Hip-Hop Officially Bigger Than Rock for the First Time Ever

    Nielsen Music’s semi-annual report reveals some startling information.

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    Drake taking aim in the video for "Energy"

    The digital era that we’re currently living in has certainly changed the way we consume music in a big way. As streaming dominates the musical landscape, it’s probably no surprise that music tastes are now more diverse than ever. However, one genre that has seen a real boom in this computerized age is hip-hop. And, for the first time since recorded history, it is now the most consumed style of music in the U.S.

    Nielsen Music – the research institute that measures music sales and consumption – released their mid-year report on the music industry for 2017, with one key thing to take away from it: rock music is no longer the most prominent genre for the first time. At a consumption rate of 23%, rock has now been overtaken by hip-hop, with the latter claiming 25% of the music-listening public.

    Hip-hop is leading the charge when it comes to streaming, which many would concur is the most popular way to listen to music in the 21st century. At a whopping 29% accounted for on streaming services, hip-hop has a bigger percentage than both rock and pop combined. As streaming continues to grow, so too will the gap in these statistics.

    Rock music can still take some solace in the fact that it is still the most popular genre when it comes to physical and digital sales, with 40% of the records, CD’s, and downloads coming by way of the genre. However, with physical sales on a decline, that figure isn’t the most predominant one to emerge from the report.

    Besides that revelation, other interesting information from the report include Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” being the most popular song in the U.S. right now, with Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN being the most popular album. With hip-hop producing talents like Lamar and Kanye West over the past 17 years, and rock providing little in the form of huge bands, it’s no surprise that (for now), hip-hop is the most popular genre in the U.S. now.