How do you guys research what's trending or current?

Hi all,

Just curious, who does research into what sounds and styles are current when it comes to stock music, and where do you look to find it?

I find myself paying attention to the music on the commercials on Hulu or other things that I watch, to the backgrounds of radio spots, and sometimes the ads on YouTube. As I don’t really know where my music goes when it gets licensed, it’s hard to know who my core customer base is and hard to know where to research.

I worry that my sounds are outdated and maybe need to write in more current styles, but want to be a little scientific about it. Just curious to see what others do.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!


Great topic, I’m also wondering about this and feel like the lack of a “modern” sound is one of my weaknesses.

Mainly I pay attention whenever I see or hear an commercial on Youtube, in public, TV etc to get some ideas… From my experience this can get you a good impression of the overall feeling and style of the music that is used, but the short duration + the voiceover in most commercials makes it difficult to get an idea about specific instruments and sounds.
So from time to time I like to click through the different genres on AJ and listen to the recent top selling items. I guess the market itself is still the best place to research what the market is looking for, especially on a site like AJ where you can take a look at the sales of each item.

I hope this helps you a bit,

Happy holidays and all the best!


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Yeah I just joined but I’ve done a lot of listening to top selling tracks on AJ to see what styles are currently “in.” To me, these tend to match up pretty well with what you hear in ads, trailers, etc.

My approach is just to try to deconstruct top selling tracks, figure out what instruments they use, how they’re mixed, how their structure is laid out. Then use that as the basis for the track I create, while making sure to keep it unique and not just a copy of the reference.

If you download some of these top selling tracks and import them into your DAW, you can easily A/B compare them with your own track and this make it easy to tell if your mix/balance is off, or if you’re using way different sounds than the reference.

I think it’s also good to listen to the music that gets played in ads, trailers, etc (I pay attention to ads more often now than I ever have in my life, haha)… but Frodonut’s point is good that you can’t really reference them as easily because of the narration and the fact that it’s harder to import the audio into your DAW for closer analysis. For general structure and atmosphere though, it can definitely give you some good ideas.


Exactly my thoughts and how I pretty much approach a new genre as well. Also in terms of arrangement and whatnot.