Hip-Hop Has Replaced Rock As Music’s Most Consumed Genre

Hip Hop Has Replaced Rock As Music's Most Consumed Genre

Surprisingly, more music fans enjoy purchasing rock albums than actually streaming them.

So, what genre do music fans actually prefer listening to?

Do they still enjoy consuming timeless classics like rock and country music?  What about EDM, pop, or music?  Thanks to Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s record-breaking single ‘Despacito,’ has Latin music’s time finally come?

According to two new reports published this week, the answer may surprise you.

The meteoric rise of Hip-Hop.

In terms of total consumption (album + track equivalents + on-demand audio streaming), Hip-Hop/R&B became music’s most-consumed genre.  It beat out Rock last July, and held the position for the rest of 2017.

In its annual midyear report, Nielsen Music noted that Hip-Hop and R&B accounted for eight of the ten most popular artists.  Drake and Kendrick Lamar took the top spots.

Image by Nielsen Music

With a 72% increase in on-demand audio streams, streaming music platforms helped propel the genre.

Each artist on the list, including Lil Uzi Vert and Post Malone, saw streams in excess of 800 million for their respective singles.  According to Nielsen Music, the genre’s dominance also helped inaugurate a new class of emerging artists.

Image by Nielsen Music

Nielsen Music also found that Hip-Hop/R&B accounts for 25.1% of all music consumption in the United States.

While still popular among music fans, rock fell to 23%.

When breaking down song consumption by genre, BuzzAngle Music reported similar findings in its report.  Though holiday music experienced the most growth in 2017, Hip-Hop/R&B had a combined 30.4% song consumption share.  Last year, Hip-Hop grew by 27.1% over the prior year, and R&B’s song consumption share rose 19.1%.

Unlike Nielsen Music, BuzzAngle tracks R&B and Hip-Hop as separate genres.

Image by BuzzAngle Music

In terms of album consumption, both genres barely beat out rock with a 26.2% combined share.  People consumed fewer rock albums last year, as the genre experienced a 5% drop over 2016’s numbers.

Image by BuzzAngle Music

With Spotify set to launch their IPO within the next three months, streaming platforms may further cement Hip-Hop and R&B’s dominant positions in the music industry this year.


Featured image by Merlijn Hoek (CC by 2.0)

4 Responses

  1. lolz

    ermm.. the number gap between downloads and on demand streams is HUGE. I thought it was much lower.

    • Lest it be overlooked...

      Self-serving considerations aside, but only for the moment, lower-rate “distributions” rather than higher-rate “broadcasts,” now that is the immediate question!!!

      Might explain low payments to artists.

      • Lest it be overlooked...

        Apologies. In my haste, I neglected to attach the link to yesterdays Hollywood Reporter article regarding the Sony/American Idol Stars settlement which I had posted in the DMN Article “Spotify Is Going Public In Less Than Three Months!”

        That said, this comment will make more sense upon reading the referenced articles, thank you.

  2. Cavan

    Streams say nothing about how popular a type of music may be. Sales matter. Streams aren’t sales, despite the industry’s attempts to spin otherwise. At best, they are like radio. If someone paid nothing to listen to the music, then it is worth nothing to them. No money exchanged is not a sale.
    Taylor Swift is correct that streaming is destroying the value of music. (I’m not a Taylor Swift fan but respect her business sense.) If everything is free, then music is worth nothing. Stop trying to play whack-a-mole with pirates and only release music on vinyl records and CD’s. The pirates are going to pirate. The artists already make nothing off their albums because of Spotify. Spotify will collapse (whether before or after some suckers give them MORE case in an IPO) and all the customers of Spotify will own nothing.