New Data Says Classical Music Use On YouTube Is Up 90% Over 2021

By Anya Wassenberg on December 19, 2022

Classical music is the fastest-growing genre on YouTube, according to newly released research by a major global music company. New research data from Epidemic Sound, a music tech company based in Sweden, reveals that the use of classical music has jumped by more than 90% in the past year.

The figures come from creators worldwide who use music the company offers as the soundtrack to videos of various kinds. While they relate strictly to the music production company’s own tracks, it’s worth noting Epidemic Sound’s music was used in more than 14 million videos, representing 1.5 billion views per day on YouTube.

Epidemic Sound is a somewhat contentious company within the global music community because of their royalty-free music production model. The payout to artists is a flat fee, leaving Epidemic to resell the “royalty-free” tracks as often as they like, as opposed to the traditional royalty model, which compensates songwriters and composers for each broadcast or stream.

However, it does put them in a unique position to evaluate the data from the more than 35,000 tracks they now manage. The report analyzed metadata from their vast catalogue between January 1, 2022 and October 31, 2022.

Classical music is on a high

The figures show that online content creators are choosing classical music more and more often.

  • The use of classical music has risen by over 90% worldwide on YouTube, and by 64% on the Epidemic Sound platform;
  • That year-over-year growth spurt was shown across Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and the U.S.;
  • On the Epidemic Sound platform, classical music was the fifth most downloaded genre in 2022;
  • In 2022, Epidemic Sound’s classical music titles were streamed more than 200 million times across multiple streaming platforms;
  • On YouTube, it was the fastest growing genre in categories such as Comedy, Education, Entertainment, Gaming, How To & Style, News & Politics, and Science & Technology.

“Classical music is certainly timeless, but our research shows this genre is particularly relevant right now,” said Epidemic Sound CEO Oscar Höglund in a media release. “Perhaps it’s that sense of comfort and escapism that people are looking for, but we do know that the genre has this unique ability to move people on an emotional level — and storytellers are catching on to that. I expect there will be an even larger movement towards storytellers using classical music in their content, which also creates an opportunity for classical music artists to continue to modernize the genre and appeal to new audiences.”

The report suggests that it’s the versatility of Western classical music that makes it useful for pairing with video and films of various kinds. Outside of YouTube, Epidemic Sound’s classical tracks were streamed 11.5 billion times per month via TikTok videos.

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