Is Rock No Longer the Most Popular Music Genre in America?

Rock & Roll may finally have lost out to Hip Hop/R&B as the most-listened to genre of music in the United States.

This is according to a mid-year report from Nielsen, which tracks music sales and radio play. The report notes that this is the first time since 1991 -- when Nielsen began tracking genre popularity -- that rock has been overtaken.

Hip Hop/R&B is responsible for 25.1% of all music consumption in the U.S., reports Forbes, while rock consumption is at about 23%. 

But rock isn't dead...yet?

While there is a significant gap in the amount Hip Hop and Rock are being listened to on the air and online, rock artists sell by far the most albums. Rock artists claim 40% of album sales in America. 

That data that many suggest Rock's strong roots and loyal audience.

At the same time, as album sales dwindle year-to-year, streaming increases. Meaning the album-buying public is shrinking altogether, so that metric isn't representative of how Americans are consuming music. In terms of streaming, hip-hop is nearly as popular as Rock and Pop combined, with 29% of all on-demand streams.


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