Beyoncé ‘lemonade was the world’s best selling album in 2016

She may have lost the Grammy album of the year award to Adele, but Beyonce’s “Lemonade” was 2016’s top-selling album in the world, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry market report issued Tuesday. The same report crowned Drake as the No. 1 recording artist and his “One Dance” the global top-selling single

What is striking, however, is that the report cites just 2.5 million global sales for “Lemonade” — which seems low but actually is a reflection of how much streaming has overtaken the marketplace; the IFPI album tally counts only physical and digital sales and does not account for streaming. (According to Nielsen Music’s year-end report, the album sold 1.55 million copies in the U.S. in 2016.)  Adele’s “25” — the leader in 2015 — was No. 2 with 2.4 million, and Drake’s “Views” came in third with 2.3 million. Interestingly, at a press conference in London announcing the report on Tuesday, Warner Music Group international chief Stu Bergen noted that the world’s biggest music market, the U.S., is 70% digital, while the second biggest, Japan, is more than 70% physical.

On the digital singles chart — which does include streaming — Drake’s “One Dance” racked up 12.5 million units, while Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” and The Chainsmokers’ “Closer,”No. 2 and 3 respectively, each garnered around 11.7 units. On the basis of his single and album success, Drake was the most popular artist — rising from No. 9 in 2015 — while the late David Bowie was No. 2 and Coldplay came in third. (For both albums and singles, the IFPI cited itself as the source for the figures. It did so for the “most popular artists and best sellers” chart as well, but noted “The compilation of the IFPI top artist chart has been independently verified through certain agreed procedures by [accounting company] BDO LPP)

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