Seven of 2017’s top 10 most popular albums were R&B/hip-hop efforts, with Kendrick Lamar’s album, ‘Damn’ topping 10 most popular albums. It was No. 2 overall album in the United States, according to Nielson Music. The set earned 2.747 million equivalent album units in 2017.
According to Hollywood Reporters, Nielsen Music said total music consumption in the U.S. in 2017 climbed 12.5 percent to 636.65 million units (up from 566.1 million). That figure adds together traditional album sales, track equivalent album units, and on-demand streaming equivalent album units from both video and audio streams. One track equivalent album unit is equal to 10 tracks sold. One streaming equivalent album unit is equal to 1,500 on-demand streams.
In terms of audio-only consumption (removing on-demand video streams from the equation), the gain was 10.2 percent, rising to 491.55 million units (from 446.12 million).
Nielsen Music’s 2017 tracking year ran from December 30, 2016, through December 28, 2017. Nielsen Music began electronically tracking music sales and data in 1991.
Additionally, the R&B/hip-hop genre represented 24.5 percent of all music consumption in the U.S. – the largest share of any genre and the first time R&B/hip-hop has led this measurement for a calendar year.