Hip Hop Artists Reaping the Benefits from streaming music – Chocolate Informed –
Key Points: streaming, music, fans, album, and spotify –
As both physical and digital music sales decline, the music industry has moved to a more streaming-focused model. Signs show that hip-hop artists are reaping the benefit.
Hip-hop, more than any other genre, has a strong tradition of free music. Years before the rise of ad-supported, on-demand streaming in America, rappers were keeping mixtape sites like Datpiff and Live Mixtapes flush with quality content at no cost.
Spotify arrived on the scene in 2011 with the promise of making all music available for free. So, it comes as no surprise that hip-hop fans were among its earliest and most avid supporters.
On February 13, 2015, with little to no warning, Drake, the Toronto rapper released a mixtape, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.” The mixtape was played more than 6.8 million times on Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming service.
On March 15, 2015 around 11:45 pm, Kendrick Lamar followed up after Drake with his surprise release of his second major-label album, “To Pimp a Butterfly.” He crashed streaming servers by racking up an unheard of 9.6 million streams on the album’s first full day of release.
Hip-hop’s lead in streaming is remarkable, considering that the genre has historically lagged behind rock and pop in other metrics used by the music industry as barometers of success. When it comes to album sales, for instance, hip-hop and R&B was still a distant second to rock in 2014, accounting for 14% of sales compared to rock’s 33%, according to Nielsen Music. In song downloads, hip-hop and R&B came in third place behind both rock and pop.