Music Trends in 2018, Vol. II

Music trends in 2018 are shifting somewhat dramatically from those in 2017. Read on below to see what music gurus expect. (This is the second in a series of predictions for the new year — see last week for the rest of the list).

Music trends in 2018 suggest that women will lead R&B.

According to, “R&B is finding a new direction, thanks to the visionary women pushing the genre forward. From SZA’s Grammy-nominated debut to the soulful, politically minded sound of Solange, there’s a whole new soundscape emerging from this mix of personalities with distinct musical—and emotional—perspectives. This alt-R&B is female-first, lyrically vulnerable and delivered with precision; it’s a fresh genre pioneered by artists settling into their new seats at the table.”

2018 is the Year of the Latin Artist.

If you happen to be making Latin music in virtually any genre or subgenre, you’re in a good spot this year.

Rolling Stone says of this: “Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s ‘Despacito’ dominated 2017, spending 16 weeks at Number One, teaching the industry a big lesson: ‘All-Spanish records can work,’ says Tom Poleman, chief programmer for iHeartMedia. As a result, major labels are investing heavily in Latin music. ‘The Latin population in the U.S. keeps growing,’ says Fonsi, who expects the genre will compete with hip-hop, rock and country. And just as Justin Bieber scored a hit by appearing on the ‘Despacito’ remix, more artists are gunning to work with Latin peers (Beyoncé and Logic already have). ‘Before, we would seek general-market artists,’ says Horacio Rodriguez, vice president of marketing at Universal Music Latino. ‘Now, we’re getting calls from them.'”

Music trends for 2018 say artists might want to bet on YouTube early.

Spotify reigns supreme, but nothing lasts forever. The innovative music-streaming giant still owns itself and hasn’t branched out much from its original vision.

YouTube, on the other hand, belongs to Google, one of the most important global technology leaders overall. In March, Google is expected to launch a YouTube music-streaming service.

The company, with 1 billion hours of daily streams, is planning a music-streaming service that could launch by March.

“If it does blend video and audio in one service, interchangeably, why would you use Spotify?” says music industry guru Jim McDermott.

Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s head of music, says, “I want to show the industry that we’re capable of finding those most likely to subscribe and [lead] them to a subscription model.”