Most-streamed genres across top music streaming services

There is no shortage of options when it comes to streaming music. The most popular providers are Amazon Music, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Pandora, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube Music.

Spotify came out in 2006 in Stockholm, Sweden. Its goal was to combat music piracy, and the service has since grown to a library with more than 30 million songs.

Apple released its streaming service in 2015. It now has the world’s largest catalog, with 60 million songs.

Pandora burst on the scene in 2005, making it the oldest music option on this list. Its catalog contains between 1 and 2 million tracks. 

Released in 2007, Amazon Music has a music catalog of over 40 million songs—although the full catalog is only available to Amazon Unlimited subscribers. 

Google launched Google Play Music in 2011, and the service has a library of more than 40 million songs. It’s transitioning into YouTube Music and will streamline to one service and app. 

In 2015, YouTube Music joined the music streaming world, which makes it the newest streaming service on this list. It does not share the number of songs available on the platform. 

The list below breaks down the most popular genres and artists across the big seven streaming platforms. 

Your guide to the most-streamed genres across top music streaming services

Spotify

Spotify is the most popular streaming service in the world, with over 100 million monthly subscribers.

The most popular genre on the service is hip hop, with artists like Drake accounting for over 8.2 billion streams in 2018 alone. And Latin music continued its sharp rise on the platform in 2019. Other popular artists include Ariana Grande, Cardi B, Ed Sheeran, Post Malone and Taylor Swift.

Information regarding listener counts and a more detailed genre breakdown are not available.

With more than 50 million songs available on the platform, users will find a vast selection of songs in several genres. 

Apple Music

Apple Music is the second most popular music streaming platform, reaching over 60 million subscribers since the service came out in 2015. It features a library of 60 million songs spanning several genres. 

Although genre-specific data is not available, here is a look at the current top streaming songs globally on Apple Music:

  • Dance by Tones and I
  • HIGHEST IN THE ROOM by Travis Scott
  • Lose You to Love Me by Selena Gomez
  • Roxanne by Arizona Servas
  • Woah by Lil Baby

Hip-hop and pop are the most frequently streamed genres on Apple Music.

Apple Music has partnered with artists for early releases in the past. For example, Drake’s partnership with Apple Music gave users access to his albums a week before other retailers.

Pandora

Pandora boasts over 30 million songs split across several genres and artist-related channels.

Pandora is unique in that music streams in genre stations, instead of individual artists. This makes it difficult to gather specific artist data. The most popular include rap, Latin, pop, country and R&B.

Rap is by far the most popular genre on the platform, earning 39.69 percent of total listens, followed by Latin music at 19.35 percent and pop music at 13.51 percent.

Amazon Music

Amazon Music launched in 2007 and was one of the first providers to feature both major label and independent artists. Although not as intuitive to use as other platforms on this list, you will find a massive music library with over 40 million songs.

Amazon is notoriously closed off about stream and play data, but some of the most popular songs on the service include:

  • Circles by Post Malone
  • Memories by Maroon 5
  • One Thing Right by Marshmello & Kane Brown
  • Senorita by Shawn Mendes
  • You Need to Calm Down by Taylor Swift

Latin, pop, hip-hop and rock appear to be popular on the platform.

Google Play Music

Google Play Music came out in 2013 and has a library of over 40 million songs. Keep in mind that YouTube Music will eventually replace the service. 

There is no specific data available about the top streaming genres on the platform, but here are the five of the most popular songs streaming:

  • GIANTS by True Damage
  • Lose You to Love Me by Selena Gomez
  • Memories by Maroon 5
  • One Thing Right by Marshmello & Kane Brown
  • Someone by Lewis Capaldi

Pop, hip-hop and even EDM score high on this list, making Google Play Music’s most-streamed list more diverse than other services.

Tidal

Tidal is a bit different than the other music streaming platforms mentioned. It has standard features like offline song streaming, radio and playlist creation, but it places a much higher focus on audio quality. The streaming service provides industry-leading audio quality.

It contains a massive library of 60 million-plus songs, spanning many genres.

Specific genre and streaming information are not publicly available. The platform is co-owned by several artists, including Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire, Beyonce, Calvin Harris, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Usher.

YouTube Music

Google launched YouTube music in May 2018, making it one of the newer offerings. Unique among the services on this list, YouTube music focuses on music video content. 

More than one billion people go to YouTube every month for their music needs. YouTube Music capitalizes on this traffic by creating an enjoyable streaming experience for visitors.

YouTube does not provide information about the number of unique songs and videos in its content library.

There is no genre-specific data on YouTube Music, but the most popular music videos in the United States include:

  • Bandit by Juice WRLD 
  • Hot by Young Thug
  • Morning by Teyana Taylor
  • Slide by H.E.R.
  • Walls Talking by Kevin Gates

The popularity of these videos shows that hip-hop is the most streamed YouTube Music genre.

How do genres benefit from streaming services?

Music streaming services have benefited greatly benefited certain genres, including hip-hop, heavy metal and Latin pop. These genres are seeing a resurgence in popularity thanks to the accessibility provided by online streaming services.  

Yet, streaming networks have not been as friendly to every genre. For example, country music only makes up about 11 percent of total streams. Pop music, which still dominates radio airplay, falls far behind genres like rap on streaming services.

Some artists have banned their music from streaming on certain services. For example, fans of Taylor Swift were not able to stream her music on Spotify until recently.

Other services like Apple Music have been able to cut deals with artists to release their music early. Drake did this in 2017 and broke most existing streaming records.

The takeaway

People have more choices than ever regarding music streaming services. No matter which you choose, you will be able to find a variety of genres and artists. Especially if you are a fan of hip hop and rap. Most users will find Spotify or Apple Music the most valuable music streaming services, with their massive song library and affordable monthly price.

Kevin Wood