As the music industry’s model switches to streaming algorithms as the main measure of success, the most consumed genre is also switching up.
According to Nielsen Music’s annual mid-year report, rock is no longer the top genre when it comes to overall consumption, reports Forbes. Instead, R&B and hip-hop take the top spot; this is the first time since Nielsen started measuring music consumption in the U.S. that this has been the case.
The report (which combined the two genres as one) looks at which albums and songs are doing the best, and hip hop is even reported to be a bit more popular than R&B. The report states that R&B and hip-hop are now responsible for 25.1% of all music consumption in the U.S., while rock claims 23%. The shift can be attributed to the music streaming shift, with hip-hop/R&B being responsible for just over 29% of all on-demand streams across the country, the only field that is growing noticeably. Consistently, at least seven of the top 10 most popular songs on streaming platforms in 2017 fit into the hip-hop field. Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like” also consistently represents for the R&B genre on those same streaming platforms.
But while R&B and hip-hop slam the competition in streaming stats, the rock genre still reigns supreme in album sales — 40% of all album sales in the country, but the number of albums sold is dwindling with each passing year.
As of mid-2017, Ed Sheeran’s hit R&B groove “Shape Of You” is the most popular track, and Kendrick Lamar’s album DAMN is has been named the biggest album of the first half of 2017 according to Nielsen.