In this report, we highlight the top trends for audio and explore our recent UX research into what audio customers are looking for right now.
Get to know the latest trends and all the tips and tricks to help improve discoverability, develop loyal followers and create a positive customer experience – so they keep coming back!
In the past year, Music, SFX, Logos have continued to grow with the Music Kits category doubling in size. This presents an emerging opportunity for an author to increase their exposure and earnings within the marketplace through various categories.
Analysis into these stock audio trends reveal that items which include additional versions of tracks (including looped versions) or multiple sound clips are also performing better overall, as this provides more flexibility for customers with a better quality outcome in a seamless track, rather than a choppy edit, if customers were to edit the items themselves.
While items with vocals are less common in the marketplace, they are also performing better individually. These can include simple background vocals, or full lead vocals & lyrics. Just like how photos with people perform well, vocals add that same relatable human touch that customers want to help connect with their audiences.
Factors Affecting Discoverability
Last month, our UX team at Envato conducted a series of interviews with customers/users in the audio space. The feedback received showed a great demand for customers looking for high quality audio items and the opportunity for authors to improve the experience, particularly when searching through a vast amount of content.
Customers identified some specific areas which helped items stand out and ultimately, influenced the items they decided to purchase.
More and more, customers are looking for the visual element in everything. Authors with poor quality or unprofessional thumbnail, or a thumbnail that doesn’t relate the style/mood or item itself, may affect a customer’s decision to stop and listen to the item.
Generally, customers have found track titles hard to understand. Some are too long, some are too short. There are also some track titles that have been ‘over tagged’ and read closer to a series of tags, instead of a track title. Doing this, may help get the item to show up more in search but it also creates a really bad experience for customers. Aesthetically, it affects an author’s presentation and quality, which ultimately influences a customer’s decision to click on your item, or scroll on by.
The general rule is similar to presentation – make sure the track title is clear, concise and relevant to your item and what it is about, so that your item can be discovered by the right customers at the right time.
Since music is an emotional artform, this affects the way it ‘sells’ and interpreted by customers. Describing the item with the moods is a good way to attract customers as they will generally have a musical mood in mind first, rather than an instrument. Given the discovery process, popular items tend to have titles made of mood terms.
The question is how do certain songs elicit certain moods? Check out this resource on how to best do use using structural features and keep it in mind when preparing your items!
Many customers rely on BPM and other search filters to help narrow down their music selection. Some of their feedback included the importance making sure that authors ensure these details are available & accurate. So if your items might be missing or have outdated metadata, it’s in your best interest to fill these out so your items can appear in relevant search results.
Music Category Trends
Hip-Hop and Percussion (aka ‘Stomp’-like tracks) continue to see strong growth as categories in the marketplace.
We’re also noticing an emerging trend towards more “downtempo” tracks, as can be seen through growth in the Experimental/Abstract and Soul/R&B categories — the former showing an emphasis on ‘technology’ themed music with a downtempo & hybrid ambient electronic style, and the latter a more downtempo & relaxed style within the broader trend of hip-hop
Interestingly, trends are also showing that the typical ‘corporate’ audience overall may be shifting away from the ‘motivational/upbeat’ style, and diversifying toward to include more ‘cinematic or ambient’ genres.
Growing Search Terms
Stepping away from more of the generic corporate and cinematic search terms, we found that there are many more opportunities for authors to get involved in using these terms trending in the marketplace:
- Stomp / Clap / Percussion
- Technology / Digital
Drum & Bass
The Secret Sauce
Generally, we have found that the key to a great track lies in its ability to be flexible for a variety of visual projects. This adaptability is key, and we believe it’s the combination of general rules of thumb for both approaches around:
- No sudden shifts.
- Avoiding spatial conflicts.
- Few or no ambient sounds.
- A strong early impacts
- A marked ending.
- Low overall virtuosity.
- Balanced repetition.
- Commercially artistic.
- Keeping samples current.
- Proper live recording.
- Avoid excess mix effects.
- Balanced Panning R/L.
- Balanced volumes.
- Careful tunings.
- Avoid quantization.
- Natural note variations.
With audio trends continuing to evolve, it’s a growing reflection of the world, our interests, experiences and environments. This shift highlights the need to be open to new and unique opportunities for customers to engage and connect with us.
In our UX research, customers reported that they are able to find music on AudioJungle that they can’t find anywhere else. This speaks volumes of our talented author community – their ability to capture even the hidden pockets of our communities and celebrate diversity and specialties across audio content.
Understanding changing trends going forwards can help bring us closer to what is reflected in the world, where we are going and where we want to be – we’re so excited on what’s to come.
What do you think is next for audio? Share your thoughts with us and your fellow authors on the forums.
What’s Next for Audio in 2018? Check out the latest Audio Trends Report! #envatoauthors #audioinsightsClick to Tweet