How to Discover New Music on Spotify & Apple Music
Finding new tunes takes time, but the top music-streaming services offer a number of ways to inject new artists and songs into your daily routine.
We’ll focus on two of the most popular services—Spotify and Apple Music—but rival services like Pandora and Tidal have similar capabilities.
If you need an easy way to shake up your music listening and discover some new songs, try Spotify’s Stations. It’s unlimited music in a separate, streamlined app. You select an artist, mood, or decade, and it will just keep playing music.
Give music you like a thumbs up; after you like 15 songs, a “My Favorites” playlist will appear. Anyone with a Spotify login can listen, but Spotify Premium users get ad-free listening and unlimited skips.
Apple Music’s Radio tab, meanwhile, features Beats 1, an internet radio station staffed by real people that plays music (and music-related content, like artist interviews) 24/7.
Access to Beats 1 is free, but those with an Apple Music subscription can save songs and create custom radio stations.
Use Artificial Intelligence
Most music services go beyond human DJs and use artificial intelligence to quickly serve up new recommendations, largely in the form of automated playlists based on your past listening habits.
The more you listen, the better the song selections. Spotify offers two primary automated playlists—Discover Weekly and Release Radar—though there are others in the Made For You section.
Release Radar is one of the best ways to stay up on the latest releases, with new albums and songs added each Friday.
These automated playlists should appear front and center in your Spotify app once there’s enough data to populate them with music recommendations.
On the desktop app, click Browse > Discover. Be sure to save favorite tunes to a playlist before a new Discover Weekly and Release Radar playlist arrives and replaces the previous week’s songs.
On Apple Music, AI playlists appear under the For You section of the mobile and desktop apps. Apple has four playlists set up automatically, updating weekly—Friends Mix, Chill Mix, New Music Mix, and Favorites Mix.
Three of them cycle in new songs with different points of focus while Favorites Mix re-introduces music you’ve played a lot, but may not have listened to in a while.
Get a Digital Mixtape From Your Friends
To connect with someone on Apple Music using the mobile app, tap the For You section at the bottom and then the circle in the top-right corner.
From there, tap on View Profile and scroll down to find and invite people. Then, keep tabs on what friends you follow are listening to on Apple Music in the For You Section.
Spotify, meanwhile, offers a “Collaborative Playlist” option, which lets friends add music to a playlist you created.
On desktop, right-click on any playlist on the left side of your screen and click “Collaborative Playlist” in the pop-up window.
On mobile, tap the three-dot menu and select “Make Collaborative.” You can then share the playlist via any number of messaging apps or email.
To find friends on Spotify, tap on the gear icon in the top-right corner and then tap on your profile name at the top.
On the next screen, tap Find Friends to connect with Facebook friends. Control social listening under Settings > Social.
Ask Your Music Butler
If you want to dig into music discovery just a tiny bit more than automated playlists and stalking your friends, there are several third-party services that can help you uncover new music.
Musicbutler.io is handy service that helps keep track of all the new music being released from artists you’ve listened to in the past.
Apple Music and Spotify have both been moving in this direction to keep you up to date, but Music butler still does it best for now.
It can monitor multiple services at once and provides links to get to the music on Amazon Prime and various apps.
It also adds music release details as the artist announces them, and does a good job at keeping you alerted with regular emails.