Only three rock songs appeared in the UK Top 100 singles of 2010 - the lowest number since 1960, research by Music Week magazine shows.
At 25, Don't Stop Believin' by Journey - a 1981 track made popular again by TV show Glee - was the highest ranked song classed as rock in the 2010 chart.
In 2009, 13 rock tracks were in the Top 100 singles. There were 27 in 2008.
Music Week's Ben Cardew said a "massive rock band" had not broken through since Arctic Monkeys in 2006.
"As recently as 2008, you had a lot of rock songs in there," he told the BBC's Colin Paterson.
"So to drop from 27 of the biggest sellers in 2008 to three in 2010... it's clearly something more than cyclical."
The other two tracks from last year's Top 100 classed by Music Week as rock were Hey Soul Sister by US band Train, at 84, and Florence and the Machine's Dog Days are Over, at 93.
Florence and the Machine are also at number 59 in the rundown with You've Got The Love, though it has been deemed to be a dance record.
Of the Top 100 albums of the year - compiled, like the singles chart, by the Official Charts Company - a more respectable 27 discs were classed as rock.
Last year Elbow singer Guy Garvey - whose band have had six Top 40 singles since 2001 - told BBC News that rock music would "always be there".
"People who love it are buying albums or are going online and getting more than one track at once," he said.
"I don't think the singles chart reflects how popular guitar music still is."
According to Music Week, hip-hop and R&B accounted for 47% of 2010's Top 100 biggest hits.
Pop accounted for two of every five hits - a 40% share - while dance records made one in every 10.