Move over rock and roll, there’s a new sheriff in town—at least, according to the folks at Nielsen, who’ve been responsible for tracking album and single sales for decades now. On Monday (July 17), Forbes reported that hip-hop/R&B, which Nielsen classifies as being the same genre, has recently usurped rock as the most consumed musical genre. That’s the first time this has ever happened.
According to Forbes, R&B and hip-hop—which are technically considered two separate genres—have been responsible for 25.1 percent of the music consumed in the U.S. Rock checks in at 23 percent.
Forbes says this shift in consumption has something to do with the surging popularity of streaming services. Rock is still “far and away” the most popular genre when it comes to the sale of albums, earning 40 percent of all sales in the U.S. But album sales have sunken little by little, year by year for a while now as streaming services become more ubiquitous.
Hip-hop/R&B are reportedly responsible for 29 percent of all on-demand streams across the country. In 2017, streaming services are the only platforms still growing at a steady rate. Forbes notes that seven of 2017’s top 10 most popular singles have fallen squarely in the hip-hop genre, while Bruno Mars’ R&B hit, “That’s What I like” also lands on that list, blending R&B and pop.
If you’ve been keeping score, Drake—who blends hip-hop and R&B more seamlessly than anyone–stands as the name you’ll think of first when learning about hip-hop/R&B’s rise to the top of the U.S.’s most consumed musical genres. His latest project, titled More Life, has been streamed more than a billion times on Spotify. Back in March, he became the first artist to reach 10 billion streams on the service.
With streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify and increasing their popularity seemingly every day, the trend of hip hop and R&B’s dominance isn’t like to end. In other words, hip-hop’s just taken home a huge W.