Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming platforms have changed the way people listen to music. In the process, the way artists and new songs are discovered has changed too. Historically radio stations held the monopoly on what was heard, and were inclined to share music from established artists. A song’s fate was literally in the hands of radio pluggers and programmers, and although radio remains one the most popular ways for late adopters to discover new music, it can still be challenging for unknown artists to receive radio airplay. The model was disrupted when the power began to sway towards unsigned artists who used pirate radio as a way of taking control of how their music was broadcast. This was further advanced by online and mobile technology giving artists the ability to go direct to their fans without seeking the permission of a third party.
Dedicated music fans who attend concerts, buy merchandise, and pay for music typically use streaming services and don’t rely on radio for new music. Hip Hop is the most streamed music genre in the world, and there has never been a better time for UK Rappers to release music for a variety of venues, occasions, and lifestyles. Music exists virtually meaning it needs to be distrubuted in a new way. Playlisting, a term used by streaming platforms to populate songs across numerous playlists, is a way to find multiple homes for your songs. Look at it in terms of this, what works well on drive time radio might not work so well in a stadium filled with fans pumped full of adrenaline. Whereas these same adrenaline fuelled listeners might playlist those very songs for a gym session. The key to breaking a song lies in its ability to be included on as many playlists as possible.
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