remember those days when everyone was seeing iTunes as the future of music? Instead of buying vinyl or CDs, we got the music we desired by buying songs and albums. But the comfort of streaming is beating and taking place of that old model. Streaming is just too suitable these days, it is fast and portable, and the point of Spotify’s free tier it costs nothing at all.

Sales of digital albums are 1.9 million units which means it fell by 18.5 percent. Canadians purchased fewer digital tracks less than 16.7 percent than last year.

Anyways, storefronts like iTunes will keep in the industry, some people still want to own their preferred songs, but this won't continue for more than a decade as experts say.

Compact discs continue to struggle

A few years ago, the reflection was, “Why should I buy a CD when I can buy the download of the same album for less than 20 bucks?” Now it’s, “Why should I buy a CD or buy its download when I can stream the album for almost zero bucks?”

In general CD sales declined 15 percent to 2.3 million units. Not finished, but certainly a little lifeless.

Vinyl is fine. Mostly

Canadians didn’t buy as much new vinyl in 2022 as they did in 2021 with sales falling 2.3 percent. That equals approximately 1.1 million albums

Gen Z is more likely to buy vinyl than move to streaming. Meanwhile, vinyl buyers expended 300 percent more on buying music each month than the middle music listener.

Older music did better than new ones

In music terminology, “catalog music” is music older than two years. Catalog songs were 72 percent of Canadians' consumption in 2022, an increase of 16 percent over 2021.

How did people choose their music source?

Most hip-hop and rap fans listened via social media videos on TikTok, followed by streaming audio, and streaming video.

Country fans used the CD and the radio while Rock fans love their CDs with vinyl and radio close behind. Pop fans mostly stream and use TikTok.


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