Hip-hop just won big. According to an annual report by Nielsen Music, 25.1% of all music consumed in the United States comes from hip-hop and R&B artists. This is the first time since Nielsen started measuring music consumption in the U.S. that rock is not the top genre.
As originally reported by Forbes, the mid-year analysis by Nielsen takes a look at how the music industry is doing halfway through the year. Although rock was only slightly behind with 23%, the combined genres of hip-hop and R&B are expected to continue gaining momentum as music streaming continues to explode. So far this year, hip-hop and R&B made up for 29% of all streams.
Forbes states that seven of 2017’s top 10 most popular singles fall directly in the hip-hop genre, while Bruno Mars’ R&B hit, “That’s What I like” also lands on that list, blending R&B and pop. Kendrick Lamar’s third full-length album, DAMN., was named the biggest album of the first half of 2017, shifting 1.77 million units in less than three months. Hip-hop and R&B are almost as popular as rock and pop combined on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.
In terms of record sales, rock still reigns supreme with 40%. However, Forbes states that this can’t be a truly accurate representation of how Americans are consuming music because the total number of records sold has decreased each year. Streaming platforms continue to change the business of the music industry and fans continue to stream their favorites over and over. In fact, Drake recently became the first artist to hit 10 billion streams on Spotify — proving that it’s nearly impossible to slow the streaming trend.
Does this come as a surprise to you or has hip-hop been reigning for some time now? Check out the Nielsen report here for the full details on the music industry from the first six months of 2017.