Two particularly digital-savvy country superstars — Morgan Wallen and Luke Combs — are partially responsible for a 19 percent increase in the genre’s on-demand listening in 2020 over the previous year, according to data from Rolling Stone.
Luke came in 17th place in an all-genre ranking of top streaming artists — and he’s the only country star to land inside the Top 20, with 2.7 billion total streams for the year. That’s a 40 percent increase over his streams in 2019, and it’s largely due to the runaway success of his sophomore effort, What You See is What You Get.
Luke has made a name for himself as an innovative performer in the digital and social media space: He often leaks snippets of unreleased songs or demos to engage his fans in helping decide which songs deserve spots on his albums.
Morgan’s found success in that vein too. His single “7 Summers” started out as a viral TikTok hit, and it wasn’t until he saw the fan reaction to the song that he decided to officially release it.
The rising star, whose sophomore album, the double-disc Dangerous, comes out on Friday, raked in 1.9 billion streams in 2020. While that number is significantly less than Luke’s 2.7 billion, Morgan has seen a greater jump from the previous year: His 2020 streaming numbers show a whopping 177 percent increase over the 677 million he pulled in in 2019.
Other country stars who helped country’s jump in on-demand streaming include Gabby Barrett, Parker McCollum, Hardy, Maddie & Tae and Koe Wetzel.
By Carena Liptak
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