Anyone still under the impression that BuzzFeed is just about kittens, listicles and quizzes should read Reggie Ugwu’s feature about hip-hop and streaming music, which was published yesterday. It explores why the genre is so popular in the streaming world, including (but not restricted to) the recent massive first-day streaming figures for Drake and Kendrick Lamar.
The piece cites stats from Nielsen Music in the US suggesting that hip-hop and R&B accounted for 29% of on-demand streaming in 2014, ahead of genres including rock (25%), pop (21%) and EDM (7%). The article comes up with three theories for hip-hop over-indexing on streaming compared to other formats. First, the age of the current streaming demographic. “Many 18- to 24-year-olds, which is really our core audience, eat, sleep, and breathe hip-hop,” says Spotify’s Ken Parks. Second, the parallels between mixtape culture and free streaming. And third, social media behaviour with Nielsen claiming hip-hop fans are among the most likely to share song links with friends on social networks.