With the help of streaming, Black music has taken over the United States.
For the first time ever, the combined genre of R&B and hip-hop has dethroned rock as the most consumed genre in the country.
Nielsen Music recently released its annual mid-year report, which takes a look at how the music industry is doing halfway through the year and lists which songs and albums are performing the best. This time around, the report revealed some fairly unsurprising stats, including the fact that streaming is still exploding, Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You” is the most popular track and Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. is the album that the American public simply can’t get enough of. All of those could have been predicted, but there is one standout piece of information embedded in the document that is somewhat shocking.
For the first time since Nielsen started measuring music consumption in the United States, rock is no longer the top genre in terms of overall consumption. Instead, the combined genre of R&B and hip-hop has taken the crown, and while the two styles are fairly close to one another when it comes to percentages, the latter has pulled ahead, and it seems like it will continue to distance itself from the competition in the coming months and years.
According to the report, R&B and hip-hop are now responsible for 25.1% of all music consumption in the U.S., while rock claims 23%.
Streaming plays a large factor in the rise of R&B/hip-hop, but rock is the clear lead when it comes to album sales — making up a whopping 40% of ALL sales.
R&B/hip-hop is nearly as popular on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music than the next two genres (rock and pop) combined.
As often as pop music borrows from R&B and hip-hop, this is not surprising to us at ALL.