As connected as everyone seems to be via social media, do you really feel you’re getting turned on to new music now as much as when word-of-mouth was the prominent music discovery tool? Bands are also feeling the frustration. There are too many platforms and too much noise to cut through. For fans, trying to find hot new acts or even older but obscure ones is more elusive than it should be.
Sure, the radio is always a “go to” avenue of approach for those that want to let someone else handle the tunes and steer them toward Top 40 like sheep – but since so many of us now use streaming services to play our music (even in the car) we’re somewhat left to our own devices to find new music, new artists, and new bands to fall in love with.
There are more than a few music discovery sites out there but the four platforms below should give you all the variety you crave. You’re probably using at least one of them now, but despite they’re having been around for a while these remain the best.
Not only is Sound Cloud the fantastic platform for artists that are looking to share their music with the world; a wonderful tool for independent artists and bands to spread their music all over the planet with a smooth and quick upload process, but it also happens to be a great place to find new music, artists, and to get hooked on the “next big thing” before they actually break through. Check out the curated groups run by the Sound Cloud community and you won’t ever have to worry about a shortage of new music again!
The world’s largest video sharing website on the planet, YouTube is probably the biggest “time killer” as far as online platforms are concerned with more music, more movies, and more videos than anyone could ever hope to watch or enjoy in their lifetime. On a Friday night you can often find me wrapped in my Monster headphones and falling deep, deep down a YouTube rabbit hole of discovery.
Finding new music on YouTube is easy. Punch up something you like and check out the YouTube recommendations of similar artists – and once you land on a couple of playlists that have genres or styles you are into you should have a straight shot to new music that never runs out!
It’s impossible to bring up music discovery websites without highlighting Bandcamp. Another great platform for independent artists to publish and share (and also promote) the music that they are creating, it’s really easy to find all kinds of new music on this website as a consumer – especially once you start to listen to music on the platform and it learns your tastes and your interests. The Discover section of Bandcamp is a powerful tool for finding new music as well, giving you more control over the kind of music you are most likely to stumble across on the site.
I’ve been a big Pandora Radio fan for years, and have found all kinds of new (or at least new to me) artists and tunes as a result. One thing you have to do though is keep creating new stations if music discovery is what you’re after. Over time all your thumbs ups and downs narrow the artist pool for a particular station down to only a few bands. Creating a new station based on a genre, artist or even around a particular song every so often is the way to go. The ads in the free version are a bit pervasive if you’re trying to get in a workout or something, but there’s usually a good run of 3 songs or more between commercials.
All things considered, you’ll find that the platforms mentioned above are quite innovative in the new music they expose you to – probably more so than your word-of-mouth connection. Best of all, all of these platforms are 100% free, giving you the chance to listen to new music without having to spend a penny until you’re ready for premium.