The way we find music has changed dramatically over the last couple of years.
It used to be most people discovered new music from the radio, which meant a small number of people had control over what the rest of us listened to.
Record companies spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their artists played on stations across the country.
Editor’s note: this is a guest post by Michael Fleming from Songs That I Like, a cool new blog that reviews music.
As a DIY musician, it’s important to pay attention to where people discover music. Because these are the places where you should be streaming and selling your music.
The Old-Fashioned Ways To Find Music
For those of us that craved something different, there was really only two options.
The first was word of mouth from friends and those whose music taste we trusted. The other was to comb through the record stores and try to discover new bands on our own.
The second option was similar to searching Blockbuster for a movie to watch, but at the same time a completely different experience.
There aren’t many movies that will stay with you for a lifetime, but finding a new band can be a life-changing experience.
A New Way To Find Music: Online
However, these days, high-speed internet and cheaper recording options give listeners more bands and more ways to consume than ever before.
Although this is exciting, music fans are still trying to navigate this new scene to find fun new bands.
This post is for those that are still craving new music in a world with no Tower Records to go to on a Saturday afternoon.
When it comes to online music streaming services, Spotify has shown itself to be the best.
With any tech company it really comes down to algorithms, and Spotify has been great at curating new artists for me.
And there are a couple of features on Spotify you should make sure to explore.
Spotify’s Discover Feature
The first feature is the “Discover” feature.
This playlist includes artists that Spotify thinks you will like based on your listening history and new releases from bands that Spotify knows you love.
I appreciate that the bands Spotify will often recommend have only a few thousand streams, and it isn’t only reserved for major label acts.
Spotify’s Related Artist Feature
The second place to explore in Spotify is the “Related Artists” section of my favorite bands.
Spotify will give twenty other bands it thinks you might like based off one band’s profile.
It allows you to go through an entire Tower Records aisle of music in a matter of minutes.
Every Noise At Once
If you want to explore more genres than you could even imagine, then Every Noise At Once is the place to head.
It’s a fairly simple music streaming site that lists genres ranging from Icelandic hip-hop to outlaw country.
You click on a genre of music, and a thirty-second sample of a band in that genre will begin to play.
If you like what you hear, you click the double arrow next to the genre listing, and it will take you to another page with dozens of more artists in that genre.
On that page, you can click on any band and get to hear a thirty-second sample of their music.
And on and on. You get the point.
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I like that everything is on one page, and the thirty-second samples are enough for me to gauge whether I want to hear more from a band.
Sometimes you can get stuck listening to the same kind of music repeatedly, and Every Noise can help you branch out.
Some radio stations have been able to make a name for themselves with online streaming and by putting studio performances up on YouTube.
In my opinion, none has been as successful as Seattle’s KEXP.
I’ve spent countless hours on their YouTube page watching artists perform in their studios. The station brings in an eclectic group of artists and highlights songs and interviews.
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And KEXP recently received a $10 million endowment that will allow them to keep their doors open and showcase artists.
Talk about a winning endorsement.
RELATED: submit your music to KEXP
So where do you discover new music?
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