The key to discovering more marketable artists to market is more “experimentation,” that is, exposing more products to consumers. Notable new avenues of promotion include online listening opportunities (Internet radio) as well as a growing cadre of online music reviewers. Effective reduction in the cost of bringing new work to market raises the possibility that despite piracy’s depressing impact on revenue, more music may be finding its way to market, allowing consumers to discover better music
, there has been a substantial growth in independent releases and self-released works of music relative to major label releases. Despite an absolute decline in major-label releases, the overall number of new works brought annually to market has increased by 50 percent since 2000. Second, there has been substantial growth in information channels by which consumers can learn about new music. Where traditional radio used to be the main institution for learning about new music, the past decade has seen the emergence and growth in alternative institutions, including Internet radio (with highly customized playlists able to air a wider variety of music) and online music criticism. New information channels are changing the pathways to commercial success. While 60 percent of the artists appearing among the weekly top 25 albums on the Billboard 200 during 1991 received substantial airplay during the year, the share has fallen steadily since. In 2010, only 30 percent of the Billboard top 25 artists had received substantial airplay during the year…. A large share of the Billboard 200 artists not receiving airplay had instead been covered in the growing web media: by 2010, 38 percent had recently been reviewed by at least three critical outlets covered in Metacritic… Independent labels accounted for 13 percent of the artists appearing in the Billboard 200 in 2001, and this has risen steadily to 35 in 2010.