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Rock Music Outsells Rap in 2010

Rap music may rule the airwaves, but rock music surprisingly dominates the sales market. In a story in New York’s Daily News, writer Jim Farber took a close look at the Nielsen SoundScan figures to discover that rock was the most profitable genre in last year.

While hip-hop attained several serious accomplishments in 2010 – including earning a four percent sales increase in sales (the only musical genre to experience a sales increase) and boasting the highest selling album of the year with Eminem’s Recovery (3.5 million units and counting)—rock music moved more albums due to the popularity of classic rock acts back catalogue sales.

According to SoundScan, 103 million rock discs were purchased last year, while only 27 million rap LPs were sold. If alternative and metal CDs are taken into consideration, then that bumps rock’s overall numbers to 188 million.

“There isn’t any genre that translates better to catalogue sales than rock,” David Bukula, Nielsen’s senior vice president told the Daily News. “Last year, 55% of our overall track sales came from catalogue.”

“Who’s going back to rediscover DMX right now, as opposed to who’s just discovering the Beatles?” Bakula added. —Elan Mancini

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