Syncrmusic | Why TV has overtaken radio in musical discovery

The way we discover new music is changing. Gone are the days when small, independent artists could get played on popular radio stations, instead the same strictly ‘radio-friendly’ tracks are played over and over and over again. Thankfully, in what many are calling the ‘Golden Age of TV’, new music has a new home.


The demise of radio can be attributed to many factors; streaming, adverts, podcasts and even aux leads in cars, but many have lost faith due to repetition. In the US, 80% of radio playlists match. That means you’re almost guaranteed to hear the same songs you’ve heard before no matter what you listen to. In this sector, priorities have shifted from playing great music to guaranteeing a large, passively satisfied audience to their advertisers. Through playing popular songs as often as they can to guarantee listeners, by adhering to the lowest common denominator, it’s a short-sighted strategy leaving not all, but many, radio stations behind in this field.


With no advertisers to desperately please, superstar TV music supervisors like Alexandra Patsavas have used shows like Grey’s Anatomy as a platform to break indie artists like Snow Patrol into the mainstream better than radio has for years. But now, with the rise of Netflix, Shazam and other changes in viewing and interacting habits, modern TV is truly prioritising great music in their shows. So instead of paying ridiculous prices for repetitious radio music, music supervisors look to independent artists, experimental sounds and previously unheard music to enhance the accompanying scenes. With this association, that music is bonded to a moment for all the shows viewers, creating new fans through emotional connections and expanding the artists’ audience in a single placement.

Ricky Hill

Syncr Founder