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Electronic acts most-booked at 2021 festivals

Viberate's State of Music report has revealed that electronic music events accounted for a third of active music festivals in 2021

By James Hanley on 24 Jan 2022

The latest IMS Business Report illustrates the scale of the damage to the electronic music industry in 2020

Electronic acts were the most-booked performers at festivals worldwide in 2021, according to a new report.

Music research and analytics platform Viberate’s annual State of Music address draws conclusions from more than a trillion data points, thousands of artists and playlists, millions of tracks and videos, and hundreds of festivals.

The study analyses which artists performed the best in their respective genres, what was played and liked on different channels in 2021, and highlights key music trends to look out for in 2022.

It notes that although less than a third of the top 500 music festivals in the world took place in 2021, a third of those that did take place were electronic. Of those, 57% booked mainly electronic artists, while 36% had hip-hop or pop as a secondary genre.

The final genre breakdown was electronic (33%), pop (25%), hip-hop (20%), rock (6%) and metal (5%), with “other” making up the remaining 11%.

“Labels, artists and other professionals will all benefit from fan-first approaches to their promotion, merch and distribution”

The report also notes that short video platform TikTok was the most visited site of 2021 and also the go-to channel for artists who wish to break through, especially in the pop and Latin genres.

According to the data, some of the trends that will define the music business in 2022 are: multilingual music going more mainstream; personalisation at the forefront; TikTok acting as a career launchpad; short videos gaining power; and further blending of genres.

“Not only was TikTok the most visited website in 2021, it also helped artists like Tokischa, Will Paquin or Crawlers break through and boost their streaming numbers,” it states. “In a way, Spotify ‘seals the deal’ – the artists who transform a TikTok hit into solid streams are the ones with real potential. We can therefore expect more talent discovery and promotional efforts to focus on TikTok and social media.

“Short videos will rule. Easily digestible formats such as TikTok videos will be the most useful promotional format for artists to stand out and get discovered. As audiences celebrate the DIY approach, content will be more important than production value.”

“Personalisation will drive success,” says Viberate managing editor Urska Jaksa. “Labels, artists and other professionals will benefit from fan-first approaches to their promotion, merch and distribution. Personalised experiences also go hand-in-hand with securing digital revenue, such as tipping or paid subscriptions.”


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