2018 was a key year for hip-hop as a genre. In fact, more individuals in the U.S. streamed rap music from Drake, Nicki Minaj and more diverse artists from their preferred music streaming services than ever before.
According to a report from Buzz Angle, Hip-Hop made up 25.4 percent of all music streamed across audio and video platforms last year. That’s a three percent increase from 22.0% in 2017.
Music streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora report that hip-hop music made up 26.9 percent of all on-demand plays, which is 23.6% more than last year. In video streaming services like YouTube, hip-hop was responsible for 22.8 percent of music plays in 2018, which is at least three percent more than last year.
It’s perhaps no surprise that Drake’s record-breaking Scorpion was named BuzzAngle’s biggest overall album of 2018, while his single God’s Plan took the crown for the biggest track across all three relevant formats i.e. downloads, audio streams and video streams.
Interestingly, while hip-hop dominated streaming, it was Pop and Rock that were most successful when it came to sales. Rock had by far the most vinyl sales with 41.7 percent, and it also had the most album sales and digital album sales. Meanwhile, Pop had the most physical album sales and CD sales. In all those categories, though, Pop and Rock were only a few percentage points away from each other (aside from vinyl sales).
Overall US album sales fell by 18.2% in 2018, says BuzzAngle, with a total volume of 121.19 mn. Of this, 50.75 mn albums were digital downloads, a number which was down 21.8% year-on-year. Physical album purchases dropped to 70.43 mn, down 15.3%, of which 60.65 mn were CD sales (-18.5%). Single-track downloads, meanwhile, fell 28.8% to 401.09 mn.