R&B/hip-hop has dethroned rock as the most popular music genre in the United States.
Nielsen Music released its mid-year report and it found that hip-hop and R&B are king.
Nielsen classifies the two under the same genre, finding it makes up 25.1 percent of all music consumed in the country. Rock ‘n’ roll came in second at 23 percent. Pop was third, and country was the fourth most popular genre. Classical music was in last place with just 1 percent of all music consumption in the year-to-date.
Jason Lipshutz, Billboard Magazine Music Editor, is not surprised. R&B and hip-hop have been dominating the charts all year.
“Everything at the top has been hip-hop and R&B, it’s been what’s popping off right now,” said Lipshutz. “Hip-hop and R&B have always been at the forefront of culture but right now, I think it’s a special circumstance where its dominating. You’ve had rock dominate for decades, you’ve had pop music but now hip-hop and R&B are dominating the top 40 as well.”
Analysts attribute the shift to the rise in streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal. Rock still leads in album sales but streaming has become the premier platform for hip-hop and R&B. Streaming has the support of big names like Jay-Z, who recently dropped his “4:44” on Tidal. Other heavyweights include Drake, who’s album “More Life” broke a record for audio on demand streams in one week.
“The big disparity right now is streaming. Hip-hop and R&B make up 30 percent of all streaming, rock is down to 18 percent streaming. There’s a huge disparity there and even though rock is not dead by any means, people have been declaring rock dead for decades, it’s still around, it’s still thriving in this one platform rising up, hip-hop and R&B simply do better than rock,” said Lipshutz. “That has been a huge metric for us as more and more people consume steaming sites. You have artists like Kendrick Lama, Migos and Drake thrive on streaming and it’s a huge part of the reason why hip-hop and R&B are dominating.”