Hip-Hop Album Sales Were Terrible Last Year, But Streaming Is On The Rise
Now that all the numbers are in from 2014, it's clear that hip-hop album sales are continuing on a sharp decline. According to Nielson Music, over-all album sales in 2014 were down 11.2 percent from last year to 257 million units. Single sales are also lagging 12.5 percent to 1.1 billion. But rap and R&B have seen the biggest dips. "The total/CD/digital percent declines were 25.1/29.0/19.6 for R&B and 24.1/29.6/21.8 for hip hop -- roughly double the percentage declines for overall sales," notes Billboard's Glenn Peoples. However, R&B and hip-hop have seen their popularity rise on streaming sites, and streamed counts were up 54 percent in 2014.
As previously reported, no hip-hop album that was released in 2014 reached platinum status. J Cole's December release 2014 Forest Hills Drive had the biggest first week debut moving over 300,000 copies - eventually capturing gold. Nicki Minaj had the second biggest week pushing nearly 250,000 units of her new album The Pinkprint.
Related: J Cole’s '2014 Forest Hills Drive' Has Largest First Week Sales For A Hip-Hop Album In 2014
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