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Online Content Creators Continue Trend of Choosing Classical Music

By Anya Wassenberg on December 18, 2023

A new report from Epidemic Sound indicates that online content creators are still opening up to using classical music for their digital projects on a record-setting basis. The Swedish company’s year-end report, 2023 Sound of the Internet, indicates that the use of classical music tracks grew by 80% year over year from 2022 to 2023.

Traditionally, Western classical music lovers typically associate their beloved genre with the concert hall, another atmospheric venue, and live performance. But, the reality is that much of the music we hear on a daily basis is attached to online content.

Creating music for online content creation is a vast market that is growing despite the lag between international copyright laws and the realities of digital life.

What Is Epidemic Sound?

Epidemic Sound is one of several services that offer music for the vast online content creation market. Users can pay to use tracks owned by Epidemic Sound (i.e. with no royalty conflict), and not surprisingly, the company specializes in sync licensing, or licensing music created for videos and films. However, some users also come for the playlists, which are extensive and exclusive.

The ship has already sailed when it comes to the use of such services — for the vast majority of online content creators, they offer access to affordable original music.

The business model for Epidemic Sound includes upfront payment for the original artists. Epidemic buys the tracks upfront, and streaming revenues are split on a 50/50 basis.

It’s not your father’s royalty-paying system of music composition, in other words, but it does pay the original creator while still making it easy for the online world to produce content.

While it’s just one of multiple music services, its numbers make the report results significant. That includes:

  • 26 million YouTube and TikTok videos that use music from the company’s catalogue;
  • That translates into 30 billion views of the 100 most popular video tracks from 2023 on YouTube alone, which represents a 50% increase over 2022;
  • An average of 40 million plays/views per day of tracks that use music from its catalogue through music streaming platforms;
  • Seen another way, 2.5 billion views per day of video tracks on YouTube and TikTok that incorporate music from Epidemic’s catalogue.

The Report

It’s the second year that the company has shared its usage data in the form of a report. The figures come from an analysis of metadata of user-generated content on YouTube and Tiktok to generate overall figures that they compared with their proprietary data.

Classical music remained in the top three fastest growing genres, and was seventh overall worldwide when it came to most frequently used types of music. Epidemic’s own figures showed a 40% increase in classical music downloads between 2022 and 2023.

Along with the growth of classical music, still the fastest rising genre, inspirational music saw a whopping 300% year-over-year increase on YouTube. Epidemic saw an 180% year-over-year increase in inspirational music downloads.

“Last year, we witnessed a remarkable surge in the popularity of classical music among our users, and it’s no surprise that this trend continues to grow. What’s particularly intriguing is the parallel rise of inspirational music,” said Epidemic Sound CEO and Co-Founder Oscar Höglund.

“Our observations indicate that these genres are no longer merely background scores. Instead, they have evolved into a means of crafting immersive environments that resonate with the human spirit. For content creators, this surge opens up an exciting opportunity to explore and experiment with these genres.”

The report indicates a search for happiness and positivity, hope and dreaminess as desired qualities that content creators are looking for — not surprising in a troubled world.

You can read the whole report [HERE].

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