As we move full steam ahead into 2020, the BEN music team pulled together a few key takeaways from 2019 around the music landscape.  Here were the biggest trends, music videos, and brand partnerships of 2019!

The Biggest Music Trends


This year, we saw the trend of reinventing songs with exciting features to extend their life cycle and reach new heights. Old Town Road became the most successful song ever with consistent remixes of the song featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, Diplo, Young Thug, Mason Ramsey and more. Other noteworthy remixes of the year included Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” ft. Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift’s “Lover” ft. Shawn Mendes and Lizzo’s “Good As Hell” ft. Ariana Grande.  Remixes on songs allow for the opportunity for additional content to be created around a release and more opportunities for brands to be placed within that content.

Documentary Style Content

As the influencer world and streaming worlds continue to collide, musicians are right in the middle, leaning on the content world as an important way to form connections with their audiences.  This year musicians leaned on streaming platforms to give audiences an inside look into their lives and process around how they create their art.  The top music documentary streaming content of the year included Beyonce’s Homecoming (Netflix), Travis Scott’s Look Mom I Can Fly (Netflix), and the Jonas Brothers’Happiness Begins (Amazon).  Apple TV+ just announced a $26M deal with Billie Eilish for the rights to her upcoming documentary and Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana will be premiering at Sundance later this month so expect this trend to continue to grow and become an exciting place for brands to play in from a placement perspective.  Check out this great article around the boom of music documentaries from The Hollywood Reporter.

TikTok Challenges

TikTok challenges have become a music discovery tool and an extremely successful new way for artists to promote their music.  Old Town Road was the biggest song to come out of TikTok but other hits that were boosted with challenges over the past year include Ava Max’s “Sweet But Psycho” and Blanco Brown’s “The Git Up”.  Top artists that have joined the TikTok community this past year include Marshmello, Post Malone, Anitta, Jason Derulo, Swae Lee and more.  TikTok challenges create an exciting opportunity for brands to collaborate with artists to create a challenge and then amplify the challenge with an influencer campaign for a 360 approach to the partnership.

The Biggest Music Videos

Old Town Road by Lil Nas X

BTS, Halsey “Boy With Love

Released: April 12, 2019. Views: 658M. Brand Integrations: Nike

Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road

Released: May 17, 2019. Views: 414M. Brand Integrations: Snapple, Maserati, Wrangler (verbal in the song)

Ariana Grande “7 Rings

Released: January 17, 2019. Views: 663M

Dababy “BOP

Released: November 15, 2019. Views: 122M. Brand Integrations: Mazda

Normani “Motivation

Released: August 15, 2019. Views: 77M

Jonas Brothers “Sucker

Released: February 28, 2019. Views: 242M. Brand Integrations: Elit Vodka

Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello “Senorita

Released: June 20, 2019. Views: 858M

The Best of Brand Partnerships

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos integration in Harleys in Hawaii by Katy Perry

Selena Gomez | iPhone

Selena Gomez came back strong in 2019 with the release of two new songs in October.  Both songs were accompanied by music video releases where the videos were shot entirely on the iPhone 11 which Selena promoted on social media and in the description boxes of the music videos on YouTube.  Apple then licensed the song for their ad spots around the iPhone 11 and released their own “Apple’s Cut” version of the music video along with a short behind-the-scenes video that gives a glimpse into the setup used to film it.

Wiz Khalifa | Oreo

Oreo tapped rapper Wiz Khalifa and his son to star in it’s “Stay Playful” campaign, which included a 30-second commercial that aired during the 2019 Grammy Awards.  For the campaign, Khalifa created a custom song about Oreo which was used in the commercial and he promoted the partnership on his social media. To generate additional buzz once the commercial aired, Oreo gave away The Oreo x Wiz Khalifa Limited-Edition Music Box’s on their website to select fans.

Lil Nas X | Wrangler

After the brand’s verbal mention in Lil Nas X’s infamous “Old Town Road” where the singer calls out “Cowboy hat from Gucci / Wrangler on my booty.”, Wrangler collaborated with Lil Nas X on a capsule collection inspired by the hit song. The collection featured lyrics from the song on graphic tees, jeans and other denim apparel. Lil Nas X promoted the collaboration on his Twitter.

Migos | Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew partnered with Migos on their “Let’s Do” campaign to premiere the Migos single “Position To Win”.  For the campaign, the song was licensed for the Let’s Do  commercial spot which featured the trio in a custom music video for the song and was narrated by Quavo from Migos.  To amplify the campaign, Migos announced on social media that they were participating in Mountain Dew’s “Courtside Sessions” where they performed their song “Position to Win” for select fans.  Mountain Dew utilized the content captured from the performance on the brand’s social media platforms.

Katy Perry | Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

Cheetos integrated into Katy Perry’s new music video for “Harleys in Hawaii”!  The video reached almost 2M views in the first 24 hours and hit #30 on the trending overall page.  With our understanding of the love between the brand and Katy, we negotiated this incremental opportunity and launched Frito-Lay’s music program.  Katy Perry promoted the partnership across all her social channels with the Cheetos brand supporting throughout the launch.  Check out the video here.

Looking Forward

As we head into 2020, we’re on the lookout for the music trends and upcoming artists.  In that respect, we’ve curated a list of artists to look out for in the upcoming year.  Have a listen here on Spotify.