Machine Shop: Hype Machine Team Blog

Hype Survey Results: How Do You Discover Music?

We posed the question, “How do you discover music?” to see the various and popular ways you discover new music besides just on The Hype Machine. You were allowed to check as many ways as you used.

Total Responses: 1430


Friends: The grandaddy of music discovery, friends will always be an influential source of your musical tastes. Last.FM takes this to the next level by letting you snoop on what your friends are listening to right now without them even saying anything. While I personally find this really fun, the best signal-to-noise ratio will usually be when your friends play an album so much that they make a verbal recommendation to you.

Print: Over half of you still look to print for music recommendations. Things like the NY Times Music Section, Spin, and Paste Magazine still have the worthwhile writing and critics to pick some winners. Or maybe you need something to read on the plane.

Online Editorial: Unsurprisingly, the most popular way for our visitors to discover new music is via website reviews and blogs. And really, what can compete? With the possibility to find new sources of music your friends (or entire town) hasn’t heard of and simply explore more music than could ever fit in a magazine or between your friends ears, blogs are the most comprehensive.

Online Mechanical: This included things like Pandora, Last.FM’s automatic recommendations, MyStrands and other automatic and personalized recommendations scored the lowest. My theory is because this is the newest way of music discovery only really coming to fruition in the last 5 years:
A) people are still getting used to trusting computer algorithms for recommendations on something so emotional/personal (something that blogs/friends obviously have)
B) algorithms for recommendations haven’t hit the tipping point of getting more rights than wrongs.

Other ways people mentioned they discover new music: (write-ins)
* Television show soundtracks (see TuneFind and rejoice)
* Looking at the Top 8 friends on myspace pages of bands I love (usually will be bands they love)
* Terrestrial Radio (in pure oversight, we forgot to even include Radio in this question. people still listen to radio?)
* Music Comes To Me Group: It was really interesting to read the write-in responses of music bloggers and people in the music biz (dj,s booking agents etc) who have new music hunt them down in the form of cds/mp3s/email promos. Speaking from experience, the signal-to-noise ratio here is abnormally high as you can guess.

More to come!


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