For the first time ever, hip-hop surpassed rock as the most popular genre in the US in 2017, according to Nielsen’s year-end report on the music industry.
Nielsen said the hip-hop/R&B genre ended as the largest genre of the year in terms of “total consumption,” which includes album sales and album-equivalent streaming figures.
Seven of the top ten most-consumed albums of the year came from the hip-hop/R&B genre, with Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” taking the second spot behind Ed Sheeran’s “Divide.”
Drake and Lamar came in first and second, respectively, on Nielsen’s list of the ten most popular artists of the year, in terms of total consumption. Eight of the top ten artists came from the hip-hop/R&B genre.
Nielsen noted that the growth in popularity of the hip-hop/R&B genre was “powered by a 72% increase in on-demand audio streaming” in the genre.
Overall, on-demand audio streaming saw a 59% increase in 2017. This figure boosted the total volume of music consumption up by 12.5% compared to 2016, despite year-over-year declines in album and track sales.