Which Music Genres Got Ahead in the Time of Covid? We Did the Math

In our new report, we check which genres are thriving after a year that pressed pause on live events worldwide.
Which Genres Got Ahead in the Time of Covid?
Urska Jaksa

Following a year that shifted the music industry entirely into the digital realm, it’s clear that having a strong online presence is crucial for artists worldwide.

Inspired by the existential question “If you’re a musician in 2021 and you’re not online, do you even exist?” and considering that the rise of digital channels didn’t happen overnight, we wondered whether certain genres were better prepared to face the new normal.

We did what we do best and crunched the numbers. We turned to our music analytics to see which genres increased their fanbases on Instagram, Spotify and YouTube the most in 2020:

  • We looked at the number of new followers accumulated by the 1,000 fastest-growing artists on each platform.
  • Additionally, we looked back two years to see whether genres that had already been gaining momentum pre-2020 are the most corona-proof – is there a noticeable trend?

👉 Get the details in our new music report. 👈


Here are a few interesting findings:

  • The three groups that stand out are Pop, Hip Hop and Latin artists.
  • The 1,000 fastest-rising artists on Instagram gained 1.66B new followers (56% of those went to Pop artists, 21.8% to Hip Hop artists and 15.1% to Latin artists).
  • Pop stars have the most diverse background among the top 1,000 rising artists (19% are from the United States and 13% from South Korea, highlighting the rise of K-Pop). On the other hand, more than half of the top Hip Hop artists come from the US, and Latin artists are (mostly) bound to Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries. This gives Pop a distinctive advantage.
  • Latin artists were the only group that got more new YouTube followers in 2020 than in 2019 (their fanbase increased by a total of 153M in 2019, compared to 172M in 2020). They also overtook Rockers by the number of new Spotify followers. Pop still leads on both platforms, followed by Hip Hop.
The top rising genres on Spotify and YouTube.

*The number of new followers gained from January 2020 to January 2021.

Pop traditionally takes the crown, but could Hip Hop and Latin music steal the show in the future? 

👉 Find out in our report. 👈

Urska Jaksa

Urska Jaksa

Managing Editor at Viberate
Storyteller with a nerd eye for music data. Believes in the healing power of group singing, while her ultimate cure are live shows.