It’s Official: Rock is No Longer the Most Popular Music Genre
Hip Hop / R&B has officially surpassed rock as the most-listened to music genre in the United States, according to the annual mid-year report from Nielsen, a company that tracks music sales and radio play. It’s the first time that rock (which includes metal) hasn’t been the most popular genre in the U.S. since Nielsen began tracking such measures in 1991.
R&B and hip-hop now collectively comprise 25.1% of all music consumption in the U.S., while rock sits just below that at 23%. The rise of streaming is the primary factor in hip hop / R&B’s takeover: the genres accounted for 29% of on-demand streams while the streaming market overall explodes. So although rock accounted for 40% of album sales in the country, an impressive number, the fact that the overall number of albums sold continues on its years-long downward trend mitigates the effects of those sales on the total consumptions numbers.
What does all of this mean for metal? Not a whole lot, most likely. The extreme music we listen to isn’t going anywhere as long as fans of the genre keep supporting the bands they love by buying records, purchasing merch, going to shows and, yes, streaming their songs and albums. It all adds up. Things will be just fine. Don’t panic!