A lot changes in the music landscape year to year. In 2022, music took on a happier, more upbeat tone after 2021 was declared the year of the breakup album.
With COVID-19 pandemic restrictions lifting, people are ready for some positive tunes, and concerts are coming back with full force. Hip-hop was still the number one genre at the midpoint of 2022.
Identifying Music Trends
TikTok is helping to shape the music landscape with artists using the popular site as a launching pad for widespread musical success.
Breakthrough artists from the first half of 2022 such as Nicky Youre and dazy, with their viral hit “Sunroof” and “ULTRA SOLO,” the collab between Pailita and Polimá Westcoast, having great success due to their popularity on TikTok.
Multilingual music is soaring in popularity with K-pop and Latin music dominating the charts. Latin and world music saw major gains in the first half of 2022 with Puerto Rican reggaeton superstar Bad Bunny’s latest album “Un Verano Sin Ti” spending nine weeks on the Billboard 100 this summer.
After the huge success of Season 4 of Netflix’s Stranger Things premiered in May, British Art Pop star Kate Bush exploded onto the scene with her song “Running Up That Hill.” Hip-hop artist Jack Harlow also saw great success in 2022 with his Fergie-interpolated song “First Class.”
Children’s music had the biggest growth in the first half of 2022 – up 45.7% with the success of Encanto. The widely popular soundtrack with its top hit ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ scored seven nonconsecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard chart, making it the most successful album in more than a year and the biggest album of the first half of 2022.
Many well-known artists have enjoyed success in 2022, including Gunna, Morgan Wallen, Doja Cat, The Weeknd, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, Yeat, Future, and Drake, among others.
Summer 2022 was the summer of Harry Styles with his single “As it Was” spending more time at number one on the charts than any other song the entire year.
When we analyze music trends of past years, we can make pretty educated guesses about where music is headed in the future. While we can’t predict exactly what will happen, it can give us a good idea of what’s to come
In 2020, we reviewed the success of Billboard Hot 100 artists in 2019. We used Facebook’s Audience Insights tool to determine who’s listening to what, how some of the most popular artists resonate among men and women, and how relationship status may impact music preference.
Read on to see what we uncovered then and how it compares to what’s happening now in 2022.
Identifying Music Trends
Just because an artist is enjoying their moment in the sun, doesn’t mean they’ve achieved iconic status. Lil Nas X had more than just a small moment to help wrap up the decade, but when we analyzed Billboard Hot 100 artists that Facebook users were interested in, he failed to make a mark alongside talent like Pink, Demi Lovato, and Beyoncé.
With around 20 million monthly active Facebook users interested in their tracks (specifically, 25 million for Pink), 2019 was a powerful year for women in music. Beyoncé may have released her last album, Lemonade, in 2016, but her Homecoming documentary and 2018 Coachella performance kept us talking for months in 2019.
For reference, with 150 million to 200 million monthly active Facebook users in the U.S., around 1 in 10 people engaged with Pink, Demi Lovato, and Beyoncé. At 15 million monthly active Facebook users apiece, Taylor Swift, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, and Eminem were also among the most popular artists.
Continuing the women in music trend, one of the biggest breakout singles of the first half of 2022 was the pop-rock singer Gayle with “abcdefu.” Other powerful female artists of 2022 experiencing success are Lizzo with her song “About Damn Time,” and Latto’s “Big Energy,” incorporating Bad Boy-style sampling from the sounds of Bad Boy Records from the late 1990s.
And while they may not have earned the highest accolades in terms of Facebook interest, Travis Scott, Post Malone, Kenny Chesney, and Kendrick Lamar caught 4.5 million active Facebook users’ attention in 2019 alongside J. Cole and Ed Sheeran.
Evolving Music Tastes
You may love discovering music now, but as you get older, you’re more likely to listen to what you already know.
More than 1 in 3 Facebook users with interest in Billboard Hot 100 artists were between the ages of 25 and 34, followed by 26% between the ages of 18 and 24. Just 18% of active users were between the ages of 35 and 44, and less than 20% were over the age of 44.
Among those between the ages of 18 and 24, the leading artists included Lil Uzi Vert (54%), Halsey (48%), and Shawn Mendes (44%). However, the three most popular Hot 100 artists for people younger than 25 were not among the top three artists for older users. Instead, Facebook users aged 25 to 34 expressed more interest in Nicki Minaj (46%), Chris Brown (45%), and Migos (44%), among others. For users aged 45 and older, Kenny Chesney appeared in the top three, while fellow country music star Chris Stapleton had the most interest from users between the ages of 35 and 44.
From a Gender Perspective
The music industry certainly has a long way to go where gender equality is concerned (just ask Taylor Swift), but it might be more than just the business of music that’s gendered.
According to our analysis, around 4 in 5 Facebook users with interest in Pink, BTS, Cardi B, and Ed Sheeran were women. In fact, more women than men showed interest in a majority of Billboard Hot 100 artists examined, including Justin Timberlake, Sam Smith, Beyoncé, Chris Brown, and Imagine Dragons.
Only two artists, Jay-Z and G-Eazy, came close to an equal split between men and women. However, 21 Savage (75%), Lil Uzi Vert (66%), and Kendrick Lamar (66%) had far more interest from men on Facebook.
Relationships are a common theme in music, but your relationship status could also affect the music you’re interested in.
A majority of Billboard Hot 100 artists examined had interest from Facebook fans in a relationship. While The Weeknd, G-Eazy, and Halsey were equally popular among single users and those in a relationship, more artists had interest from those with a significant other, including Kenny Chesney (80%), Jason Aldean (76%), Florida Georgia Line (75%), and Chris Stapleton (74%).
However, eight artists on the Billboard Hot 100 list were more likely to receive engagement from single users, including Lil Uzi Vert (58%) and J. Cole (54%).
Across Party Lines
It’s frequently argued that all good art is political and that includes the music you hear on the airwaves. Even if the politicization of your favorite tracks or artists isn’t immediately obvious, there might be political motivation lurking somewhere beneath the lyrics or even in the artist’s life or personal views.
More than 90% of Facebook users engaging with artists such as The Weeknd, Cardi B, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole identified as liberal according to their Facebook profiles.
While Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, and Pink enjoyed an equal split between liberals and conservatives, only a handful of artists were more likely to receive interest from a majority of conservatives. This included Ed Sheeran (54%), 21 Savage (55%), and country music stars Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton, and Thomas Rhett. Despite his vocal support for former President Trump, 78% of users engaging with Kanye West identified as liberal.
Based on interest per 10,000 monthly active Facebook users in each state, we determined Drake, Taylor Swift, Post Malone, Cardi B, and Ed Sheeran were the most popular.
Drake and Cardi B were most likely to have engagement in southern states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Georgia. And while Taylor Swift received interest from all over the country, Post Malone had a higher concentration of social media engagement from two states: Wyoming and Arizona.
Common Ground in Sound
Our data suggest that musical fan bases are incredibly diverse, and certain stars appeal powerfully to specific audiences. But no one eager to discover new music should be deterred on the basis of demographics.
There’s something for everyone in every genre, as long as you listen earnestly. After all, music exists across cultures for a reason: Its appeal is essentially human, and it helps us connect with others in shared appreciation.
So, the next time you’re deciding which tunes to play, try exploring something new. You may not become a lifelong fan, but you could come to respect the tastes of others.
Because musical preferences vary so significantly, it can be hard to know how to please a crowd. For businesses, the struggle to pick the right playlist can be even more difficult, in part because of complex laws concerning business music in public places.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What demographic listens to music the most?
While teens tend to listen to the most music, adults who are 45+ tend to buy the most music. Music listening peaks among older teens and young adults, ages 16–24.
Who consumes the most music?
Music consumption peaks with older teens, young adults, and adults ages 45–54. At 55+, music listening tends to decline a bit. Even so, a large number of people across all age demographics consume music on a daily basis.
How much music do people listen to regularly?
In 2021, people listened to more than 16 hours of music per week, on average.
What genres are popular with which age groups?
Adults over age 65 tend to listen to rock and country music more, whereas hip-hop and rap are popular with older teens and young adults.
Methodology & Limitations
For this project, we tapped into the Billboard Hot 100 and collected the top 50 artists from the week of Nov. 25, 2019. We then utilized Facebook’s Audience Insights tool to determine just how much interest surrounded each artist on Facebook to determine if the biggest artists really yielded the most interest.
Please note that “interest” can be positive or negative. Out of the 50 artists, 42 were represented in Facebook’s tool, and 8 artists did not have results. We ran multiple queries for each artist and collected the upper value for total monthly active Facebook users. While doing so, we also collected demographic information for those interested in each artist, along with the number of active users overall in each state for comparison.
Fair Use Statement
Want to share the sound of our findings? We encourage you to pass the data on to your fans and readers for any noncommercial use by including a link back to this page as credit to our contributors.