Top 6 pop culture trends to look forward to in 2022

From analogue experience to podcasters becoming the new influencers, here are the top six trends we expect to see in the year ahead.
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We live in a unique time when culture isn't just defined through our physical and digital existences but is a unique flowing blend of the two. The divide between where one ends and the other begins is fading away in every part of our lives. So to look ahead at 2022 and understand where popular culture is headed is an intriguing exercise. 

But that's what makes it fun, I guess. So here are my six trends to look ahead towards in the year is to come.

1. Wellness & mindfulness won't be a fringe conversation piece. It will be central to how we function as a generation

We will wear our mindset on our sleeves literally. What we consume, how we dress, what we listen to, and all ends of popular culture will not just be about how we want the world to see us but as much about how we feel inside. Wellness and mindfulness will be central to all ends of popular culture (and drive the next set of business opportunities). 

2. Regional will continue to dominate in music, shows and movies 

There was an interesting statistic that gave us a picture of 2022. Nine out of the top ten music tracks on Apple Music India for 2021 were Punjabi tracks (the exception being Jugnu by Baadshah, and the two Bollywood tracks in it were originally independent Punjabi tracks).

Plus, the growing adoption of regional shows and movies across video streaming platforms has led to a unique situation that will further accelerate. What was once considered regional content is now national/mainstream content? Its adoption is now at par and, in many ways growing beyond the mainstream. And this curve will increase further in 2022. 

3. Creators are now mainstream celebrities and will evolve celebrity culture

Creators are crossing the boundary of just having online influence. The growth of the creator economy is seeing them develop into entrepreneurs building digital and physical products that tap into a focused consumer base.

2022 will see the worlds of creator and celebrity further blend and not just make every creator solidify the machinery around them to grow and monetise their content and audience base. But, push mainstream celebrities to take a cue from the Creator playbook and start becoming more like creators. 

4. Music is now an entirely social experience 

Music is now driven by how we use and share it online. In all effects, the TikTok/reel'isation of music is how chartbusters are created, and this will also flow into how we listen and share music. And will continue to drive how the music industry evolves as a business.

 5. Podcasters will be mainstream influencers

Podcasters who have been slowly building relevance and audiences over the last few years will grow in prominence. This will be on the back of further audience adoption towards the medium and penetration of regional and specialised content.

The growth of tools to monetise and scale will allow them to build a growing ecosystem around them similar to what mainstream creators have had around them. 

6. Analogue is alternate cool 

There is a rising trend of physical books, wired earphones and many such Analogue experiences growing in focus. This will continue to rise as the metaverse starts to become mainstream. It will be the alternate cool to the promise of the metaverse

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)