Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Rap Rules Streaming as Post Malone Reigns Supreme, But CDs and Downloads Fall to All Time Lows


What’s left of the so called record business is streaming. And in streaming, it’s all about rap.

Post Malone, for example, sold a total of 192,525 this week of his “Beerbongs and Bentleys” album. Only 21,863 of that came from CDs and paid downloads. Don’t think Apple isn’t watching this: iTunesĀ  for downloads is soon to become extinct.

The number 1 album derived from CDs and downloads was Leon Bridges’ new effort, “Good Thing.” That number was 58,426. Bridges is an old school R&B singer modeling himself on Al Green, Sam Moore, Jackie Wilson. So his streaming was nil– just 5,484 of that was from streaming services.

You can’t even say streaming vs. sales is a black-white thing. After all, Leon Bridges is black. Post Malone is white. But if it feels like rap or hip hop, the sales are no longer coming from ownership. Anything else, and a small but plucky audience is still there for “conventional” purchase and keeping of music.

Post Malone’s music could be described as a combination rap, hip hop, new country, and alternative everything. “Beerbongs” has a broad spectrum appeal. And every one of its tracks is separately on the list of top streaming songs. His music is melodic and he can actually sing if he has to.

The number 2 and 3 albums of all means were from J Cole, and Cardi B respectively. They were 90% streaming.

For recording artists of older ages (over 30), not rap and not hip hop, making a physical CD is now like issuing a souvenir. It’s just not going to sell in any major number no matter who you are. Scary, huh?

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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