How do you find new music and new artists? The ubiquity of the internet and the rise of sites dedicated to posting music have certainly democratized the process of getting music distributed and greatly expanded the amount available. At the same time, the methods that historically were the vehicle by which new artists and music were introduced have been altered dramatically as well. Radio playlists have shrunk and station formats have grown increasingly narrow and formulaic. Record stores (for want of a better term) with a variety of music and knowledgeable staff are few and far between.
The search for new music has become quite personal. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a daunting task to seek out things that appeal to you. One avenue that has remained constant is referrals from friends and other folks that you meet. The simple statement, “Have you heard….” is still a primary introduction to new artists. And there are services like Pandora and internet radio stations that offer variety and novelty.
My favorite mechanism, though, I call iTunes store surfing. I will search on iTunes for a recording by an artist that I like. Usually at the bottom of the page is a section of other recordings that people also purchased. Most often I am familiar with only about a fourth of the recordings and half of the artists. A simple click gets me to the place where I can listen to 1:30 length samples of the songs on that recording, access the rest of that artist’s catalog and find another set of recordings that people also bought. I can spend fifteen minutes or two hours hearing music and artists that are new to me and I usually end up with one or two more ‘albums’ downloaded.
How do other folks go about finding new (to you) music and artists?