Spotify, Pandora and YouTube Are No Match for Good Old-Fashioned Radio

New survey proves oldies still goodies

March 17, 2017 9:00 am

You can keep your Pandora algorithms and Spotify playlists (actually, we do a pretty good one every month), for most people, discovering new music is still about turning a dial.

According to a new study by Edison Research (via Forbes), people discover new music in two primary ways: Friends/family first, and after that, via the AM/FM airwaves.

But before you dig out the ol’ transistor radio from your dad’s garage, a couple of caveats: YouTube is a strong third place in the study, and Spotify is growing exponentially. This study is going to look very different in 2-3 years.

And possibly helping the hold of terrestrial radio is the decidedly new school invention of online streaming: According to another study by Edison, time spent listening to online radio has surged to an all-time high of 14:39 per week, with 53% of Americans ages 12+ listening to online radio on a weekly basis.

Still, the overall new music study is a bit vague: A category simply dubbed “others” gets a fairly large response (17% of those surveyed saying this is “very important” or “somewhat important” in how they find new tunes). Could that be TV? Another old-fashioned bit of tech, the boob tube plays a significant role in modern music discovery and sales, particularly performances on Saturday Night Live, late night talk shows and, you know, big televised events.

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