Top music industry trends for 2022
TTo get insights into last year’s music business and layout predictions for 2022, the music research and analytics platform Viberate turned to data. They analyzed more than a trillion data points, thousands of artists and playlists, millions of tracks and videos, and hundreds of festivals on key social media and music channels, including Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, Beatport, and radio. The resulting “State of Music” address breaks down the key stats.
The data shows that of all the analyzed artists, only 1% rule the social media and music channels. Since the lion’s share of engagement and fanbase growth belongs to the top artists, the artists in the long tail can use the report’s data and insights to re-think and build their promotional strategies for breaking through.
It is also interesting to see that Hip Hop and K-Pop artists are smashing it in streaming but are snubbed on the radio. While online engagement numbers crown Hip Hop and K-Pop as two of the most popular genres, radio is all about Pop and Rock. Multilingual (non-English) tracks thrive online but seem to have trouble getting through radio gatekeepers. Trends suggest this may yet change in 2022.
The report also touches on trends. According to data, some of the trends that will define the music business in 2022 are: (1) multilingual music going more mainstream, (2) personalization at the forefront, (3) TikTok acting as a career launchpad, (4) short videos gaining power and (5) further blending of genres. Here’s a short rundown of each trend (for the full list, see the link below):
Multilingual music will go more mainstream. South Korean sensation BTS made it onto Viberate’s top 5 list on almost every channel, while YouTube saw a huge rise in the popularity of Asian Pop and Latin genres (especially Reggaeton). Unlike radio or TV, online music channels have few to no gatekeepers, thus pushing non-English music into the mainstream.
“Personalized everything” will drive artistic success. This means that labels, artists, and other professionals will benefit from fan-first approaches to their promotion, merch, and distribution. Personalized experiences also go hand-in-hand with securing digital revenue such as tipping, NFTs, or paid subscriptions.
TikTok will act as a career launchpad. Not only was TikTok the most visited website in 2021, but it also helped artists like Tokischa, Will Paquin, and Crawlers breakthrough and boost their streaming numbers. In a way, Spotify “seals the deal” – the artists who transform a TikTok hit into solid streams are the ones with real potential. We can therefore expect more talent discovery and promotional efforts to focus on TikTok and social media.
Short videos will rule. Easily digestible formats such as TikTok videos will be the most useful promotional format for artists to stand out and get discovered. As audiences celebrate the DIY approach, the content will be more important than production value.
Genre lines will blur further. Rising and breakthrough acts such as PinkPantheress prove genre-bending and blending is more popular than ever. Artists and their audiences prefer moods to traditional genre labels, with the trend extending to popular streaming playlists for specific occasions (driving, studying, relaxing, etc.). For example, Spotify’s “Songs to Sing in the Shower” playlist has a hefty 6.4M followers.
See the “State of Music” address for the full list of trends, best-performing artists, and music tastes for 2021.