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Not Your Father’s Catalog Music

Streaming has made catalog music more important than ever - but the catalog that's growing isn't necessarily what you'd expect.

Streaming has made catalog music more important than ever – it jumped from about 65% of the market in 2020 to about 70% last year. But the catalog that’s growing isn’t necessarily what you’d expect. Icons like The Beatles are thriving, but the category is now dominated by Drake, Taylor Swift and other modern acts. Billboard explains where the growth is – and how it could continue.

Plus: Why Drake streams as much as all music before 1980 combined, how TikTok turns yesterday’s tracks into today’s hits, how classic rock acts are holding up and why the only thing that hasn’t changed is the industry’s ability to hype up trends.


Read the full Deep Dive here.

More Swift Than Dylan: How Newer Hits Overtook Classic Rock to Rule the Catalog Market

Catalog music now accounts for almost 70% of U.S. music consumption, but that doesn’t mean classic rock. Read more.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift Beth Garrabrant*

How TikTok Is Blurring the Lines Between ‘New’ and ‘Old’ Music

In an era when TikTok regularly catapults old songs onto the charts, “new,” increasingly, is in the ears of the beholders. Read more.

Glass Animals
Glass Animals Drew Perez*

Drake Outstreams All Pre-1980 Music: The 2021 Streaming Market, by Decade

Catalog is booming on streaming platforms — but the music that dominates the category is more recent than ever. Read more.

Drake Courtesy of Republic Records

Some Songs Remain the Same: These Old Classics Are Today’s Streaming Hits

Some tracks by artists like The Beatles and Michael Jackson remain as popular as ever – while others are even seeing streaming gains. Read more.

The Beatles
The Beatles John Pratt/Keystone/GI

For the Record: Is New Music Killing Old Music?

Streaming has changed everything except this: Every shift in the industry turns out to help the executive who talks about it. Read more.

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan plays harmonica and piano to a microphone during the recording of the album ‘Highway 61 Revisited’ in Columbia’s Studio A in the summer of 1965 in New York City. Michael Ochs Archives/GI