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

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

Newer, “shallow catalog” is transforming the streaming business – but that doesn’t mean classic rock tracks are going anywhere. In fact, many catalog mainstays actually got more popular over the last five years, according to a Billboard analysis of the most popular 5,000 on-demand audio streaming songs in 2016 and 2021 in the U.S. But most of the artists behind them have the same number of big tracks – meaning that more of the growth is going to new music.

Based on the top 5,000 on-demand audio streaming songs of 2016 and 2021 in the U.S., inclusive of UGC (user-generated content) on-demand streams, according to Luminate, formerly MRC Data:

AC/DC

Number of tracks in the top 5,000, 2016: 8
Number of tracks in the top 5,000, 2011: 8
Top track, “Thunderstruck,” rank in 2016: 775
Top track, “Thunderstruck,” rank in 2021: 271

Beatles

Number of tracks in the top 5,000, 2016: 23
Number of tracks in the top 5,000, 2021: 13
Top track, “Here Comes the Sun,” rank in 2016: 917
Top track, “Here Comes the Sun,” rank in 2021: 400

Michael Jackson

Number of tracks in the top 5,000, 2016: 13
Number of tracks in the top 5,000, 2021: 11
Top track, “Billie Jean,” rank in 2016: 745
Top track, “Billie Jean,” rank in 2021: 435

Led Zeppelin

Number of tracks in the top 5,000, 2016: 8
Number of tracks in the top 5,000, 2021: 8
Top track, “Stairway to Heaven,” 2016: 992
Top track, “Stairway to Heaven,” 2021: 1197

Madonna

Number of tracks in the top 5,000, 2016: 1
Number of tracks in the top 5,000, 2021: 1
Top track, “Like a Prayer,” 2016: 3985
Top track, “Like a Prayer,” 2021: 4912

Queen

Number of tracks in the top 5,000, 2016: 10
Number of tracks in the top 5,000, 2021: 13
Top track, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” 2016: 319
Top track, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” 2021: 195

Some Songs Remain the Same: These Old Classics Are Today’s Streaming Hits Newer, “shallow catalog” is transforming the streaming business – but that doesn’t mean classic rock tracks are going anywhere. In fact, many catalog mainstays actually got more popular over the last five years, according to a Billboard analysis of the most popular 5,000 on-demand…