Country Music Streams Surge to New High Again, Thanks to Catalog Hits From Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean & Others

Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for ACM

Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean attend the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards Cumulus/Westwood One Radio Remotes on April 05, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Older hits from Chris Stapleton are also helping the genre hit record highs.

Just a few weeks after streams of country music hit a record high week, the genre has blasted to yet another new record.

In the week ending April 23, on-demand audio streams of country songs totaled 1.260 billion in the U.S. -- jumping past the record that was set just a couple of weeks earlier, with 1.244 billion were registered in the week ending April 9.

And unlike in the week ending April 9, where there was a major new streaming-oriented country album to help pump streams (Sam Hunt’s Southside), there was not a huge new release to generate streams in the week ending April 23.

The big gains in streams for the genre seem to be owed in large part to streams of older country tunes.

Streams of older songs (referred to as catalog) accounted for 72.2% of country’s on-demand audio total for the week (910 million of 1.26 billion). In comparison, across all genres for the entire industry, streams of catalog tunes comprised 63.6% of overall on-demand audio streams for the week (10 billion of 15.8 billion).

The acts with a significant number of older songs performing well in the most recent week include Jason Aldean ("Dirt Road Anthem," "Rearview Town" more), Luke Bryan (including "Country Girl [Shake It for Me]," "That's My Kind of Night") and Chris Stapleton ("Tennessee Whiskey," "Broken Halos," others).

Further, streams of country catalog songs have ballooned in 2020, growing from 767 million in the first week of the year (week ending Jan. 9) to now over 900 million in the week ending April 23. Meanwhile, streams of newer (current) country songs, started of 2020 with 301 million in the week ending Jan. 9, and have grown just over 350 million in the latest tracking week (ending April 23).

So while current country streaming volume is growing, it’s catalog that is leading the charge for the genre’s big gains.

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