Image credit: Minh Pham

The internet has completely transformed how both listeners and professionals discover music, but what does that mean for artists?

Getting discovered and heard is one of the biggest difficulties for artists of all sizes. In fact, it topped the list of biggest challenges for musicians by miles. Thankfully, streaming services are helping artists get discovered daily and some new data proves it.

Speaking to A&R representatives, Viberate surveyed how important music streaming was to finding new artists to sign and promote. An impressive 63.2% of the respondents said that they listen to music streaming services daily to discover artists. Another 29.6% tuned into digital platforms weekly to find new talent.

They named Spotify specifically as the top source of artist discovery data. YouTube followed in second place, followed by SoundCloud in third, Apple Music in fourth, and Amazon Music fifth. In fact, Spotify’s so important that they found “only 4% could do without it”.

Music streaming services have helped to transform the music industry, offering artists of all sizes a global, open platform with the same presence as major label artists. This equality has grown so much that 50% of Spotify’s payouts went to independent artists and labels in 2023.

Their platform doesn’t just enhance an artist’s availability, their unique discovery opportunities are a huge boost to artists. Both curated playlists and AI-powered tools fuel a constant source of new music to listeners, fed to them based on their tastes to offer up music they are more likely to enjoy. A recent study found that Spotify’s algorithm drives up to 4% of the music industry’s revenue!

Viberate wrote: “YouTube has the highest level of agreement [amongst respondents] for having the biggest choice of fresh music among the streaming services. It’s also rated as the service that’s likely to feature songs other DSPs don’t, but here SoundCloud is better rated.” In fact, respondents said that SoundCloud would “most likely feature songs other streaming services don’t”.

Beyond music streaming services, they found that social media platforms were an important part of music discovery. Instagram and TikTok were both high up, both offering short vertical videos where musicians can upload. In addition, both platforms value content that uses their extensive music libraries as soundtracks. There is huge potential for discovery and virality on platforms like TikTok.

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