One week ago Digital Music News published an article about how
people hear new music that contained seemingly contradictory results. One
report by Nielsen showed that 48% of the U.S. population discovered music via
the radio, with You Tube delivering new music to only 7% of the population. So
much for “new media” capturing the hearts and minds of the people.
But a second study, focused on teenagers, revealed very
different listening and discovery habits. In this survey 64% of teens said they
typically listen to music via You Tube (and the implication is they also discover new
music via You Tube.)
My take is that different generations have developed very
different listening habits. Younger listeners are far more apt to turn to You
Tube because they are more likely to have integrated wireless or Internet
entertainment as their primary media experience. Older listeners aren’t as
habitually connected and are more likely to listen a terrestrial radio
broadcast than an Internet feed.
Since I’m also a music reviewer, I discover much of my new
music from CDs that show up, unannounced, via the mail. My second-best source
for new music is festivals and live concerts. Recently I heard the band Joy
Kills Sorrow via a live feed of the Telluride Festival – I immediately bought
both their albums via Amazon before the halfway point in their set. My Rhapsody
subscription “stations” also deliver some new music via its affinity
algorithms. Finally, word-of-mouth at jams and other musical events often leads
me to new music.
Radio, especially terrestrial radio, plays very little part in
my quest for new music, but obviously it’s still a big part of many older
Americans media intake.
So, my question early this morning is simple, “How do you
discover new music? And what’s your most recent discovery?”