2020 was one of the hardest years any of us have ever had to go through. It was filled with tragedy and loss and isolation. That being said, it was like any other year in the sense that there were new marketing trends for the music industry. In this blog post, we will map out some music marketing predictions for 2021. Let’s hope it doesn’t suck as much as 2020 did!

Music Marketing Predictions for Social Media Trends

Kayla Coughlan

Director of Social Media & Design

1) Instagram Reels Will Become More Popular But Won’t Overpower TikTok

Instagram Reels is a direct competitor for TikTok. Although I do see Instagram Reels growing a lot in usage (I even used it more than I thought I would at the end of this year!) I think the market has greatly underestimated the feeling of positivity and community TikTok offers as compared to Instagram’s MO – which is to pin everyone against each other and compete/compare. But that’s just my two cents 😉

2) Cross-posting Content Is BACK

Content from other platforms like Twitter and TikTok will become big trends on cross-posting to Instagram in the next year. I highly concur with this one! There are already thousands of accounts dedicated to just re-posting viral Tweets and TikToks.


Music Marketing Predictions for Artist Development & Branding

Jamie Alberici

Vice President, Branding Specialist

1) Investing in Ads

In 2021, advertising will become even more lucrative than it was before, since there will be a full 4 quarter cycle of popular online and social media use for EVERYONE. So, if you’re an artist who was never interested in investing (even a small budget) in ads, you should think about researching and reading up on Ads for social media for your next release or merchandise announcement.

marketing predictions

2) Creative Video Content

Since we all didn’t have the budget for a Netflix crew to follow us around on our last tour like Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and Shawn Mendes did, artists should still be thinking of creating behind the scenes video content for Youtube and other social media platforms. In the upcoming year, try creating vlogs, studio diaries, or “The Making Of” content to capture you/ your band in the middle of your craft.


Music Marketing Predictions for Media Advertising

matt pelosi

Matt Pelosi

Ad Strategy & Social Media Manager

1) Video Ads Are Key!

Videos have long been a favorite on social media. It should come as no surprise that Facebook & Instagram videos will continue to feature among brands top marketing strategies.

Based on our ad reports from 2019-2020, Ads that run as videos instead of static images have shown to perform up to 60% higher when it comes to click throughs. 

This is especially important information for musicians and artists looking to increase Spotify & youtube traffic. Using a short clip of a music video or performance can really help give those numbers the boost you are looking for. 

With our Spotify streaming ads, 15 second clips of a music video  as an Instagram story ad  seem to be the way to go in late 2020 and I only predict a rise in results.

If you’re thinking about jumping into the video content world, then keep this in mind: out of all video lengths, those between 65 seconds and five minutes perform the best as posts. Don’t forget to utilize IG TV for those longer videos on instagram!

2) The Return of the Chatbot

Quick & Easy seems to be the new standard for online businesses. That includes not just product delivery but also their communication with businesses.

The chatbot industry has been thriving  and will continue to do so. The latest statistics show that the chatbot market size is forecast to grow from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024 (BusinessInsider, 2020).

In 2021 Expect more businesses to adopt the chatbot, Not only on facebook but also on websites.

An astounding 20 billion messages are sent between consumers and businesses every single month on Messenger, making it one of the most popular business communication channels. 

Facebook has rapidly been improving what you can do with messenger. There are so many options now that allow you to directly funnel consumers to your products, songs or content. If you aren’t set up on messenger yet, jump on it asap! 


Music Marketing Predictions for Content Trends

Ailie Orzak

PR Team Member

1) Collaborations

We’ve already seen this uptick as the end of 2020 rolled around. As artists have been unable to perform, they’ve sought ways to expand their audience and put new music out: and doubling your audience through a single release is the perfect way to do so.

instagram reels

2) Instagram Reels Instead of TikTok

Short-form videos are already a HUGE part of most social media marketing plans. I predict a possible decline in TikTok usage – as 2020 over-saturated the market. There is also an unreliable young population who might leave the app as hype dies down and real-life experiences open back up.


Music Marketing Predictions for Social Media & Live Music

Kiara Marques

Cyber PR Intern

1) Instagram Reels Will Compete With TikTok

Since TikTok has blown up, people love how easy it is to create videos and add creative twists to them. However, TikTok is mostly popular amongst millennials and Gen-Zers, so Instagram’s newest “Reels” feature is one that the older demographic would probably be interested in. Since users probably already have an Instagram account, they won’t have to download a separate app like TikTok to create their videos.

2) Drive-In Concerts

We all miss concerts. Whether they be at stadiums or dive bars, there’s nothing like physically being in front of your favorite band and listening to them play for you. Despite the pandemic and its repercussions, bands have been able to get creative and safely perform socially distant drive-in shows. I believe that in 2021 there will be many more shows like this, especially in the warmer months.


Music Marketing Predictions for Engagement & Live Music

Ariel Hyatt

CEO, Founder

1) Real connections will trump all the Instagram filters you can test

I have seen a trend come to the forefront these past several months and that is – Being real plus taking a stand on what you believe in coupled with taking time to connect to your fans will make a profound difference.  If this year has taught us anything (and it has taught us all a LOT) that is staying neutral and putting another filter on your Insta cocktail probably isn’t going to get you very far, especially if your audience skews younger or older (hello Gen Z and Baby Boomers!)


This quote from AdWeek struck me…


“Much has been written about consumers’ increased desire to see brands take a stand on social issues. This interest crosses generations but is most consistently propelled by Gen Z. Currently 5-24 years old, more of this group is entering the workforce, and their voice will be louder than ever—both as consumers and employees.”
So – think about how you can incorporate social issue and social good and make it part of your brand and platforms in 2021.


marketing predictions


2) Live Music will come screaming back! AND Streaming is here to stay!

Many predictions show that the live scene will pick up where it left off (thank goodness!) so getting your live music plan into place is deeply advised.  Create a killer video of you playing live (or edit some footage you already have) so that you can showcase when it’s time to book yourself, make sure you are keeping your Bandsintown profile and your email list up to date.


But not so fast – if you have not gotten into streaming it’s not too late – streaming is now something many fans have gotten used to and many love to participate in watching live streams from the comfort of their own homes. Artists have also learned that it’s a great way to connect with a global audience all at once.  So if you have not put a streaming plan into place NOW is your time to do so.

Music Marketing Predictions for Live Streaming & Releasing Music

Suz Paulinski

Marketing Plan Writer

1. Livestreams Will Need To Get More Interesting

Live streaming in the most basic sense will get very tired and until touring live comes back full-force artists will need to find ways to make their streams stand out whether it’s with production quality, the way they interact and engage the audience, and/or the type of performance they do (straight performance vs. storytelling vs. Q&A etc). It’s like walking through downtown NYC and as a fan you have the option to pop in and out of bars for blocks all filled with live music – what’s going to make that fan stay put?


marketing predictions


2. Music Will Be Released Less Frequently

I have a feeling release schedules will slow down and rather than new songs every few weeks new types of content and connection will build a larger fanbase. Everyone is burnt out. Everyone is overwhelmed, including musicians. I think people are craving connection and relatability and whether it’s sharing more of your story through song or video diary or allowing fans in on your demo work, I think it’s going to be less about music video premieres and more about bringing them into your process and making that human connection.

Music Marketing Predictions for Songwriting & Music Venues

Lorne Behrman

Artist Bio Writer




1. Songwriters Will Become Their Own Producers

I predict we’ll enjoy an influx of intimate solo artist releases as non-frontperson musicians and aspiring songwriters take matters into their own hands with Ableton and GarageBand recording platforms.

2. Live Music Won’t Come Back Just Yet

My crystal ball tells me gigging musicians and fans of live shows won’t be united in 2021. Venues will stay closed, and performing musicians will remain sidelined. So, let’s be creative with livestreams, and productive releasing new music. Looking way ahead, I feel 2022 will be a great year for band-oriented live music.

Music Marketing Predictions for Songwriting & Music Venues


Kyle Weber

Indie On The Move

1. Outdoor Gigging

Outside gigs will be in high demand throughout summer and into early fall 2021.

2. New Music!

Expect to see a lot of new music being released starting mid year with artists hoping to hit the road in either fall or early 2022.

We hope you have an amazing fresh start for 2021 – and if you want more tips and tricks for the new year, check out Ariel’s latest book Ultimate Guide to Music Publicity!

ultimate guide to music publicity

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