2021 Essential Artists


At 7digital we believe music is essential to humanity and the world seems to agree!  Over 15 billion minutes* were streamed last year from 7digital clients across all types and formats – including radio, streaming services, retail, online fitness, global social platforms and more.  While tens of millions of unique songs were streamed from the 7digital global catalogue of over 80 million tracks, some rose to the top, returned to again and again for how well they fit in context of each type of platform and service.  We feel that while all artists contributions are fundamentally important to serve a global fanbase, there will always be those artists or songs that fit the time and place perfectly and resonate all around the world.  We’ve compiled a few lists below for the artists deemed most essential this year in categorical context for 7digital clients. Enjoy!

Online Fitness

A playlist can make or break a workout, and while listening to a throwback soundtrack is a fun way to get your adrenaline pumping, there’s nothing like sweating along to this year’s top artists. In 2021, there’s been collaborations from powerhouses like Lizzo and Cardi B and hit after hit from artists like newcomer Olivia Rodrigo. According to Billboard, fitness-tech music licensing is shifted into high gear in 2021 and the trend is likely to continue to meet new consumption patterns in exercise and health. Here’s the trending artists on repeat in 2021 in the online fitness category*:

  1. Calvin Harris
  2. David Guetta
  3. Spice Girls
  4. Chase & Status
  5. Lana Del Rey
  6. Ariana Grande
  7. Sigma
  8. Lizzo
  9. Avicii

Social Media

The average user spends 2.5 hours on social media platforms a day, and music provides a way for creators to show their fandom and present an ever-evolving soundtrack to their daily lives. In addition to offering users new ways to express themselves, social media platforms present one of the fastest-growing way for artists to build new audiences and provide new revenue streams. 7digital’s social media clients are constantly innovating and changing the way people watch content and connect with the world around them using music. Here’s a list of some of the essential artists on social media platforms in 2021*:

  1. Tesher
  2. DaBaby
  3. Megan Thee Stallion
  4. Dixie
  5. Ed Sheeran
  6. Olivia Rodrigo
  7. Justin Bieber
  8. Roddy Ricch
  9. Doja Cat

*Based on stream reporting by select 7digital clients across industry categories of online fitness, social media, retail/background music, radio, and streaming services.

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