The Internet gave music nerds access. The digitization of music revolutionized how we listen to music, how we share music, how we buy music (or not buy music) and how we find music. These days, it seems like it’s all about finding new music. It’s about discovery—and access to vast amounts of music via the Internet allows us to do that.
Before the Internet, we discovered music through friends, trusted radio DJs, visiting record stores and sampling albums. Now, we still use our friends and sample music, but on a much greater scale. In addition to sharing favorite groups with hundreds of people on Facebook or using the library of online stations such as Pandora and Spotify to find new bands, there’s a trend of several sites devoted to music discovery, such as We Are Hunted and Brite Revolution.
The New Record, another new website for online music discovery, launched this month. According to the site, “The New Record.com is the first free music discovery platform curated by independent record labels.” After signing up at no cost, users can play and download free songs as well as create and share playlists with other users. The site also offers additional features, including the ability to follow artists, labels or other users.
The LaTimes’ Pop & Hiss blog recently interviewed The New Record creator Bill Armstrong. Armstrong told Pop & Hiss that he wanted to create a website for independent labels to give away free MP3s that highlight unreleased music from upcoming albums. The site is more than just music discovery. His vision takes discovery and tries to turn it into a profit for these independent labels and bands. “I feel like I’m at least presenting a solution as opposed to just stating the problem over and over,” he said. “At least I can say, ‘Here’s an idea.’ Maybe it will drive more traffic to your store.”
Armstrong has already assembled more than 30 independent labels to participate, including Sub Pop, Anti- and Brushfire Records, and plans to add even more.