The year-end numbers for music sales and streaming are in. It turns out that even though Drake's VIEWS spent more time atop the U.S. albums chart last year, Adele's 25 has been declared the top-selling album of 2016. Released in Nov. 2015, 25 was also the best-selling album of 2015. In 2016, it earned an equivalent of 1.55 million album sales, barely beating the 1.51 million attained by VIEWS. The most-streamed song of 2016 was Desiigner's "Panda," with almost 737 million streams. 

As evidenced by the numbers of VIEWS, 2016 was all about streaming. Last year, paid subscription streaming rose by a measure of 124 percent, now accounting for 76 percent of all streams, according to a report from BuzzAngle Music. Streaming by means of ad support rose by 14 percent. 

Downloads, on the other hand, were way down last year. Song downloads declined by 24.8 percent in 2016. There were more streams on an average day (1.2 billion) than there were downloads for the entire year (734 million). 

Overall, album sales declined as well, though interestingly enough, there was a major spike in vinyl album sales, which rose 25.9 percent. More so than in past years, major rap releases -- such as VIEWSJeffery, and Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight -- were released on vinyl. 

The major takeaway from the year-end report is that people are paying for music again, albeit mostly indirectly via streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music. 

[via Pitchfork