Streaming growth boosts R&B/Hip-Hop share of global recorded music sales 24 May 2018

New research published by the Ovum newsletter Music & Copyright has revealed that retail sales of R&B/hip-hop jumped 24.1% in 2017, to $2.59bn, from $2.08bn in 2016.

The genre’s share of retail sales increased, to 11.9%, from 10.4%. Furthermore, R&B/hip-hop’s retail share has more than doubled in the last 10 years.

Pop and rock remain the two most popular music genres. Consumer spending on pop music increased 3.9%, to $6.79bn, from $6.53bn, while spending on rock music grew 2.5%, to $5.25bn, from $5.12bn. In terms of revenue share, pop accounted for 31.1% of global music retail sales, with rock taking a 24.1% share.

Global, recorded-music retail sales by genre share, 2017

Global, recorded-music retail sales by genre share, 2017

Source: Music & Copyright

“The simple explanation why R&B/hip-hop sales have risen so much in the last few years is that streaming use has grown sharply. The streaming audience is skewed toward a younger demographic, and R&B/hip-hop is more popular among younger consumers,” said Simon Dyson, editor of Music & Copyright and Practice Leader of Ovum’s Music team. “National trade associations that have published sales by genre and retail channel have shown that the streaming share for R&B/hip-hop can sometimes be more than double the genre’s share of more traditional format sales. With streaming forecast to continue rising for the next few years at least, the future for R&B/hip-hop has never looked so good.”

The classification of any artists’ music into a single genre is fairly arbitrary and can differ between record company, music retailer and national trade association. Categorizing music within a genre can often have multiple influencing factors such as musical technique, style, context, target audience and geographical origin. Moreover, many genres have sub-genres that can often overlap others. For the purposes of this research, Music & Copyright has limited itself to the most commonly used genre categories by most national trade associations when presenting a breakdown of sales by genre.

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