Streaming stats from 2020 say that rock is definitely NOT dead.

MRC Data spends all its time monitoring various aspects of the music industry, including who streams what.

In their analysis of American streaming data, they found (as expected) that music classified as R&B/Hop was streamed the most, picking up a little more than one-third (33.9%) of all streams. The genres also grabbed 30.7% of on-demand streams.

Impressive, to be sure. A caveat, though: studies of listener behaviors seem to indicate that fans of these genres are more apt to playing songs multiple times in a row. If that’s true, then that will go a long way to driving up streaming numbers.

Rock–a genre where fans are apparently more likely to listen to one song and then move on to the next–finished in second place with 16.3% of all on-demand streams. Pop was third at 13.1% while country was at 7.9%. Classical was last at just 1%.

Back to rock for a second: Much of the streaming appears to have been driven by heritage. For example, the most-streamed rock album was Queen’s Greatest Hits followed by the Elton John collection entitled Diamonds.

There’s more to be had at MBW. I’m hoping to get similar stats for Canada soon.

Alan Cross

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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