With viral hits like "Call Me Maybe" and "Gangnam Style," and the enduring success of artists like Adele, music in 2012 surprised everyone -- including the experts.
On Monday, Billboard magazine editorial director Bill Werde joined TODAY's Willie Geist in the studio to review the tunes and artists that had everyone tapping their toes this past year.
Adele, he said, was the magazine's artist of the year for the second year in a row; her 2011 album "21" also was named album of the year for the second year in a row.
"She's in that enviable/unenviable spot of having to follow up one of those once-in-a-lifetime blockbuster things," said Werde.
He also went on to discuss the magazine's Hot 100 artist of the year, Rihanna ("she gives people something to talk about") and the enormous success of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know," a song he noted may outlast its singer.
"We'll see if he becomes somebody that we used to know," quipped the journalist.
But he also noted that social media was the big story in music for 2012, adding that "Gangnam" and "Call Me" might not have have broken through without getting noticed online first. So what lessons did 2012 deliver for up-and-coming musicians?
Werde said, "First ... get Justin Bieber to tweet about (your song). The second lesson is, if you make something great and people can connect with it online, that word-of-mouth marketing online, that social marketing, that can be the most powerful tool in the world."