Radio Better Than YouTube For Music Discovery

A survey of 3,000 Americans says almost half of listeners find new artists through radio. Meanwhile, only half of teens still listen to CDs.

Ultimate Guitar

New stats have shown that radio is still the most popular place to discover new music in America.

48% of listeners say they discover tracks through the older medium, compared to only 7% on YouTube.

However, 64% of teens say that they'll go straight to YouTube once they've discovered a song and want to find it again.

Nielsen surveyed 3,000 Americans for its latest 360 report on music consumption, and that only half of teens still listen to music on CDs, though only 36% paid for a CD over the last year.

Surprisingly, more teens listen to music on the radio than buy music through iTunes, at 56% and 53% respectively.

54% say they are more likely to buy music based on a friend's recommendation than an endorsement on a music blog, though this suggests social networks can have a big influence over listening habits because people can easily publish their listening habits and opinions to friends online.

US album sales fell by 3% in the first half of 2012, though digital sales rose by 6%, according to a Nielsen report in July.

Streaming revenues continue to rise, with new stats showing a 40% rise in streaming revenue this year.

89 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This is strange, I was thinking about this yesterday. If i hear a band on the radio that I like i'll go home and buy the album, whereas if i'm on Youtube I wont really click on videos other than ones I've searched for. I heard a band called The Low Anthem for the first time yesterday and went straight home and bought the album. Home I'll Never Be is a great song if anyone is interested!
    Plus vote for The Low Anthem. One of the best bands in their genre.
    what's a radio?
    It's like the Youtube or Spotify, but with no choices being made by you, and it repeats every 2-3 hours just in case you wanted even less choice in the matter. It does come in a select variety of flavors that vary in availability and quality depending on your locale.
    it was a rhetorical question. anyway, actually listening to your radio won't give you anything except pop music. if you want radio, listen to Pandora.
    Of course it's rhetorical. That's why I gave one of the most sarcastic descriptions of radio I could muster.
    don't use sarcasm on the internet. there is no such thing as tone when you type.
    If you can't understand sarcasm, you can just hell the **** off the Internet!
    i really like how you constructed your sentence to sound really sophisticated by putting words in the wrong order. "hell the **** off" sounds smart. did you get that sarcasm?
    i dont see this being true. the radio stations here in louisville kentucky really dont play new bands. right now the big things on the radio here is anything thats really big elsewhere. from the pop stations playing call me maybe 4 times in one hour(swear its happened) to rock stations playing classic rock or rhcp. metallica, or gotye. thats really it. ihavent heard a new band on the radio i must know or get into.
    I agree. It's tough to believe that Youtube isn't dominating radio especially when almost all the best rock stations are dying out or have already died out.
    I agree. Particularly if you're into bands like Nightwish, Devin Townsend Project, HIM, etc... Youtube is the only place I have available to hear new from most artists I like, or discover new artists similar to them.
    I find most newer music today through friends' recommendations. But back in the day, Madden Football game soundtracks used to be my outlet haha.
    Traditional radio is absolutely horrid. Your choices are Pop, Country, or cookie-cutter hard rock. I enjoy listening to the classic rock and the 90s stuff but obviously that isn't new music. The new radio slick rock is just disgustingly derivative. So how do I find new music? recommendations work really well for me. Along with Pandora radio or Spotify radio. If you listen to metal, that really is your only option because unless your town has a late night metal program, the good stuff doesn't get played on traditional radio.
    Amazon is it for me too. found dozens of bands over the years, which lead to more bands...and so on.
    This makes sense, on Youtube you have all the control and can choose whatever song you want to listen to. However, on the radio, there's a randomness to it and you can often be surprised at what you'll end up liking. You may hear something from a genre that you'd rarely look for on Youtube.
    I don't know if I buy that. I don't remember the last time I heard something on the radio that peaked my interest, and even then, I almost never remember the name of whatever I listened to by the time I can look for it elsewhere. I get more through Youtube, but FAR more through searching related artists on Spotify/ This generation has far more ability to seek out their interests than to wait for them and I really think that a majority use that.
    Root Beer
    Notice they didn't specify "rock" fans; they're basing this off of the entire music-listening population, the majority of which listen to pop shit. So, yeah, it's gonna be fm radio.
    94.1 The Edge in mid-Michigan is the shizz for new music. Alternative rock with a little pop and grunge flair. It's how I find new songs and bands all the time.
    The Radio is better than YouTube for music discovery? Yeah, right. I'm sick and tired of radio hosts doing this, for example: "The new Van Halen album is really great. It's one of their best albums yet, they band is really back in style. You should go pick it up, it's great. Now here's some old Van Halen music." !?!?
    Root Beer
    Psh. Yeah, they use radio to find all that pop junk that pollutes it. Really nothing surprising here. The only radio that's still good is XM radio, but I don't think casual music listeners are gonna bother to go there.
    Are they talking about internet radio or like, old school radio? Spotify, Pandora and have made it almnost impossible for me to listen to the radio. There's no need to waste time listening to songs I don't like on the radio anymore.
    m4ss3 m/
    Radio may be better for discovering NEW music, but it is guaranteed to be much shittier than what is on Youtube or elsewhere.
    well, ive never heard galneryus, x japan, or sex machineguns on any radio. I doubt Ill ever hear them on american radio. those are currently my 3 favorite bands which I discovered in the last 3 months. I dont think hearing muse and greenday 3 times an hour qualifies radio for being better for music discovery.
    i listen to the radio every day. if you live in a place that has a couple decent stations, it can be a great thing. i find youtube is mostly for stuff you are already somewhat familiar with, but with a radio you can get some totally new stuff (pandora can be the same way, but doesnt always have brand new stuff). as for purchasing cds, i bought one an hour a go :p and it was from a band i discovered, you guessed it, on the radio.
    I personally disagree with the results. I myself go to Youtube if I want to look up a new artist. I go to radio for songs I already like.
    I've found tons of new artists through the radio, but it's usually internet radio/satellite. For instance, I've found over seven or eight new artists in the last four days from listening to CBC Radio 3.
    For me it's kind of different. If I'm on YouTube and I'm listening to a song I like and see a song in the related videos that I don't know I'll probably listen to it just to see what it is. It's helped me discover a lot of good bands like Toxik, Coroner and more.
    I actually learn about most of my new bands from reading Metal Hammer every month.
    I'm a big fan of prog rock/metal, jazz fusion, and the later era's of classical music. I don't think I have ever found a new artist,composer, or band through the radio. But I have found probably a hundred through youtube. I usually just hear the same tired classics and pop hits through the radio.
    In Finland we have a Radio Station called Radio Rock and it plays lots of good stuff and every evening the program is just about classic rock and non mainstream music, like every Thursday its extreme metal.
    Really? No wonder why no one I know actually listens to anything beyond the same handful of artists... The store I work in has the radio going all day, and when the keep the same station on for a week or two, you can really tell that they pretty much play the same songs by the same people every day like clockwork, with only very minor changes made to the timing/order of the songs. It's a lifeless medium that no longer pushes it's boundaries and plays an unexpected track.
    I agree, but you have to remember that every car nowadays still comes with a built in radio. Odds are, even if you have an Aux Input or CD player, you'll probably pop on the radio at some point. Now, if there was a way to cycle random new bands on youtube with your phone or something, and Aux input that, this would make more sense. Oh yeah, and Devin Townsend is the sh*t.
    I guess it's different if you have satellite radio or something, but I like the idea of internet radio stations where anyone can submit their music and have it played.
    I'm having hard time finding any new bands, but when I listen to online radios, sometimes they play the new stuff. Radiotuna (dot) com ftw!
    I usually hear about new bands from other people first, whether it's from forum posts or from friends and family. Eventually I'll look it up on spotify or youtube to listen to it. Seeing all of the related artists on spotify and itunes has helped me find a lot of music too. I feel like I'm finding new bands all of the time. I almost never listen to the radio though. There's way too much crap on it.
    Unless you're listening to classic rock channels or indie rock channels or channels that aren't owned by a mainstream company; than this is one of the dumbest statements I've ever seen on Ultimate Guitar.
    Thing is, I was into rock when I was in my teens (early 2000') so pre-youtube during the start of downloading music but fact was that until 2005 when I started listening to radio did I get exposed to a lot of other bands, especially classic rock the reason being that with napster and youtube we tend to stick to what we know and like where as with the radio theres a chance of something new (to us) coming on. Hell first time I heard poets of the fall was on the radio in Alan Wake!
    Don't know about radio vs youtube, but I discovered a lot of new artist that fit my music on
    I only listen to classical and jazz music on the radio. To look for new metal bands I usually hit up youtube. The only Metal bands they play are Metallica and Disturbed. Don't really like Disturbed.
    Obviously the random shuffling aspect is one benefit where as on YouTube you just get what you find, as well as the fact that a lot of people who buy music and listen to radio stations don't have an internet service at home, so it covers both sides of the market.
    Im pretty sure people with a radio also have a computer, hell I know I do, several of each. Also radio isn't random shuffling, its called a DJ who selects a track, its a not an ipod with a voice...
    does pandora count as radio? cuz i find new bands while listening to my station there all the time
    I've discovered some music from the radio, but most of what I have discovered is from friends or Pandora.
    If radio is your only source of new music, no wonder people complain that new music sucks.
    Not because new music sucks, but because radio mostly only plays stuff like stupid hoe. All the good new music is found elswhere, where i come from atleast.
    In the Dallas/Ft. worth/ denton area a few months back i discovered a public radio station, 91.7, that plays incredible music a lot of which ive never heard before. it seems like everytime i turn the station on i hear a new artist i would have otherwise never discovered. public radio is really great and i love it so much that i am going to start donating to make sure that it doesnt go away!
    Nothing is further from the truth where I live. There are two classic rock stations, and no other rock stations whatsoever. Youtube is way better for discovering music as far as I'm concerned. Plus, anyone can post to youtube. They don't have to be screened by some sort of committee.
    For me it's the periodic radio commercials that turn me off. Plus where I live there isn't a good station that plays more recent stuff that isn't Nickelback or something. I actually find some pretty obscure and awesome stuff via related videos on Youtube.
    This must be a joke. The only thing that plays on the radio stations where i live is Stone Sour, Foo Fighters and five finger death punch (amongst others but you get the idea).
    I don't know what it's like in America, but in the UK there is no such thing as a good radio station.
    I know that when I was in Manchester they had some pretty good rock radio station. I think it was "Real Radio XS" and they had a pretty good variation of song.
    Of course that's true because TEENS haven't learned what good music is yet. When I was a teen I listened to some terrible music (linkin park, disturbed etc) while also discovering rage against the machine for the first time and shortly after I found out about the classic rock bands, which the radio still plays all of that today. So it's that's not surprising at all. What would be surprising is discovering a good new band on the radio.
    but... i don't hear much metal on the radio. that's why there's music coice metal on tv, XM radio (if i had it personally), Pandora and this college alt radio station that barely comes in where i live.
    Well metal isn't usually very radio friendly, so that's probably why it's not as common.