Radio is king! Or so it has been said and is believed to be true for country music since the inception of country music on radio just under 100 years ago. As music which was played live, and heard on the radio became increasingly popular, enterprising companies took steps to bring the music to a wider audience – these became the record companies we are familiar with today. What was popular to the listeners of east coast radio, for example, could then be played on radio stations across the nation, introducing the music to more than just a local audience and giving rise to the Super Star.
Even until recently, radio (which is free, except for the cost of the receiver) was the main channel of new music discovery. If the song or artist wasn’t on radio, then the career of that artist could only gain a certain stature. Radio was a necessity to the growth of the champions of the genre and as radio went, so went the music.
Fast forward to today when radio, while still ubiquitous, might not be the main medium of new music discovery any more. The answer to the question, “Where do you discover the good new music?” used to be simple, but in today’s multi-media world we have other channels of discovery. Is radio still the number one medium for discovery of new music? What about YouTube or iTunes, or any of the other host of options that keep us plugged in and turned on to the music we love to hear.
Studies are being conducted on a regular basis asking respondents the same question – where do you discover new music. And yet, I want to know what the readers of Country Music Life have to say on the matter. Let’s hear it, readers. How do YOU go about the discovery of new (great) country music today?