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Discovering New Music and Getting Discovered as an Independent Artist

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Music Discovery

Those deeply involved in music are always on the lookout for new artists and tracks. Thanks to social media and streaming platforms, it is much easier to discover new music today than it was only a couple of years ago.

The downside to the availability of music consumption and production, however, is the number of songs released on a daily basis. According to Music Business Worldwide and Universal Music Group CEO Sir Lucian Grainge, in 2022, around 100,000 tracks were being uploaded to streaming platforms every day. As a result, fans might struggle with information overload, especially when getting into a new genre. Meanwhile, many artists find it challenging to gain more visibility in an increasingly competitive environment.

In this article, we aim to dive into music discovery from the perspective of a fan and an artist. We’ll offer some useful advice for music enthusiasts on how to find new artists and use this knowledge to teach musicians how to reach their potential fans. We will use Rap music and Electronic music as an example.

7 ways to discover new music and attract new fans

1. Spotify radios

Spotify artist, album, and song radios are great tools for discovering new music. The process is simple yet powerful: play a track you like and open its song radio. The automatically generated playlist will show you similar songs which you can explore. Repeat the process with other tracks created by lesser-known artists until you've found enough new music you like. Lastly, check out the artist's discographies to see if you resonate with their styles.

For artists, this emphasizes the importance of getting their music on streaming platforms such as Spotify. Thanks to our music distribution services, we at iMusician can help you leave a legacy on the widest range of streaming and download services on the music market.

2. Clubs, parties, and DJ’s

Among those who love to go out, music discovery does not always happen online. Clubs and parties can be amazing places to meet people, network, and expand your taste in music. Apps like Shazam can frequently help you out when you are outside and come across a track you want to add to your playlist. Alternatively, you can look up the DJs whose sets you enjoyed and check out their mixes on SoundCloud or other platforms.

For artists, this once again emphasizes the importance of distributors, which upload your music to Shazam automatically. In this way, your songs can be discovered in a setting in which a title is not visible. As a musician, you can also try to connect with DJs who accept submissions. Getting your music played at events will give you more credibility and expose you to a broad audience.

3. Spotify playlists

Spotify playlists created by artists, fans, labels, and blogs/magazines are another great tool for music discovery. You can find interesting ones by typing in the right keywords that will ideally show you a list of relevant playlists. Alternatively, you can look into the playlist created by some of your favorite artists, labels, or bloggers.

Meanwhile, artists can pitch their music to playlist curators to increase their chances of getting heard and growing their audience. This also emphasizes the importance of building relationships in the industry and developing a strong branding and PR strategy.

Did you know that you cansubmit your songs to our iMusician playlists? Our curation team is always looking for new music created by independent artists. With 10.000 followers on our main Spotify page and 40+ playlists in total, we try to cover each genre to allow artists from all genres to be featured.

4. Social media platforms

Music enthusiasts love to share their tastes with the world, which makes social media platforms great places to discover new music. Some examples within electronic music are the YouTube channels Houseum and 030esar0303 which consist of house tracks submitted by labels and artists. Another great channel for music discovery is HÖR Berlin which allows DJs and producers to showcase their sound during the HÖR live streams.

Finding the right channels can help musicians get discovered, while fans can spend hours clicking through the published songs. Some pages don’t accept submissions but work based on paid collaborations. For musicians willing to invest money into marketing, this can be an excellent opportunity to gain more visibility. However, you should always pay attention to the actual reach of a page and its engagement rate - otherwise, you might end up wasting your money.

5. Online communities

Social media goes far beyond platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, and online communities like Reddit or our iMusician Online Community are only some examples. Fans can join them to find new music and chat with other enthusiasts of their genre of choice. Artists, on the other hand, can use them to talk to other musicians and share their music with those who might like it.

6. Music producers and their discographies

Genres and subgenres are primarily defined by their sound, which makes music producers essential to the industry. However, those who are not actively involved in music tend to pay more attention to the vocalists than the beats and instrumentals. Thus, going through the discographies of producers with a distinct style can help you come across more artists who are part of a subgenre. This is also a good strategy for vocalists who are looking for subgenre-specific producers.

Features and collaborations with other artists

Looking into who your favorite artists collaborate with is another way to discover new music. This is especially relevant in rap music – whether it's features among rappers or collaborations among producers, both can be highly beneficial for those who want to grow their audience. Alternatively, you can save money and spend it on a paid collaboration when the time is right. Just make sure that they add your name to the songwriters.

Conclusion: how to discover new music and get discovered as an independent artist

Discovering new music outside the mainstream does not have to be a tedious task. Using Spotify radios and playlists, paying closer attention to features and the work conducted by music producers, joining online communities and following relevant channels, or using tools like Shazam at events can all help you expand your knowledge and taste in music.

Knowing how fans find new music can help artists tremendously as they can be more intentional about their marketing strategies and adjust them to their target audience or audiences. By working with distributors, music services like Shazam, and playlist curators, they allow their potential fans to find them without having to put in much effort. Collaborating with other artists, producers, DJs, or channels with a similar fanbase can help them attract more potential fans.

Further resources

If you want to learn more about music marketing and promotion, we highly recommend you checking out our blog. We regularly write about different strategies and tools that we consider useful for independent artists.

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Always stay up-to-date

All You Need.
All in One Place.

Get tips on How to Succeed as an Artist, receive Music Distribution Discounts, and get the latest iMusician news sent straight to your inbox! Everything you need to grow your music career.