Nielsen Music's Mid-Year 2017 Charts: Metallica, Twenty One Pilots & Imagine Dragons Dominate Rock

Jeff Yeager/Metallica/Getty Images
James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo of Metallica perform at Hipodromo de Los Andes on Nov. 1, 2016 in Bogota, Colombia.

Metallica, Twenty One Pilots and Imagine Dragons lead Nielsen Music’s mid-year rock charts (see lists, below), thanks to new -- and old -- releases from the three acts.

In the tracking period of Dec. 30, 2016 through June 29, 2017, Metallica’s latest studio album, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, ranks as the most popular rock album in the U.S. The Billboard 200-topping set earned 540,000 equivalent album units, of which 487,000 were in traditional album sales. (It’s also the top selling rock album of 2017; see lists, below). Twenty One Pilots’ 2015 album Blurryface continues to find fans, as it was the No. 2 most popular rock set of the first half of 2017, with 451,000 units earned.

Imagine Dragons’ smash single “Believer” -- which spent 13 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Alternative Songs airplay chart earlier this year --  is rock’s biggest selling digital song so far in 2017 (905,000 downloads) and the most streamed song in terms of on-demand audio streams (105.4 million).

Twenty One Pilots’ 2016 hit track “Heathens,” from the Suicide Squad: The Album soundtrack, was the most streamed song overall (audio and video combined) with 185.7 million streams. It was also the top on-demand video, with 110.4 million streams.

Total rock album consumption, based on equivalent album units, fell 7.8 percent in the first half of 2017, to 61.49 million units earned (down from 66.69 million in the first six months of 2016). Total rock album sales eroded 20.9 percent to 32.9 million (down from 41.6 million) and rock digital song sales collapsed 27.9 percent to 63.74 million downloads sold (from 88.47 million a year ago).

Overall streaming of rock songs (audio and video combined) jumped 21.6 percent to 45.5 billion (up from 37.4 billion), while on-demand audio streams vaulted 36.5 percent to 33.3 billion (from 24.4 billion). On-demand video streams fell, however, 6.4 percent to 12.2 billion (down from 13 billion).

2017’s Mid-Year Top 10 Rock Albums (Based on Overall Equivalent Album Units)
1. Metallica, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct (540,000)
2. Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface (451,000)
3. Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2 (353,000)
4. Imagine Dragons, Evolve (345,000)
5. Soundtrack, Suicide Squad: The Album (303,000)
6. Panic! at the Disco, Death of a Bachelor (281,000)
7. Gorillaz, Humanz (274,000)
8. John Mayer, The Search for Everything (259,000)
9. The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (233,000)
10. Twenty One Pilots, Vessel (216,000)

2017’s Mid-Year Top 10 Selling Rock Albums
1. Metallica, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct (487,000)
2. Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Awesome Mix, Vol. 2 (351,000)
3. Gorillaz, Humanz (184,000)
4. Twenty One Pilots, Blurryface (177,000)
5. John Mayer, The Search for Everything (169,000)
6. Linkin Park, One More Light (130,000)
7. Panic! at the Disco, Death of a Bachelor (113,000)
8. Imagine Dragons, Evolve (109,000)
9. Soundtrack, Suicide Squad: The Album (101,000)
10. The Rolling Stones, Blue & Lonesome (92,000)

2017’s Mid-Year Top 10 Selling Digital Rock Songs
1. Imagine Dragons, “Believer” (905,000)
2. Linkin Park featuring Kiiara, “Heavy” (361,000)
3. Fitz and The Tantrums, “Handclap” (334,000)
4. Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens” (329,000)
5. Rag’N’Bone Man, “Human” (248,000)
6. Kaleo, “Way Down We Go” (219,000)
7. Disturbed, “The Sound of Silence” (211,000)
8. The Revivalists, “Wish I Knew You” (147,000)
9. X Ambassadors, “Unsteady” (114,000)
10. Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out” (142,000)

2017’s Mid-Year Top 10 On-Demand Rock Song Streams (Audio and Video Combined)
1. Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens” (185,682,000)
2. Imagine Dragons, “Believer” (158,035,000)
3. Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out” (124,508,000)
4. Twenty One Pilots, “Ride” (105,244,396)
5. Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons With Logic & Ty Dolla $ign featuring X Ambassadors, “Sucker for Pain” (102,893,000)
6. Passenger, “Let Her Go” (80,594,000)
7. Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive” (75,330,000)
8. Panic! at the Disco, “Death of a Bachelor” (67,811,000)
9. Disturbed, “The Sound of Silence” (67,132,000)
10. Fitz and The Tantrums, “Handclap” (65,665,000)

2017’s Mid-Year Top 10 On-Demand Rock Audio Streams
1. Imagine Dragons, “Believer” (105,410,000)
2. Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens” (75,247,000)
3. Twenty One Pilots, “Ride” (62,972,000)
4. Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out” (59,918,000)
5. Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons With Logic & Ty Dolla $ign featuring X Ambassadors, “Sucker for Pain” (53,041,000)
6. Coldplay, “Hymn for the Weekend” (47,045,000)
7. Panic! at the Disco, “Death of a Bachelor” (46,505,000)
8. James Bay, “Let It Go” (46,052,000)
9. Fitz and The Tantrums, “Handclap” (45,870,000)
10. X Ambassadors, “Unsteady” (44,167,000)

2017’s Mid-Year Top 10 On-Demand Rock Video Streams
1. Twenty One Pilots, “Heathens” (110,435,000)
2. Twenty One Pilots, “Stressed Out” (64,591,000)
3. Imagine Dragons, “Believer” (52,624,000)
4. Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa & Imagine Dragons With Logic & Ty Dolla $ign featuring X Ambassadors, “Sucker for Pain” (49,852,000)
5. Passenger, “Let Her Go” (48,863,000)
6. Twenty One Pilots, “Ride” (42,273,000)
7. Smash Mouth, “All Star” (38,790,000)
8. Fall Out Boy, “Centuries” (37,408,000)
9. Disturbed, “The Sound of Silence” (36,544,000)
10. Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive” (36,510,000)

Source: Nielsen Music, for the tracking period of Dec. 30, 2016 – June 29, 2017.