R&B and Hip-Hop more loved than Rock – thanks to boom in streaming

By Kitty Knowles 5 January 2018

A 59% surge in streaming reflects our changing tastes.

Spotify or Tidal? Apple or Amazon Music?

Whichever you prefer, the popularity of music streaming continues to rise.

What’s more, with streaming making listening to songs easier and more affordable than ever, perceptions of taste are changing too:

R&B and Hip-Hop are now more popular than rock for the first time ever.

The rise of streaming
Our love of music was reflected last year in a 12.5% year-on-year surge in consumption across the online and offline industry, Nielsen analysts have found.

However, it was the 59% rise in on-demand streaming which massively offset an 18% decline in physical and digital music sales during the year.

Streaming has now passed all other ownership formats, including physical and digital album sales, making 2017 the first year on-demand music accounted for the majority of audio consumption.

In total, on-demand services like Spotify surpassed 400 billion streams – compared to 252 billion in 2016.

Who’s riding the wave?

For the first time ever, the genres of R&B and Hip-Hop became most dominant – with R&B and Hip-Hop artists making seven of the top 10 most-consumed albums of 2017.

And Neilsen’s experts suggest this has been “powered” by a 72% increase in R&B and Hip-Hop streaming.

In the world of R&B and Hip-Hop, Drake topped the charts, with 4.8m track listens for his album Damn., followed by Kendrick Lamar (3.7m for More Life).

While RapCaviar has become the most influential playlist in music – has now passed Rock as the largest genre in terms of total consumption.

In fact, in 2017 a total of 19 songs reached 500m in on-demand streams, compared with only 6 in 2016 – and 17 of those 19 tracks were from the R&B/Hip-Hop genre.

Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift represented the world of ‘Pop’ with 3.6m and 3.4m track listens respectively.

Vinyl Renaissance

It’s not all bad for the world of rock and physical music.

Vinyl’s renaissance continued with sales growing for the 12th consecutive year – making up 14% of all physical album sales. (The top-selling vinyl LP of the year was the re-release of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band).

In other positive news, Latin music history was made when Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s Spanish-language smash “Despacito” and its crossover remix featuring Justin Bieber topped the Hot 100 chart to become the biggest song of the year.

‘Felicidades’ to them!

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