Music Industry

Published on June 9th, 2019 | by Alan Cross


A close analysis of the world of streaming and music sales reveals some interesting truths

Rolling Stone took a look at what’s happening with music in the era of streaming and discovered some interesting facts.

  1. Hip-hop is winning when it comes to streaming with 25.6% of the market. Pop is in second place.
  2. The largest artists (Drake, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande et al) are losing market share. Yes, their songs are still streaming by the billions, but with more people adopting the platforms and listening to other material, their overall market share is getting smaller.
  3. Rock is hardly dead. It has nearly 27% of all digital albums sales followed by pop at 26% while rap/hip-hop has about 7.6%.
  4. Pop is tops in physical sales but is statistically neck-and-neck with rock.
  5. Rock leads when it comes to vinyl sales with 41.5% of the market going to the genre. Hip-hop and rap only have 7%.
  6. When it comes to sales of individual songs, pop wins with 25.6% of the market. Rock and hip-hop are in a virtual tie with 15.1% and 14.7% respectively.
  7. Rock fans still aren’t streaming a lot of music. Rock songs account for 11.7% of all streams. But that’s growing. Good.


About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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