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Are People Listening To Older Music Because of Streaming?

Half of on-demand streams in 2018 were music from more than three years ago.

Streaming has made music from the past more accessible than ever, and new data from BuzzAngle Music shows that audiences are taking advantage of that by listening to tunes from the past. “Deep catalog” titles, which BuzzAngle defines as those that are more than three years old, accounted for 55 percent of all 2018 album sales, a 4 percent increase from 2017.

One clear example of streaming leading to people seeking out older songs was the surge of holiday music in 2018. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” reached its all-time Hot 100 peak at No. 3 in 2018.

Other Christmas songs like Andy Williams‘ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" peaked at No. 10 on the Hot 100, while Nat King Cole had his first top 10 album in 53 years with The Christmas Song.

Chartmetric explored the prevalence of older music in playlists, noting that “catalogue music,” that which is more than 18 months old, occupied 38.4 percent of the top 1000 Spotify playlists, 38.3 percent of the top 1000 Deezer playlists, and 77 percent of the top 1000 Apple Music playlists.

On the vinyl front, deep catalog titles represented 66 percent of sales. Vinyl sales rose by 12 percent in comparison to where they were in 2018.

Several deep catalog albums and songs shot up the charts following the deaths of their creators, with fans flocking to their music. Mac Miller experienced a 970 percent increase in streaming following his tragic overdose. Streaming of Aretha Franklin’s discography rose by 1,568 percent after she died.

Genius covered Franklin’s passing in the video below.

Read all the lyrics to “All I Want For Christmas Is You” on Genius now.

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