Since forming a decade ago, Las Vegas rockers Imagine Dragons have been arena regulars and reliable chart-toppers, with five No. 1s on Hot Rock Songs and three top five hits on the Billboard Hot 100. The group has even been named Billboard’s top rock artist two years in a row. But what’s perhaps most surprising is its success in an area few other rock acts have been able to tap into: streaming.
In 2018, the 50-position Streaming Songs chart has featured just five rock tracks: three by Imagine Dragons, two by Portugal. The Man and one by Queen. Imagine Dragons, which released fourth album Origins in November, racked up 3.4 billion streams (according to Nielsen Music) this year alone, and is the only rock act with any tracks on the year-end Streaming Songs list. Moreover, it ranks at No. 10 on the year-end Streaming Songs Artists list, ahead of Ariana Grande, Lil Pump and Camila Cabello.
Why? The act is a “safe band and sound,” says Phil Kukawinski, program director of alternative radio station WFUZ Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Pa. “Anyone can listen to Imagine Dragons and enjoy them.”