The biggest music trends to watch in 2020 | Sunday Observer

The biggest music trends to watch in 2020

30 August, 2020

The year 2019 foreshadowed major shifts in music consumption habits and music production that will only intensify in the years to come.

1. Songs keep getting shorter.

In 2019, the average track length of the Top 40 was three minutes and seven seconds. That’s a whole 30 seconds less than the year before. This is largely a byproduct of streaming and discovery through playlists. Consequently, traditional pop song structures have been thrown out the window to reduce the chances of being skipped in a deck of 52 other artists.

2. Genres are becoming a thing of the past.

Nelly and Tim McGraw might’ve been one of the first hip-hop/country crossovers to top mainstream charts, but in 2019 we saw Lil Nas X break record after record. Grammy gatekeepers disagreed on “Old Town Road” being eligible for Billboard’s Hot Country chart, the genre originally listed in its metadata. Still, this was not enough to keep the song from being an everlasting number one.

People often care more about culture than genre, especially in hip-hop, and this is a big indicator about where the music industry is headed. Homage is due to the Bowie’s and PJ Harvey’s, but expect more stylistic boundaries to be broken down.

3. The 80s are back in full effect.

It’s been a long time coming, as we’ve slowly watched the uptrend of funk and industrial rooted grooves. The new year will fully embrace the 80s sonically and aesthetically. Thanks largely in part to pop culture, giant reverbs and classic analog synths are deserving of the spotlight once again.

4. Physical sales are down for the music industry.

If there’s one action item on this list, it’s this: upload your songs to Spotify and Apple Music PRONTO.

According to Nielsen’s 2019 Mid-Year Report, streaming now accounts for 78% of music consumption. Vinyl continues to see a resurgence in popularity, however, with a 9.6% increase from the previous year. Consider bundling CDs and vinyl with your merch, as merch bundles now counts towards your record sales.

Distributing your music online couldn’t be easier. You have nothing to lose and all to gain.

5. Technology is rapidly changing music promotion.

If you feel like the latest platforms, technology, and gadgets are hard to keep up with, that’s because they are. The ways in which we discover and consume music is changing on a daily basis. The growing industry of live streaming.

YouTube has been around for a long time and remains a king for video content. Though as the platform becomes increasingly saturated and commercialized, content creators thirst to connect with their fans on a personable level. That’s where live streaming sites like Twitch and Mixer come to play. Now is the best time to be a musician

Guessing at trends can leave you feeling either stressed or optimistic. Let’s be hopeful. Looking too much at the mainstream and trying to get ahead of the curve can discourage many artists, but remember that the stars you’re watching were once in your shoes too. Don’t worry too much over where the music industry is headed.

Passion and persistence could make 2020 your breakout year as a musician.