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Personalized recommendations, sponsored playlists, and the dominance of streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music have changed the experience of music discovery for all of us. Whereas magazines, zines, radio, and something called MTV once offered diverse avenues of exploration for music fans, followed by the heyday of music blogs and music piracy websites like Napster, the algorithm now looms over everyone. There is considerable reason to worry about what that means for up-and-coming artists without major label connections, as well as the landscape of popular music as a whole.

But what are the alternatives? Six people working in and around music told The Outline how they actually find out about new music.

Jen Malone — co-music supervisor on Atlanta on FX

[My music discovery is] really all over the place. Of course there’s Spotify, but also SoundCloud. Fam [Udeorji], my co-music supervisor and I, are on SoundCloud a lot and we’ve licensed a lot of those bands. That’s where, in the world of hip-hop and rap and trap, they’re putting their mixtapes up and their songs and records up as opposed to on Spotify.

I rely on a lot of my network in Atlanta. They feed me music, managers, lawyers, artists themselves, people that they are collaborating with. I actually found some new artists just going through Instagram Stories where they will play 30 seconds of a song and it’s like oh, that’s interesting and I bookmark it. Once a week, I’ll go through and listen and if anything is interesting or can work I definitely go and pursue getting music from that artist. From being a supervisor, I also work with a lot of licensing companies and record labels and publishers. They’re also always feeding me new music from artists all over the world.

“I rely a lot on

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