5 Shopping Cart
Your cart has been updated

Creative Zeitgeist: 2019 Royalty Free Music Trends Playlist

For every visual design trend, there’s a royalty-free music trend to match. We combed our tracks to find the rising sounds that are shaping 2019’s creative landscape.

We’re halfway through 2019, which means it’s the perfect time to revisit the popular Creative Trends report from our friends at Shutterstock. The report is compiled by researching billions of image, video, and music searches and downloads from Shutterstock customers, and it’s a great way for content creators like yourself to identify what’s hot — and what’s about to be.

To help you stay in tune with the creative zeitgeist, we compiled a playlist of royalty-free music genres that pair with popular design styles revealed in the Creative Trends report. Give your next video project an edge by using one of the tracks below. This is the sound of 2019.

Grungy Pop: The Sound of Zine Culture

Creative Zeitgeist: 2019 Royalty Free Music Trends Playlist — Zine Culture

Image via Andy Vinnikov.

Zine culture is a fairly ’90s approach to visual art, and grungy pop is its audio equivalent. Both are defined by a raw, indie, lo-fi aesthetic, featuring noisy textures and rough edges.

You’ll find contemporary acts like Imagine Dragons and 21 Pilots using elements of grungy pop to capture the vibes of the early Alternative Nation, an execution we hear echoed in flannel-flying royalty-free tracks like “We Go High” by Grace Mesa and “Shell Shock” by Gyom.

Corporate Ambient: The Sound of Everyday Futurism

Creative Zeitgeist: 2019 Royalty Free Music Trends Playlist — Everyday Futurism

Image via Andrush.

Technological advancement is practically passé at this point. The future is here, and connecting instantly to the entire world is a given, whether you like it or not. The “for-better-or-for-worse” electronic connectivity that defines modern society also drives the plots of The Social Network, Gone Girl, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo — each the work of filmmaker David Fincher.

Our music team categorizes royalty-free tracks like “Ambitech” by Dr. Hollywood and “Indie Tech Documentary” by High Street Music as corporate ambient, but that’s only because “Fincher-esque” made our legal team nervous. Rich with low-key atmosphere, but with an urgency that prevents them from being too contemplative, these songs would sound at home in any recent David Fincher film that features a Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross soundtrack.

J-Pop: The Sound of Kawaii

Creative Zeitgeist: 2019 Royalty Free Music Trends Playlist — Kawaii

Image via gst.

In a year when both Pokemon and Godzilla saw big-screen success, Japan’s influence on global pop culture continues with Kawaii. If you’re not familiar with the term, just imagine Pikachu sharing a rainbow-striped cupcake with Hello Kitty while they both giggle. Now you get it.

Kawaii is adorable. It’s charming, childlike, and over-the-top delightful. It’s a term that encompasses anything cute, from playful typography to colorful fashion to music like J-Pop, as evidenced in the royalty-free tracks “Sleepless in Shibuya” and “J Pop Chant”  by Harpo Marks.

Videographers will find J-Pop tracks perfect for fun travel vlogs, unboxing clips, craft tutorials, or really anything that needs a boost in upbeat positivity. Rest assured, if you’ve been struggling to find a song to accompany the videos you’ve taken of your pets acting ridiculous, your day has finally arrived. Especially if you took the time to dress those pets up in little hats before filming.

But wait, there’s more!

Dive into the playlist below to catch up on 2019’s trendiest royalty-free tracks, all of them available and reusable with a $49 Standard License. In addition to the music styles above, you’ll hear trap percussion beds, modern R&B jams, ambient cinematic pieces, and even a few country/hop-hop hybrids. Bonus: We threw in a couple of those ASMR tracks that the internet loves so much. Trust us — you’ll know them when you hear them.

Looking for more royalty-free music playlists for your projects? Check these out.

2019 Royalty-Free Music Trends
2019 Royalty-Free Music Trends
Hear how the rest of 2019 will shape up for royalty-free music.
  • Minimal Hop
  • Driving and slick, with hip hop trap elements featuring punchy synth drums and synth bass to create an empowering and confident mood.
  • Buy track
  • Someday Someway
  • Smooth and pulsing, with R&B-pop and dance pop elements featuring soulful female vocals, piano, synthesizer, and synth drums to create a mellow and confident mood.
  • Buy track
  • Ambitech
  • Pulsing and flowing, with dance / techno techno and production / film scores suspense elements featuring mysterious synthesizer to create an intriguing and determined mood.
  • Buy track