Downloading and streaming have transformed the way people listen to music. While some have remained faithful to more traditional formats — the nostalgic appeal of vinyl ensures it will never completely die out — the majority of listeners engage with their favorite singles and albums via their computer or handheld device.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) monitors digital music sales, and it’s a little more complicated than traditional sales: one equivalent song unit is equal to one digital song sale or 150 on-demand audio and/or video streams, and an artist’s record label has to submit a certification request to the RIAA on a per-track basis. This means the chart can change depending on a label's efficiency.
For now, according to the RIAA ranking, these are the 16 top-selling digital singles artists. Any surprises?