Pop Music Hit Predictions for 2018

As 2017 comes to a close and 2018 begins, I want to take some time to make some predictions on what might do well in the music industry in the new year, ranging from almost certain successes to outside picks. Make sure to vote in the polls and let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

Almost Certain 
1. Galway Girl—Ed Sheeran

While at points discounted, Galway Girl has cracked the top 40 on the iTunes chart with zero promotion. It has received some radio airplay, but never received an official United States release. My prediction is it’s released to mainstream radio in time for it to be a summer hit. Whether it’s the next single or not depends on the longevity of current hit Perfect.

2. Whatever It Takes—Imagine Dragons

Whatever It Takes has always been kind of on the radar in terms of digital downloads and streaming, but the longevity of Believer and Thunder have hindered it from taking on a bigger role as of now. It’s already seen some airplay on smaller, alternative-based radio stations and a music video with tens of millions of views, making it a moderate success without even any help from radio. Considering how huge this era has been for the band, it’s tough to imagine there will only be two singles off the album. Make this a third and the band stays very relevant for at least a good portion of 2018.

Other Possibilities 
1. Stranger Things—Kygo w/ OneRepublic

If you go by iTunes downloads, Spotify streams, and Billboard’s Hot EDM Music Dance Songs chart, Stranger Things is outperforming everything else on Kygo’s new 8-song album, including lead single and titular track Kids In Love, despite barely any promotion. This may say more about the underperformance of the album in general than the over-performance of the song, but with a semi-prominent start I can see this being the second single off the album—in fact, it almost certainly will should the label decide to release a new single. Plus, they could both use a hit right around now.

2. Saved—Khalid
No, DJ Khalid didn’t drop the ‘DJ’ from his name, I’m talking about a new R&B crossover artist who released his debut album earlier in 2017. His first single, Location, gave him a promising start and reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. His current single, titled Young Dumb & Broke, is poised to be even bigger. It currently sits in the top 10 on iTunes, once by itself and another time as a mashup with the aforementioned Thunder from Imagine Dragons. It’s receiving solid radio airplay and strong streaming numbers as well, making him one of the biggest new artists of 2017. Saved has recently been released to Rhythmic radio stations, so it’s likely that once his current single slows down the label will push this to be his third straight hit.

Vague Outside Picks 

1. Something by Ingrid Michaelson

Ingrid Michaelson has been around for a long time, debuting with a #37 Hot 100 Hit in 2007. Since then, she’s mostly been receiving solid radio airplay at Adult Pop radio stations and had half-a-hit a couple years back, but while her songs can easily be described as pop, she hasn’t really tried top 40 mainstream radio stations. I don’t even know if she’s poised to release anything in 2018, but I’m making a bold prediction that she’ll put out a song in the coming year that will slowly but surely become a crossover hit.

2. A song from a contestant on American Idol Season 16 or The Four Season 1

The Four seems very focused on the prospective singers, and American Idol was known to launch a few stars itself back in its heyday. My prediction is that on one of these shows, someone will make a song that will click with the public and be promoted heavily by a record company, and a singing competition show will score a win for someone who’s not already famous.

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