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Hip-Hop's Huge Year In Streaming: How Rap Reigned Supreme In 2018
The rising popularity of hip-hop among consumers is nothing new, but the latest data from BuzzAngle shows the genre's dominance in a new light. According to their year-end report, hip-hop and rap tracks accounted for more than a quarter of all on-demand plays on music streaming services in the U.S. in 2018. Mic drop.
While the data also reveals rock and pop maintain strongholds in digital album sales and physical album sales respectively, streaming is king in 2018 and rap reigns with 25.4 percent of on-demand streams, eclipsing even pop at 18.5 percent.
Rock's top spot in album sales comes with a caveat, as album sales fell by 18.2 percent from the previous year, although rock ruled vinyl sales at 41.7 percent in a format that is up 11.9 percent overall.
Hip-hop also holds court with the most audio streams and video streams of any genre, according to the study. But at least in one of those areas, video streams, rap has a hot contender. Latin music saw a surge in video streams up from 20.1 percent in 2017 to 21.8 percent in 2018, placing it just behind rap in the No. 2 position. Urban Latin music artists dominated many of the year-end lists from the likes of YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music.
One impossible-to-ignore artist, album and song likely had much to do with rap's dominance of streaming in 2018. Drake's double-album Scorpion and its single "God's Plan" topped BuzzAngle's biggest overall album for the year and biggest track across all three relevant formats (downloads, audio streams, video streams) lists. This comes as little surprise considering some of the streaming and chart records Drake broke in 2018.
Will Latin music's stock continue to rise in 2019? Will hip-hop widen the gap ahead of the pack? Will physical album sales hemorrhage as rapidly? Only time will tell. Happy listening!