Do Music Discovery Platforms Help or Hinder Aspiring Artists?

We’re sure everyone has used a music discovery platform to listen to music and find new artists to explore. Whether it’s Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, or any other music discovery platform or streaming service, have you ever considered the impact music streaming and discovery platforms have on the artist? And what about the impact on aspiring artists who haven’t yet quite made a name for themselves?

So, we need to ask ourselves whether music discovery platforms help or hinder aspiring artists.

How Music Discovery Platforms Help Artists

Music discovery platforms have done a lot to help gain the music industry some much-needed momentum and, as a result, have helped musicians and aspiring artists in several ways.

To begin with, music discovery platforms offer artists a steady revenue stream when people listen to their music. When certain labels have their artists’ music playing on discovery platforms, they also have increased revenue, which can be used for increased marketing for the labels’ newer artists. This is a huge benefit for aspiring or unknown artists that have signed with different labels.

Following added revenue, music discovery platforms also offer aspiring artists huge ready-made audiences. Without these platforms, it would take artists years and years to amass the kind of audiences they get built-in by streaming their music on these platforms. Just one viral song is enough to shoot an aspiring artist into quick fame.

Additionally, aspiring artists can gain a passive income from discovery platforms. Every time one of their songs is streamed, they receive a small amount of money. Over time, this amount can build up into a decent amount for a passive income. While definitely not enough to sustain someone, the extra money on the side can be a huge help. 

How Music Discovery Platforms Hinder Artists

Despite the benefits aspiring artists can gain from music discovery platforms, not everything is as great as it might seem. Streaming services still face a lot of criticism for several reasons.

Many artists have refused to stream their music on music discovery platforms because of how little money artists are paid from these platforms. A few cents or less per song streamed for the artists seems incredibly unfair when the owners of these platforms make millions. This amount would be entirely too low for aspiring artists to make a living from.

Many music discovery platforms also have biased algorithms and only recommend music similar to what you’ve previously listened to. Due to these algorithms, many aspiring artists suffer as they do not get the promotion they deserve, and many people do not get recommended for their music. As such, it is quite common for unknown or aspiring artists to be forgotten and not receive the attention their music deserves. 

Music discovery platforms definitely have their advantages and disadvantages for aspiring artists. Still, weighing them and deciding whether the platforms do more good or harm can be difficult.