Rock isn’t any longer the most popular genre of music. As per Nielsen Music’s 2017 year-end report, R&B/hip-hop has overtaken rock to become the most popular music genre inside the United States in terms of overall consumption for the very first time.
Seven of the top ten most-listened-to artists this year were as from the R&B/hip-hop genre, led by Drake’s 4.8 million album-equivalent units (combined album sales, song downloads, and streams) as well as Kendrick Lamar’s 4.8 million album-equivalent units (combined album sales, song downloads, and streams) (3.7 million). Rap also had the second-highest growth of any genre, with a 25 per cent increase in total volume in 2016, trailing only Latin music, which had a 30 per cent increase in total volume.
As per BuzzAngle Music as well as Mediabase, hip-hop ruled the charts in 2017, with viral successes including Lil Uzi Vert’s XO Tour Llif3, Future’s Mask Off, and Post Malone’s Congratulations placing amongst some of the top 10 best-selling singles of the year. Cardi B (Bodak Yellow) and Migos (Bad and Boujee) both spent numerous weeks there at top of the Billboard Hot 100 with its respective singles, while R&B and hip-hop artists made up four of the five Grammy candidates for album of the year.
Consequently, album, as well as song sales, fell 19 per cent in 2017 compared to the previous year. However, streaming soared in its wake, increasing by 43% to 400 billion streams in total (compared with 252 billion in 2016).
So much from Nielsen on the music industry this year:
Divide by Ed Sheeran was indeed the year’s most popular album, reaching 2.8 million album-equivalent copies. Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. (2.7 million) as well Taylor Swift’s Reputation came in second and third, however (2.3 million).
Despite the fact that Reputation was released in mid-November, it sold 1.9 million copies in 2017, making it the best-selling album of the year. Together with Divide, it was one of just two albums to sell over one million copies last year.
The summer anthem Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, starring Justin Bieber, was the most popular song of the year for the terms of overall sales (2.7 million downloads) and streaming (1.3 billion).