On-demand video was 22.8% of U.S. music consumption in 2017

Danny Woods
January 6, 2018

R&B/hip-hop became the most popular musical genre in the United States in 2017, according to a new consumer report from Nielsen Music.

That means vinyl, which has seen 12 straight years of year-over-year increases, now accounts for 14 percent of total physical album sales. The popularity of R&B/Hip-Hop was powered by a 72% increase in on-demand audio streaming.

Rock is no longer the top dog in music.

R&B/hip hop represented 24.5 per cent of all music consumption in the USA - the largest share and the first time it had led the measurement for a calendar year. R&B/Hip-Hop emerged as the largest genre with 24.5 percent, up from 22 percent last year, thanks to 25 percent growth to 157.1 million consumption units in 2017, versus the prior year when consumption units totaled 125.7 million units. That means Reputation scanned over 1 million CDs in 2017. This led to the music industry's growth of 12.5 percent in total volume, over 2016.

However, rap/hip-hop was tops for total song consumption at 20.9 percent, with rock close behind at 19.8. Consistent with previous year, more than 70 percent of the top 1,000 streamed songs in 2017 were either in the Urban or Pop genre.

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In terms of activity, the breakout hit was the biggest song of the year followed by Sheeran's "Shape of You" and Lamar's "Humble". It was also the most streamed song of the year.

It's probably no surprise which song topped 1 billion streams: "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee (1.1 billion streams). With that, the US industry produced its first 1 billion-stream song in a single year, as Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee's "Despacito" (featuring Justin Bieber) hit 1.3 billion total on-demand streams in 2017.

Total on-demand streams broke the 2 billion mark for a single day for the first time on April 21, 2017.

While Drake did not release a proper LP in 2017, he did release the More Life mixtape and dropped a handful of popular singles.

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