Radio, Broadcasting, Broadcaster, Advice

What are the Fastest-Growing Music Genres?

Recently, TuneCore, the global platform for independent musicians to build audiences and careers, announced a variety of statistics, including what the fastest-growing genres worldwide were in 2018.

TuneCore's findings were as follows:

Heavy metal - 154% increase
J-Pop - 133% increase
R&B/Soul - 68% increase
K-Pop - 58% increase
World music - 57% increase
Instrumental - 42% increase

In short, heavy metal is the fastest-growing genre in the world right now, with J-Pop following close behind. This proves to be interesting information for the internet radio world for two reasons.

Firstly, as a broadcaster, this information about heavy metal being the fastest-growing genre, alongside J-Pop, R&B/Soul, K-Pop, World music, and Instrumental, provides an opportunity for you to adjust your station programming. If one or more of these genres fit into your station already, you might want to add in those genres or simply add more songs from those genres. Or, if you have an established station in a specific genre already, but you are also interested in one or more of these genres, you might consider creating a whole new station to cater to these growing genres and audiences.

As a broadcaster, you have the agency to switch up your programming a bit, so taking into consideration these quickly growing genres might be helpful in improving your station's overall appeal and gaining some more listeners.

Secondly, these findings of the fastest-growing genres, most of which are more niche genres, bring more context to internet radio's role in music in a world where streaming service giants like Spotify and Apple Music largely push aside niche genres. In a recent Hypebot article, the impacts of Spotify and Apple Music on music generally and on niche genres were explored.

Undoubtedly, streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music have saved the music industry after years and years of declining sales and increased piracy. However, these same streaming services tend to forget about more niche genres in the process. And, given that the fastest-growing genres are niche genres for the most part, this lack of attention to niche genres is an issue.

Spotify and Apple Music focus their attention on genres like pop and hip-hop given their mainstream appeal, meaning the user experience with more niche genres like heavy metal, for example, is neglected. This means that although those genres are growing now, many people are having poor listener experiences with those genres. At some point, these experiences can negatively impact the genres as excitement for them can decline and funding can be taken away.

With that being said, this provides an immense opportunity for internet radio as broadcasters can take this neglect for these niche genres that are growing at a rapid pace, and create a better user experience with these genres. Since listeners are not getting the most optimal experience with their chosen niche genre, as a broadcaster, why not fill that void and be the spot for listeners to engage with their chosen niche genre? In particular, if you are passionate about a niche genre, you are the best person to deliver the most optimal experience with that genre. You know and love that genre, meaning you most likely know what listeners want out of their listening experience.

As an internet radio broadcaster, you typically take pride in the music you play and the experiences you create for your listeners. When we consider that in correlation to the fastest-growing genres and the impact of streaming services on niche genres, it becomes clear that internet radio is the perfect solution for the conundrum. There is no better place than internet radio for these rapidly growing niche genres because passionate broadcasters have the agency and know how to deliver the best experiences with their favorite niche genres.

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About Michelle Ruoff

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania