Most streamed artists in the U.S. in 2018

Most popular musicians in the United States in 2018, based on number of streams (in billions)

by Amy Watson, last edited Oct 30, 2019
Most streamed artists in the U.S. in 2018 In 2018, rapper Drake amassed 10.47 billion streams in the United States, far outranking Post Malone, XXXTentacion, and Eminem. Music streaming is a lucrative source of income for modern musicians and can make up significant portions of their annual income. More than 17 million U.S. dollars of Drake’s 2018 income came from streaming, and singers Beyoncé and Bruno Mars also made between three and four million dollars each from fans streaming their songs.
Equally, whilst newer artists tend to be more successful on streaming platforms than those whose heyday has already passed, many older musicians have adapted to digital formats to increase their online presence and attract new listeners. Elton John earns more from streaming than from sales or publishing, and Paul McCartney also tends to earn over one million dollars per annum by making his music available to stream via digital platforms.

The impact of music streaming

Music streaming platforms like Spotify have enabled a culture whereby music fans can enjoy their favorite tunes on the go and in any location they choose. Streaming is the main source of revenue within the U.S. music industry and grew ten percent between 2017 and 2018. Meanwhile, physical revenue is decreasing, and the retail value of physical CD shipments has dwindled from over 13 billion U.S. dollars to less than 700 million in 18 years.
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Most popular musicians in the United States in 2018, based on number of streams (in billions)

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