While album sales may have been on a decline for certain artists, between the return of various breakout performers and the establishment of new services  including Apple Music   2015 was still a big year for the music industry. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the best music marketing stories we’ve seen this year.

Debut of New Music Services

While Pandora and Spotify continued to establish their audiences with streaming music channels, several competitors stepped up and introduced their own in an attempt to get a piece of the streaming pie that has entertained millions of listeners.

YouTube introduced a new music app that enabled listeners to choose from 50 million songs across both audio and video formats, under a plan that charges a small monthly fee. Although an exact listener count hasn’t been revealed yet, it’s been pretty popular since its introduction.

Likewise, Apple found itself jumping into the music game with its own devoted channel, including devoted stations, exclusive content from artists and live events, including the Taylor Swift 1989 concert that will take place this week. It’s been pretty popular as well, thanks to the three-month trial period that enables customers to give it a try without paying a cent.

Tidal also introduced its service this year, featuring a number of exclusive shows for members, including performances by Jay-Z and Deadmau5, partners in the music channel. There have been talks that it hasn’t been as popular as its competitors, but it’s still seeing a lot of exclusive content.

Even with the launch of these channels, however, Pandora and Spotify have continued to endure, and are potentially looking into new plans that could bring revenue to its channels as well. We’ll see just how effective these plans are when 2016 rolls around.

Music Finds Its Footing In Social

Another means for artists to reach out to their audience came in the form of social media, whether it was through sharing the debut of a music video, sharing a new song through the likes of Soundcloud, or, in the case of Drake, inadvertent popularity through memes.

Drake’s own “Hotline Bling” became a hit song in the top 40, but also managed to produce a video in which users could put their own creative touch with a repository of memes. 

Most of these edited clips managed to go viral, helping generate interest in the original clip. Even if they were meant for laughs, they certainly assisted the artist with exposure and brought out some creativity in fans as well.

Taylor Swift also saw a huge push in social media with the hashtag “#SquadGoals,” driving up the force in girl power through a series of music videos, live shows and appearances at award events. The term has now become commonplace in social media, continuing to drive Swift’s strong success in the music business.

Just keep it simple

One of the biggest success stories in the music industry for 2015 was Adele, who made a monumental comeback with her new album 25. With it, she managed to sell 3.38 million copies in the first week, prior to announcing a world tour for 2016 that’s set to see record ticket sales.

That was just the beginning, though, as Adele’s simply produced “Hello” would see major exposure online as well. The music video generated a massive audience on Vevo, with more than 27.7 million views in the first 24 hours of its posting.

All of this, managed to be done with minimal marketing, indicating that, hey, sometimes you just have to be yourself and show what skills you’re capable of as an artist. Adele obviously has no problem doing this, and should see big sales once 2016 rolls around.

Meanwhile, Justin Bieber managed to see a turn-around for 2015 as well, foregoing all the reckless acts that made him such a controversy over the past few years and instead going with a simple approach for his latest album, Purpose. As a result, his Beliebers remain as strong as ever, and the album fared well, landing in the No. 1 spot his sixth in a row. 

Innovation goes a long way

Finally, one trend that was hard to ignore in the music industry was the use of innovative means to promote your work, and some artists found this to be a pretty common practice.

For example, The Weeknd utilized virtual reality technology to promote its new music video, “The Hills.” Using 360-degree perspective so that the users can interact with the video, it’s created a trend that a lot of artists are beginning to adopt to.

Interlude has also done a fair share of interactive videos as of late, and collaborated with both Warner Music Group and S-Curve Records for a special project involving AJR. This is the latest work by the company that utilizes this format, and it probably won’t be a surprise if it continues to flourish in 2016, keeping fans entertained in the process. This interactive take on Led Zeppelin’s “Trampled Under Foot” is also worth checking out.

Fresh perspectives pay off. Action Bronson recently partnered with GoPro to use their gear during special events, putting users in the “you are there” perspective whenever he performs. The video below demonstrates how effectively this technology can be used with such a performance.

Overall, the music industry has seen a lot of trends technology, social media, or even just going back to simple roots that have worked, and we’re certain to see more experimentation as the New Year rolls around.