Music Discovery: Where It Is and Where It Can Go

With the prominence of social media and streaming services it easy to fall into the common misconception that music discovery has shifted into an online context.   A recent post by Bruce Houghton over at  shares some statistics that suggest that music discovery has really changed that much.  Houghton sites a recent report by ” Edison Research and Triton Digital … that surveyed 950 Americans older than 12, who said that learning about new music was either “very important” or “somewhat important.”.  Their results where visualized in the following chart:

Music Discovery

This got me to thinking about recent movements people are making to develop streaming type services aimed at music discovery. I feel as if thought the radio is still so dominate due to its ease people can just easily turn on the radio while driving and enjoy whats on the radio, yes it may not be the most diverse selection of music and their definitely is not a lot of choice but what I think maintains is an experience.  People love hoping into car with their friends and family and listening tom music and singing along, people take turns picking tracks.  There is a physical interaction and experience, yes services like Spotify aim to foster that type of experience but I don’t think there are too many people actively searching through spotify to discover new music, people share playlists but its mostly songs that they’ve discovered because of listening to the radio.   In terms of music discovery this chart is interesting because the internet provides a larger array of artists and more quality music.  I think what is integral here is the experiences they create.  When we use streaming services on our phones and or laptops it becomes more of a background noise to a party, a workout, a walk to class, or this very blogpost I am writing right now. I think is if music discovery is ever going to move into a digital and online context services need to start developing an experience for the user that makes the process more important.  Maybe I’m just blabbering about nothing here and the radio is always going to be a major player but I do think streaming services are heading in a right direction, not necessarily with their revenue models but in the sense that they have the ability to expand the reach of music.


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