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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  • jfl11

    Guys I work with think The Roots “isn’t music”, that’s about all you need to know as far as some white men’s opinion on rap

    • xxlpost

      I have never heard anyone say the roots are not music, you must work with idiots.

    • Nate

      The last barrier of racism is musical, rather ironically i suppose.

      • xxlpost

        The Beatles are royalty to rock music hip hop has 2pac and Biggie and if you want to keep their legacy strong then you have to support their original recordings and not these get rich quick efforts labels put out today.

  • aybay

    no shit, what is this news for morons? there’s SO much more rock out there than rap that its obviously gonna sell more, as you say “back catalogue” stuff

  • xxlpost

    Rock has a longer history and I would buy the Beatles any day over that talentless clown Eminem.

    • Blueprint 25

      how can you say Eminem is talentless? It just shows you didn’t listen fully to the Slim Shady LP and Marshall Mathers LP.

  • HU

    This is actually relevant news and speaks to the fast food type of trash music that pervades rap. No one, and I mean NO one is going back to purchase a Lil Boosie cd or Master P or Mack 10 or Waka Flacka, or Young Joc, or Young Dro, or whatever trash is hot for 2 weeks. Now that singles are readily available online why buy a Soulja Boy album. These “rappers” are talentless but are able to capitalize off momentary hotness. That simply does not last.

    • xxlpost

      That is true but people will go back years from now and buy Public Enemy. Mixtapes take away efforts that albums once created. What is the point of making an album if you are going to put out your best material in three different mixtape installments.

      • sb

        very true

  • Chyllmatic

    Hip-Hop >>>> Rock

  • swype-matic

    There’s more rock stations than rap, plus, a lot of rap on the airwaves in straight ASS. I rarely listen to rock but would rather listen to that over Waka Flocka and Soulja Boy. But I’m sure if I fully invested myself into rock, I’d find out that there are equally shitty rock artists as there are rap artists. plus, the average rock song sounds like pots and pans dropping on the floor anyway, with a rock artist screaming too close to the microphone…like Wacka Flocka….hmm.

  • Don mcCaine

    rock music moved more albums due to the popularity of classic rock acts back catalogue sales.

    ^ DO NOT skim over this…

    the rock genre is catering to their older audience & the fans embrace their pioneers…the rap genre doesn’t.

    There’s close to 30 years of rap music out there and no format to exploit it, so the excuse that Rock is older than Rap is inane, just like the racism trying to be implemented to this discussion. There is WAY more to rap music than BIG & Pac, just like there’s way more rock music than the Beatles (who’s catalog JUST started being sold on iTunes).

    Some of these new cats trying to get a buzz could stand to do some cover songs of older songs to re-invigorate that dead-stock publishing that the labels are sitting on. Songs that are INTERNATIONALLY known.

    I’ve BEEN saying there needs to be a rap contemporary format.

    • Q461

      “the rock genre is catering to their older audience & the fans embrace their pioneers…the rap genre doesn’t. ”

      Co-sign. While we are bitching that a rapper is too old, washed up, irrelevant etc, rock fans are going to see their idols live even if they are into their 60′s and 70′s. Thats loyalty, while we are quick to abandon our heros in favor of the newest flavor of the moment. Dudes like LL Cool J, Too Short, Ice Cube and those with extended catalogs should be able to sell out shows like the Stones and Aerosmith do, with these cats bein in their 50s, and 60′s. Rap is the only genre where we put a limit on a rapper’s longevity. I wanna see Jay and Nas rock shows and get pid in their 50s and 60′s.

      It’s true, rappers don’t do cover tracks or very rarely. One I can remember is when Snoop Dogg re-did Vapors (Peace to Biz Markie) Even Rage against the Machine re-did Renegades of Funk and How I could Kill a man by Cypress Hill.

      The closest thing we got to a contemporay format is an old school @ noon hour or the BackSpin station on satellite radio.

      • Don mcCaine

        if this industry is to succeed, it has to go beyond the afternoon or drive home mix on free radio, you know most cats ain’t got XM/Sirius anyway. Re-issue some of them “classics”. Labels should be mandating certain songs be covered or re-done for signees releasing projects in any quarter. These labels own LARGE percentages of those publishing catalogs that are “dead-stock”.

        103 million rock discs were purchased last year
        188 million if alternative and metal CDs are taken into consideration

        ^ those numbers up there show a consistent support base, not one time aberration.

        Cats need to realize the rap game ain’t gonna be resurrected thru the young crop all of a sudden selling units like it’s the 90′s again…and don’t get emotional/hate mode young reader, just look at the rock example as proof that it’s true, the TI’s are through looking, their going into storage for hidden stashes…time for rap to do the same.

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  • http://www.Flauless.Com Loyal aka Loyality

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. I think some of the rap and rock songs blend rather nicely. Especially when you have a really good producer or let’s say DJ mixing the two together. A prime example of this is DJ A-Trip
    out of Phoenix AZ. Recently featured on the Carson Daily Show.

  • RightBeatRadio

    Safe to say, rock music accounts for almost as many spots in my library as hip hop. Two huge genre’s and I think they both deserve equal respect. And when the two combine, it’s unstoppable. Music is great.

  • bob korn

    the real reason rock out sells rap is simple Crap has always sucked and will always suck

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