How People ACTUALLY Discover Music

How do you find out about new artists/songs/albums/genres/trends/etc?  If you’re reading this, chances are you’re not normal.  The chart below–part of a presentation at SXSW by EMI–shows how most of the world discovers music.

While there are millions of hardcore music fans who spend hours searching for and researching music, there are billions who still learn about new music the old fashioned way.  

(Via Digital Music News)


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

5 thoughts on “How People ACTUALLY Discover Music

  • March 27, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Traditional radio is probably at the bottom of the list for me. The problem with trad radio for me is the repetition and overhyping of certain artists. Where I really lost interest in listening happened a couple of years ago. It got to the point where before turning a radio on, I could say "Bet you it's playing Metric or Kings of Leon." And 9 times out of 10 I would be right.

    SInce then, I've been satellite and internet radio only.

    Most of my new music comes from magazines. I rear a lot of magazines, so whther it's guitar-based mags, european metal mags, or even Rolling Stone, I'll usualy check out the stuff featured there.

    Internet would be next. Artist suggestions, forum discussions, etc.

  • March 27, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    EMI has a a huge stake in the radio play of their artists. Of course they are going to sway the numbers that way. Traditional radio would be dead last for me as well.

  • March 28, 2013 at 4:02 am

    I torrent huge collections and just shuffle everything. then i write down interesting songs and artists to follow and buy their new stuff.

  • March 28, 2013 at 4:56 am

    My primary vector is recommendations from iTunes & Amazon. They've found me some really great stuff that I probably wouldn't have discovered any other way, and I don't usually have to sift through a whole lot of chaff, because it takes into consideration what I already like. Not sure where that falls in this chart, or if I'm in a minority of <6%…

  • March 29, 2013 at 2:35 am

    I live on (in?) Long Island, NY. NYC and surrounding has only NPR for new music. Yes, that's it. Commercial radio SUCKS here. That being said, I've discovered some gems via NPR: BellX1 and Mumford & sons (years ago) to start.

    Other than that, I read a lot of music blogs (when I have time). Pandora is another huge source for me.


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