DTS Artist Impact Report: How Jelly Roll ‘Rolls’ with In-Vehicle Listeners

Mayıs 29, 2024 Xperi Joe D’Angelo
Senior Vice President of Broadcast Radio and Digital Audio

New data from DTS AutoStage and TiVo tracks rap artist Jelly Roll’s crossover to country and beyond.

At NAB this Spring, we released our Top 100 Most Listened-To Songs In-Vehicle in the US and Globally for 2023 and Q1 2024, gathered from active listening data from millions of vehicles around the world equipped with DTS AutoStage. We also shared our first DTS AutoStage Song Impact Report, tracking Luke Combs’ rendition of Tracy Chapman’s 1988 folk-rock hit “Fast Car” and the post-Grammy rise of Chapman’s original across in-vehicle listeners. As we looked at this data, we noticed another compelling in-vehicle listening trend – the remarkable crossover of artist Jelly Roll from rap to country and his recent leap into pop/top 40 territory.

Like many recent artists who have crossed genres and formats, such as Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and more, Jelly Roll is mixing it up – or at least his in-vehicle audience is. His crossover into country appears to have happened almost organically during 2023, demonstrating that, for in-vehicle listeners, his music is not confined to a single genre, hitting chords across multiple formats as he continued to release and bend genres well into 2024 – trends that we were able to clearly track by combining our DTS AutoStage listening insights with our TiVo metadata.

Jelly Roll, who began his recording career in 2003 as a rap artist selling his mixtapes from his car (an appropriate beginning for an artist who has clear appeal, per our data, to in-vehicle listeners across multiple genres), worked in that genre for nearly two decades and only achieved his first number one on rock radio in May of 2022. This was followed by a meteoric rise in 2023 as he was ‘discovered’ and celebrated as a country artist, winning Male Video of the Year, Male Breakthrough Video of the Year, and Digital-First Performance of the Year at the 2023 CMT Music Awards in April 2023.

The chart below tracks the moment in May 2023 when, based on DTS’ Best Songs’ ranking by genre with in-vehicle listeners,* Jelly Roll crossed over from rap to country. These genre lines intersect as his Country Best Songs ranking rises and his Rap Best Songs ranking descends, with those trajectories continuing for most of the year – until he starts to find his original audience again as rap and country meet and almost join again in December 2023, not long after he was named New Artist of the Year at the 57th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Awards.

This genre ‘side-by-side’ continues well into 2024, with his rap and country Best Songs’ rankings both remaining in the top 50. Then, something interesting starts to happen in week three of February 2024, when a pink line, representing the pop/rock genre appears and starts to ascend, cracking the Top 500 Best Songs’ ranking within a month – almost exactly coinciding with Jelly Roll’s 2024 CMT performance of “Halfway to Hell” from his Whitsett Chapel album (where he again took home video of the year) – and tracking with a slight drop in both his rap and country best song rankings. As of the end of April 2024, that pink line has yet to get near the parallel lines of his rap and country Best Songs’ rankings which crept back up into the Top 50.

The rise of Jelly Roll’s ‘crossing over’ is also demonstrable in our analysis of the number of stations / radio formats on which he is played, with country dominating play through the middle of 2023, and a rainbow of other formats (top 40/pop, rock, adult contemporary) starting to rise in June 2023. This trend continued through April 2024, although never ascending to the numbers (700 at its peak) of country stations spinning Jelly Roll songs.

It will be interesting to see what happens with Jelly Roll and in-vehicle listeners in the months to come: Will he lose traction with key formats or continue to rise across the board? How much further afield will his music appeal reach? Will all genre lines eventually cross and/or join? 

In our fragmented media ecosystem, tastes and choices are often siloed, boxed out and separated, with ne’er the twain meeting. But, as this data demonstrates, at least for millions of in-vehicle listeners, Jelly Roll does something that few artists today do – he rolls well outside of the box with a unifying sound that, as our data proves, resonates across genres and formats.

And that is something to hear and cheer, especially while on the road!

On a personal note, I had the privilege of meeting and chatting with Jelly Roll last May at the Key West Songwriter festival (Xperi has been a sponsor for 15 years), just 30 minutes before he went on stage. I have met many artists and, perhaps belying his external image, he is one of the sweetest artists I have ever met and he absolutely rocked that stage.

Going behind the external story of artists and songs is something that DTS will continue to do for our industry as we measure active listening data from consumers in millions of cars in the U.S. and globally. The beauty of it is that we are not only able to analyze airplay and spins, but can also see the impact of those spins with actual broadcast listening metrics to tell brand new stories about artists, songs and trends – all while offering valuable insights to broadcasters. 

Stay tuned for more Artist and Song Impact Reports from DTS in the months to come. For more information about accessing our DTS Broadcaster Portal Reports and the benefits of DTS AutoStage contact

*The data for the DTS AutoStage Artist Impact report is extracted from a bank of in-vehicle analytics that represents real-world radio listening, enabled by the DTS AutoStage platform globally, as well as by genre-identifying metadata from TiVo.