Rock was revitalised in 2021 by Måneskin and TikTok, says new report

It remains the fourth-most popular genre on Spotify.


Image: Måneskin via Youtube

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A new music study has found that rock music thrived across 2021, with Italian hard-rockers Måneskin singled out as a huge success from last year.

The “is rock dead?” debate seems endless: for decades, journalists and musicians alike battled over how awful it is that new and popular artists are no longer “rock,” and are marketed at teenage girls; how The Beatles are the incomparable peak of music and how you’d never get away with biting the head off a bat on an episode of The Voice.

Despite this, rock is still around today, although it is hard to accurately compare the cultural impact of rock music in 1971 and 2021 using the same metrics. Led Zeppelin IV, in its first week of release, garnered zero streams on Spotify, but somehow, it remains embedded in the cultural consciousness. Inversely, there’s no signs banning the playing of I Wanna Be Your Slave in guitar shops.

Still, you will find no shortage of people claiming that rock is dead. But a new study by Viberate claims that “rock is resurrected” – it was the fourth most-streamed genre on Spotify across 2021, only trailing behind pop (fair enough), Hip Hop and Latin Music. It was also the second-most popular genre on radio worldwide, and is seeing a general rise in popularity driven by TikTok.

Names to watch in 2022 singled out by Viberate include Crawlers, Wet Leg and Sam Fender, placing thanks to their social media engagement and upward trend on streaming platforms. The study also gives us three rock breakthroughs: Måneskin, Mitski, and Tom Grennan. Måneskinracked up a huge two billion Spotify streams across 2021, while Mitski and Grennan achieved 597 million and 427 million respectively.

It’s fitting, then, that Damiano David, frontman of Måneskin, closed out the band’s acceptance of their Eurovision win by screaming: “Rock and roll will never die!”

See the full report here.

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