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Hip Hop/R&B Has Passed Rock As Top Genre

By HHL Editors
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Hip Hop is now king.

Well, if you combine it with R&B.

According to Forbes and Nielsen, Hip Hop/R&B just shot past rock to become the biggest musical genre in the US.

For the first time since Nielsen started measuring music consumption in the United States, rock is no longer the top genre in terms of overall consumption. Instead, the combined genre of R&B and hip-hop has taken the crown, and while the two styles are fairly close to one another when it comes to percentages, the latter has pulled ahead, and it seems like it will continue to distance itself from the competition in the coming months and years.
And how did Hip Hop/R&B finally slay the rock beast?

[Related: Check out the top 50 Artist of 2016 by sales plus streaming.]

Streaming, streaming, streaming.

Hip-hop/R&B, on the other hand, is responsible for just over 29% of all on-demand streams across the country, and that is the only field that is growing noticeably," Forbes reports. "In fact, R&B/hip-hop is almost as popular on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music than the next two genres (rock and pop) combined. At least seven of the top 10 most popular songs on streaming platforms in 2017 fit squarely into the hip-hop field, while another, Bruno Mars' "That's What I Like," blends pop and R&B.
Rock is still responsible for a whopping 40 percent of all traditional album sales. And artists still make more money selling those full album than they do from the equivalent streams.

But album sales have been dwindling overall every year at the expense of streaming. So Rock's financial advantage from those sales is also getting smaller and smaller.

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