After a year full of tepid commercial releases for Hip Hop, a new year-end report from Nielsen Music confirms that Rap album sales fell deeply in 2014 and suffered at nearly double the rate of the rest of the music industry.
According to Billboard’s reporting of Nielsen Music’s annual wrap-up, Hip Hop albums sold 24.1% less last year than in 2013 with CD sales specifically falling 29.6% over the same time period.
By contrast, digital sales fell 21.8% genre-wide. R&B sales fell even more sharply as the breakdown of “total/CD/digital percent declines were 25.1/29.0/19.6,” according to the same report.
On the other hand, Hip Hop and R&B both spiked on streaming platforms with the genres contributing noticeably to an industry-wide 54 percent increase in streaming from the year before.
Album sales for all genres fell 11.2 percent to a collective 257 million units, while vinyl sales specifically were up 51.8 percent, despite only representing a 3.6 percent share of total album sales.
The latest annual report comes just weeks after J. Cole delivered the year’s best first-week sales numbers of 2014.
Last month, 2014 Forrest Hills Drive sold just over 350,000 albums in its first week. Nicki Minaj followed suit shortly after, with the year’s second biggest first-week sales at just under 200,000 units.