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Viberate’s latest music industry report lays out expectations for this year.


Music research and analytics platform Viberate have just published their annual “State of Music” address. To make it, Viberate analyzed massive amounts of data (more than a trillion data points, thousands of artists and playlists, millions of tracks and videos, and hundreds of festivals) gathered from key social media and music channels, including Spotify, TikTok, Instagram, Beatport and radio. 

The report draws unbiased conclusions, such as which artists performed the best in their respective genres, what got played and liked on different channels in 2021, and which key music trends to look out for in 2022. 

The data shows that of all the analyzed artists, only 1% rule the social media and music channels. The lion’s share of engagement and fanbase growth belongs to the top 500 artists, pushing the artists in the long tail of streaming and social media into inventing solid promotional strategies if they wish to break 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 that may yet change in 2022. 

According to the 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 little to no gatekeepers, thus pushing non-English music into the mainstream.

Personalized everything” will drive an artist’s 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, it also helped artists like Tokischa, Will Paquin or Crawlers break through 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, 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 of 2021.

16 May 2022 | Press release

Miriam Yeung joins Warner Music China

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16 May 2022 | Press release

Over 100 UK festivals commit to tackling sexual violence

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16 May 2022 | Press release

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15 May 2022 | Press release

Beatport Launches “Beatport Sounds” Offering Signature Sound Packs and Exclusive Samples from the World’s Leading Producers

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15 May 2022 | Press release

Abbey Road Studios announce the winners from this year's inaugural Music Photography Awards

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13 May 2022 | Press release

Mom+Pop Music and Exceleration Music agree to strategic financial alliance

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13 May 2022 | Press release

One Media IP puts in first bid for Pink Floyd catalogue

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12 May 2022 | Press release

MMF publishes ambitious three-step $ong Royalties Manifesto

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11 May 2022 | Press release

Reservoir continues to execute against emerging markets growth strategy

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11 May 2022 | Press release

Ashley Gorley Signs Global Deal with Sony Music Publishing and Domain Capital Group

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11 May 2022 | Press release

Distiller Music Group Announces Publishing Agreement with Downtown Music Services

Claire Bianchi Joins Distiller Publishing as Head of A&R  Major European Hit ‘In The Dark’ Provides Great Start to New Relationship   London based independent music company Distiller Music Group has announced a new agreement for its music publishing division with Downtown Music Services, which offers bespoke distribution,...more

11 May 2022 | Press release

ABBA Voyage and Wallenius form sustainable partnership

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10 May 2022 | Press release

Downtown’s found.ee launches landmark premium video advertising tool

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10 May 2022 | Press release

Epidemic Sound Launches AI Audio-Based Search Tool on Google Cloud

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10 May 2022 | Press release

Stef Teng has been appointed to the newly created role of Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), Asia, at Warner Music Group (WMG)

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10 May 2022 | Press release

Hipgnosis response to Queen’s Speech announcement of draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill

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10 May 2022 | Press release

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10 May 2022 | Press release

Concord Music Publishing signs global superstar Davido

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10 May 2022 | Press release

NTIA Comment on the Queens Speech

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09 May 2022 | Press release

Warner Chappell Music sign singer-songwriter and film composer Daniel Blumberg

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09 May 2022 | Press release

Music fans care more about climate change and want the music industry to do more on the issue

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09 May 2022 | Press release

Laura Lukanz to join Amazon Music as Head of Music Industry, UK, Australia & New Zealand

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09 May 2022 | Press release

Three Six Zero Announces Partnership With Craig Dorfman’s Frontline Entertainment

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08 May 2022 | Press release

PPL, PRS for Music and PRS Foundation bring OnTrack to The Great Escape

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06 May 2022 | Press release

Abbey Road Studios announce the shortlist for this year’s inaugural Music Photography Awards

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06 May 2022 | Press release

Paul Bonham promoted by MMF to the role of Professional Development Director and Anneliese Harmon announced as GM

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06 May 2022 | Press release

Knucks named as YouTube Music’s next Artist On The Rise

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05 May 2022 | Press release

Reservoir expands relationship with Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter Dan the Automator via new publishing deal

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05 May 2022 | Press release

UTA Music: Hear This

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04 May 2022 | Press release

Universal Music Group signs Ghanaian artist Stonebwoy to the global Def Jam artist family

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16 May 2022

  • UK success at Eurovision 2022 (see Features, Showbiz, Live)

  • What does the #CryptoCrash mean for web3 and music? (see Comment)

  • Managers report delay in visas for performers wanting to enter UK (see News)

13 May 2022

  • BMG and Warner Music bidding to buy Pink Floyd’s catalogue (see Deals)

  • MMF: "What is currently an opaque black box of song royalties, needs to be transformed into a glass box" (see Opinion)

12 May 2022

  • MMF publishes Song Royalties Manifesto (see News)

  • Girl bands made British pop great – so where have all the good ones gone? (see Features)

11 May 2022

  • More on myth that 60,000 songs are uploaded to Spotify daily (see Analysis)

10 May 2022

  • Travel limits on international music tours to be eased (see News)

09 May 2022

  • Music industry earnings 2021: Riding the wave (see Analysis)

06 May 2022

  • Copyright Royalty Board asked to approve 32% increase on mechanical royalties (see International)

  • Streaming is not the future of the music economy (see Opinion)

05 May 2022

  • Research confirms the majors benefit most from Spotify's curated playlists (see Analysis)

  • Report: Women in Music 2022 (see Analysis)

04 May 2022

  • Why did #MeToo bypass the music industry? (see Opinion)

  • SoundCloud acquires Musiio (see Digital)

  • How TikTok’s evolution can help artists grow (see Analysis)

03 May 2022

  • Black women are finding their voice against abuse in the music industry (see Comment)

  • Spotify shares now selling at less than the IPO price four years ago (see Analysis)