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Music in 2022

Music in 2022

Written by

Abbie Dawson


December 12, 2022


Latest research

Our top music and moments of the year

At Startle, we live and breathe music. So we were so excited to share our brand-spanking-new, end of year music report, That’s A Wrap.

As part of the report, we took a look at the year’s top songs and artists. Crucially, we dove headfirst into what made these songs connect with people so well, using our team’s musical expertise and behavioural science know-how to understand what made them tick. Here are our favourite music findings.

Some of our favourite findings


Two of the top songs of 2022, Heat Waves by Glass Animals and Stay by The Kid Laroi ft. Justin Bieber, weren’t even released this year (2020 and 2021 respectively). This shows that other media such as TikTok can give new life to a song, and that social media has interrupted the traditional music release cycle.

We also found that two of the top three songs of 2022 had a BPM of 170 or above (As It Was by Harry Styles and Stay by The Kid Laroi ft. Justin Bieber) - aspiring pop stars, keep this in mind. 


We found it interesting to see that two of the top artists of 2022, Taylor Swift and Drake, released albums in the last three months of the year, showing just how huge these albums were.

Bad Bunny was the number one artist of 2022. The popularity of his newest album, Un Verano Sin Ti, shows the huge strides that have been made for non-English performing artists. Listeners can connect on melody, production, even the tone of a voice, without having to understand lyrically what is being presented. We’ve noticed that retail and hospitality customers in the UK are beginning to showcase a variety of languages in the music they choose to play, which only reinforces the marketing goal of universal appeal.


And what about the stand out moments of the year? Well, we had to talk about the song of Summer ‘22 being from 1985. Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill spent three weeks at the top of Spotify’s global charts, and managed to gain huge mainstream radio exposure, reaching a whole new audience on social media apps like TikTok. Along with so many other songs this year going viral because of other forms of media, it’s more evident than ever the impact platforms like TV, film, and TikTok can have on a song’s success. 

Another standout music moment for us in 2022 was Kanye West being dropped by brands towards the end of the year. Following controversial comments and actions, a flurry of brands announced that they were dropping him immediately. It seemed that every few hours, another company was announcing their intentions to remove affiliations with the rapper, including Gap, Balenciaga, and, most notably, Adidas. It showed how important it is for brands to align themselves with their values in all areas of the business, and that musicians are more than just creatives - they’re public figures with responsibility. 

And finally, we looked at the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, held in Italy on 14th May following the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier in the year. With Ukraine winning by a landslide from the public votes, it was a demonstration of the political environment, and the support many wanted to show for Ukraine. Although it was a small act, it was a way for people around Europe to stand behind the country and give it something to celebrate. 

Keep an eye out for our predictions for 2023...

Those are just a few highlights of our Thats a Wrap report. Want to read more? Head here.

Music in 2022

Abbie Dawson

Marketing Manager at Startle. I'm in charge of our marketing activity, making sure to spread the word of Startle to as many brands as possible. When I'm not working, you'll find me vinyl shopping to add to my collection or working out at the gym (usually making enemies with a punching bag).

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