Is hip-hop America’s favourit genre? Nope. This report says it’s rock

There has been much handwriting and moaning about the death of rock–at least in the United States. And yes, hip-hop has been the main musical driver of culture for the last number of years. We can read all about it in this year-end report from Nielsen Music.

However, another research firm, MusicWatch, has a different opinion. They have been asking Americans about their favourite genres, delving into not just what they buy and stream, but by what they listen to with their existing music collections and what they listen to on the radio.

Here are the results:

  • 32% of Americans say that rock (alt-rock, classic, metal, and er, soft rock) is one of their favourite genres.
  • 25% picked R&B/hip-hop

How can this difference between the two studies be explained? Different methodologies. MusicWatch also says that American charts are “influenced by heavy listeners to on-demand streaming services.”

Rock fans should get too cocky, though. If we burrow deeper into the data, Gen Z music fans vote 43% in favour of R&B/hip-hop vs. 20% for rock.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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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