With the onslaught of music apps and online streaming services, radio is quickly losing its grip. However, when people are asked the best ways to discover music, they still say Radio as far as their own country is concerned. But, what about other countries? How to discover new music in other countries? It can quickly become a daunting task.
Today, I am going to discuss 9 apps and services that you can use to discover new music based on location, genre, artists, and more. It is worth mentioning that the list is in no particular order because its really difficult to pick and sort. Let’s begin!
SoundCloud beats the likes of Spotify and Apple Music because of its extensive indie library, global availability and amazing UI. Did I mentioned it is free? Yes, it is.
SoundCloud has a cool algorithm that chooses the song you will hear next after you are done with your current one. It is a great platform and even giants like Kayne West are uploading their singles here. You can choose by region or directly go to Top 50 charts. You can create your own sound and upload it in the cloud for the world to hear.
Not to be confused with the above, SoundHound is a music discovery platform founded by a Standford employee, Keyvan Mohajer. How many times have you listened to a song but failed to track it down? Tired of searching for lyrics on Google to identify the name? SoundHound will listen to the music/lyrics for a few seconds and will have an answer ready before you even know it.
You will be presented with a card with the name of the song, artist, and sometimes even a video. You can discover new and popular artists in your locality or explore the world using the world map feature. SoundHound also maintains a list of names of songs that are trending and being discovered by other users. SoundHound will connect directly with your Apple Music or Spotify account and sync the tracks that you have identified.
Still reigning supreme, the original disruptor, Spotify has an interesting feature. Buried deep in their settings, when you click on Browse – Charts, you will be able to sort songs using the Viral 50 by Country and Top 50 by Country feature. This will also allow you to discover new music in any country where Spotify is available. You can further find new songs based on genres and artists. My personal favorite is their Weekly Discover playlists and Release Radar that keeps me updated.
A hot favorite with the indies, Bandcamp is quickly gaining momentum. Apart from the usual ways of drilling through genres and location, Bandcamp offers tags to discover new sounds. There are so many that it will quickly make your head spin and make you wonder why others are not offering this feature. There is a discover link at the top after clicking which, you will be able to use arrows to scroll through the places. There is another option called Format where you can browse music by category like vinyl, digital and even cassette. They have a New and Notable section where you will be able to discover new sounds just before they hit it big in the music world. I find the Album of the Day to be mostly what I am looking for – amazing music. This is how to discover new music while being on the move.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but AllMusic does not have an option to sort music based on location. It does connects directly to your Spotify account, so clicking on the icon will open the song directly. You will also notice that most songs are not in English. There is a sub-header International Subgenres and Styles where you can discover still more music. This app will allow you to find new music that are seldom shared on Spotify or Apple lists, hence making it an offbeat music discovery service.
Download: No app available. Official Site
If radio is your thing then Audials is for you. Featuring more than 80,000, and growing, list of radio stations consisting of more than 100 genres, Audials has plenty to offer. They also have a list of more than 120,000 podcasts. You will be be surprised to know that despite being a radio and podcast centered service, you will not be greeted with any annoying commercials during or after the song has ended playing.
IndieShuffle, unlike the name suggests, is not a platform for just indie songs and artists. With a number of curators working from across the world, you will quickly fall in love with this app as it will allow you to discover new music from across the countries in no time from genres like rock, reggae, hip hop, and more. A great app to discover hidden talents and local songs. Fair warning, this app has the potential to waste hours of your time.
8. Hilly Dilly
Hilly Dilly was originally a music blog that shared the same passion for music that drives us all. Their specialty? Discovering new artists and songs. Needless to say, the blog quickly found a user base so strong that the founder decided to launch a full fledged music discovery app.
You can follow other users and see what they have been listening to, helping you discover even more songs. You can create your own playlists using other user’s playlists.
9. Apple Music
Apple Music entered the streaming service game late, but quickly became a tough competitor for the likes of Spotify. With exclusive contracts with top artists and hand curated lists of songs by experts, Apple is winning hearts left, right, and center. With so many streaming services, Apple decided to offer fans a new way to follow their favorite artists for news and launched Beats1 radio stations. Beats1 is where you will discover off beat music and new artists.
Apple Music in Apple devices comes pre-configured with Shazam, another music discovering app that works similar to how SoundHound works. You can also use it to id songs using Siri.
Did I missed something good? Do you know a better way to answer the question- how to discover new music? Comment below and we will share your name and service in question if it is worthy.