It looks like something that has always seemed pretty obvious has now been made official by Nielsen Music. Hip-hop/R&B has, for the first time, become the most dominant music genre in the country, surpassing rock music.
According to the report, hip-hop and R&B is responsible for 25.1% of all music consumption, while rock comes in at just 23%. So they came pretty close to one another. It’s no surprise. Three of this year’s biggest albums were rap albums, with Drake’s More Life, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. as well as JAY-Z’s 4:44. Although, this only accounts for “digital song sales with streaming equivalent on-demand audio.” Rock music still makes up to 40% of physical album sales. But it wouldn’t be surprising if this were to change over time as well.
“The top streaming on-demand song (audio and video combined) is Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You,’ followed by Migos’ (feat. Lil Uzi Vert) ‘Bad and Boujee’ and Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s (feat. Justin Bieber) ‘Despacito.’”
In addition, Nielsen notes that “on-demand audio streams have reached over 184 billion streams so far in 2017, a considerable 62.4% increase over the same time period in 2016.” Hip-hop/R&B is responsible for nearly 29% of all on-demand streams across America. The genre is most popular with Spotify and Apple Music.