As if you needed more proof that rock radio is dead. A new 2019 year-end report from Billboard and Neilsen listed the top 10 mainstream rock radio songs of the last decade, based on spins, and literally all 10 of the songs were released two decades ago, in the 90s.
Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" topped the list with 145,000 spins, with Alice In Chains classic "Man In The Box" coming in second at 142,000. Nirvana appear four times on the list with "Come As You Are," "In Bloom" and "Lithium" all making the top 10.
Classis from Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, The Offspring, Soundgarden and (of course) Metallica's "Enter Sandman" make the cut. Here's the full list breakdown, with spins…
- Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit! 145,000
Alice In Chains Man In The Box 142,000
Nirvana Come As You Are 134,000
Stone Temple Pilots Plush 133,000
Pearl Jam Even Flow 132,000
Offspring Self Esteem 131,000
Nirvana In Bloom 131,000
Metallica Enter Sandman 126,000
Soundgarden Black Hole Sun 125,000
Nirvana Lithium 123,000
Looking through the report, it's sad how little of a presence rock has. The rock charts are on the very last page, and all the big movers and shakers of the decade are very much not rock.
The only rock radio format to even make it into the top 10 radio formats was "Classic Rock" at number six of 10 with 5.1% of the market share, up from 4.9% the previous year but down from 5.9% in 2017.
Classic rock is the top genre of choice in the US and Cananda beating out oldies and pop/top 40 hits.
Interestingly, rock music fans are more likely to purchase physical products than any other genre and seem to be lagging behind in terms of streaming music:
So, in conclusion – rock fans don't get much new choice on the radio, stick to what they know and still buy physical,
Do you listen to the radio at all? What formats do you listen to?