How Do You Discover New Music?

A recent report in the US has revealed that, for all the hype about streaming sites taking over, radio remains the most popular way of accessing new music. Taking in over 3,000 online consumer surveys, The Nielsen 360 report states that 48% of users come across new music via radio stations.


Meanwhile, 10% find new material through friends and relatives, and a minority (7%) pick up tracks via YouTube. However, when the report focused on how teenagers listen to music, radio took a back seat. Over half of the teenagers surveyed listened to music mainly through YouTube, with 64% of users listening to music through the site.


The report continued, saying that 54% of users are more likely to buy music if a friend recommends it, set against 25% who preferred to take the advice of music blogs, or a brand (12%). Speaking to Music Week, Nielsen’s David Bakul explained:

The accessibility of music has seen tremendous expansion and diversification. While younger listeners opt for technologically advanced methods, traditional methods of discovery like radio and word-of-mouth continue to be strong drivers.

Though the figures come from the US, they’re applicable here too. Radio in the UK accounts for a huge influx of new music – from official channels like BBC Radio 1 (and Radio 1 XTRA) and 6Music, to stations like Rinse and Kiss. And with the promotion of former late-night presenter Nick Grimshaw to the breakfast slot, it follows that the BBC hopes to continue in that same style.


Personally, I come across most of my new music online- through Tumblr, YouTube and Twitter. Though I still read music blogs, it’s not with the same appetite as in years past. I might use online streaming services such as Spotify or Soundcloud to explore an artist further, but in terms of immediate access, they’re not my first port of call. Friends’ recommendations definitely influence what I buy, but generally speaking, those recommendations come from the above online resources. What about you? How do you discover new music?