Hip hop's young audience tends to gravitate towards streaming rather than downloading.
Hip hop/R&B is the most streamed genre on the planet, according to the New York Times. The genre comprises 17 percent of all industry album sales but 26 percent of streams, due in large part to hip hop's young audience.
Hip hop's share of the top 500 artists on Spotify is up 16 percent from 2014 and it is dominating rock in first-week streams this year -- the best week for a rock group in 2015 was Mumford & Sons' Wilder Mind, which garnered 15.4 million streams its first week in May. By comparison, here were the most-streamed rap/R&B albums:
But it's not just new albums. According to Nielsen senior analyst David Bakula, 60% of hip hop/R&B streams are songs that are over 18 months old.
Streaming is taking over the game, and so is hip hop.