The intersection of media and technology has radically changed the way we consume music. Spotify and TikTok are the biggest game changers at the moment in terms of influence, virality, and reach.

There’s a great new piece by Julie Knibbe at Music Tomorrow entitled What the genre distribution of viral songs tells us about TikTok, globalization and cultural influence.In it, she uses detailed statistics and charts to dissect some interesting datasets:

  • Genre Diversity: While pop, rap, hip-hop and dance rule Spotify’s global charts, other genres such as reggaeton, Latin, and Lo-Fi Beats are growing in popularity. As Knibbe notes: “Music that has the most potential to soundtrack such moments is not restricted to the most popular genres. TikTok’s influence on the global charts could be setting a precedent for more widespread distribution of top genres in the future – even though Pop, Rap/Hip Hop and Dance are still the most popular genres on TikTok.”
  • Global Influence By Country: Songs by artists from the USA and the UK account for 30% of the viral charts, indicating a continued propensity for these countries to be tastemakers. Knibbe: “Despite the prevalence of local genres, trends and virality are heavily influenced by international artists from a handful of countries.”
  • Trends Are Shaped by Marketers Along with the Platforms Themselves: Localization strategies, algorithms, and dynamic integrated marketing campaigns can also affect trends in music consumption.

It’s a fascinating deep dive into how the tech we use is reshaping our relationship with music.