2017 is coming to a close, so it’s time to get nostalgic and reflect on the monumental year we had in music. From the dominance of “Despacito”, the rise of Lil Pump, and the epic return of the new Taylor Swift (sorry the old one is dead) this year has been full of memorable moments that have shaken up the music industry. As the countdown to 2018 begins, let’s count down the top music trends of 2017:
Top Music Trends of 2017 #5- Musicians Band Together For A Bigger Cause
2017 saw its share of tragedy, however, each event brought an even bigger demonstration of hope as creators around the world joined forces to spread messages of love, unity, and resilience for all those affected. In response to the bombing in Manchester earlier this year, Ariana Grande held her One Love benefit concert featuring a star-studded line up including Niall Horan, Katy Perry, and Miley Cyrus. The one-night event was able to raise over $13 million for the victims of the May 22 attack. In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, the 51st Country Music Association Award show kicked off with a touching tribute of “Hold My Hand” performed by Darius Rucker, Lady Antebellum, and Vydia’s own Keith Urban. Urban also played at The Country Rising benefit concert, alongside other country megastars such as Jason Aldean, Sam Hunt, and Dierks Bentley who were able to raise over $4 million for victims. Jennifer Lopez raised $35 million for Puerto Rico with her One Voice: Somos Live! A Concert for Disaster Relief which featured performances from top Latin artists like Marc Anthony, Daddy Yankee, and Ricky Martin in addition to other stars like Demi Lovato, Gwen Stefani, and Stevie Wonder. One of the biggest events that showcased the healing power of music was the Hand In Hand benefit concert that was a reaction to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. The event raised over $44 million for hurricane relief efforts and featured performances from George Strait, Chris Stapleton, and Miranda Lambert in addition to short cameos from Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, and Travis Scott.
Top Music Trends of 2017 #4- Don’t Call It A Comeback: Major Artist Move Back Into The Spotlight
2017 saw the triumphant return of some of the biggest names in the music industry (and we were definitely not disappointed!). The first star to return to the spotlight is Taylor Swift. After a three year hiatus, she dropped her much anticipated sixth studio album, reputation, which quickly became the top-selling album of the year, with over 1.23 million copies sold within the first week. Another creator to return to the music scene was Jay-Z, who released his album 4:44 after a four-year lapse. This monumental album, which has already gone platinum, has catapulted Jay-Z to the top of the Grammy nominations, landing 8 different nominations including Album, Record, and Song of the Year. Similarly, Kendrick Lamar ended his two-year music drought with the release of his groundbreaking album DAMN, which trails right behind Jay Z with 7 Grammy nominations. Vydia creator Mandy Moore is also making her long-awaited return to music by re-releasing her critically-acclaimed fifth studio album, Wild Hope, across all digital streaming platforms. The album, which was originally released in 2007, spent 7 weeks on Billboard’s Top Selling Albums chart, peaking at No. 30.
Top Music Trends of 2017 #3- Hip Hop/R&B Crowned Top Music Genre of 2017
For the first time in U.S. history, hip-hop and R&B knocked off rock ‘n’ roll to become the most consumed genre of 2017. According to Nielsen Music, the combined genres of R&B/hip-hop now account for 25.1% of the total U.S. music consumption, while rock only claims 23%. A major factor for this shift in consumption is the increase in popularity of audio streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. For example, even though the rock genre dominates when it comes to album sales (claiming 40% share), R&B/hip-hop crush the competition with audio streams. In fact, R&B/hip-hop are responsible for 29% of all on-demand streams, almost the same amount of the next two genres combined (rock and pop). Additionally, 7 of the top 10 most popular streaming songs of the year were considered hip-hop. With hip-hop on the rise and looking to make an even bigger splash next year, Vydia creator Lil Xan is a rapper to watch out for in 2018. His top track “Betrayed” has over 67 million views on YouTube, 24.6 million streams on SoundCloud, and recently debuted on Billboard’s Top 100 at No. 93!
Top Music Trends of 2017 #2- SoundCloud Rappers Take Over The Top 100
In 2017, SoundCloud experienced a rap revolution where many of the platform’s top creators were able to top the charts in mainstream music. While SoundCloud has always been a hub for the underground rap scene, offering hip-hop creators a platform to showcase their content that may not be commercially suitable, it’s users’ success remained only on SoundCloud. This year saw the rise of a new generation of rappers that were able to transcend their success beyond the boundary of a single platform. These young and rebellious “SoundCloud Rappers” developed a distinct sound and persona that is edgy, unfiltered and continually pushing the envelope. It’s a sound that has completely disrupted and taken over the rap game. One of the biggest success stories that reflects this movement is the rise in popularity of Vydia creator Lil Pump. Lil Pump’s massive hit “Gucci Gang” which initially debuted on SoundCloud back in August, peaked at No. 3 in Billboard’s Hot 100 and has been able to consistently log between 8 and 10 million weekly streams on Spotify. The rise in popularity of these rebellious “Soundcloud Rappers,” illustrates how the SoundCloud platform remains a powerful tool for creators to build their massive followings. If you are looking to get your next track on SoundCloud, you can apply here.
Top Music Trends of 2017 #1- Latin Music Goes Mainstream
Latin music had a landmark year in 2017 that was loaded with clear signs its fan base expanded far behind the region’s borders. This year alone saw a 110% increase in Latin music streaming on Spotify, with two Latin tracks hitting #1 (“Despacito” & “Mi Gente”) and 10 songs appearing on Spotify’s Global Top 50 playlist. Additionally, 6 out of the 10 most-watched music videos of 2017 on YouTube were from Latin artists. The worldwide acceptance of blockbuster hits like Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” and J Balvin’s “Mi Gente” opened the doors for many other Latin stars to break onto the scene. Vydia creator, Jon Z, is already seeing ripples of this impact. His summer hit, “Viajó Sin Ver“, accumulated over 31 million views on YouTube while his most recent video, “Latin Trap“, clocked 2.4 million views in one week! J Alvarez is another Vydia creator that is making waves in Latin music. His recent video “6 De La Morning” has generated over 15.3M views, while his most recent album, Big Yauran, was recently nominated for the Latin Grammy for “Best Urban Music Album.”
As you can see, 2017 was filled with major music trends (and top Vydia talent) and we are excited to see if their impact will last through 2018. Will R&B/hip-hop remain the top genre? Who will be the next big SoundCloud rapper? Can Latin creators stay on top of the charts? While we patiently wait to see what unfolds in 2018, one trend we can count on is the great content being produced by our amazing creators! Make 2018 YOUR year and let us help you get started!