Before the digital age, artists had to contend with gatekeepers – publishers, labels, radio stations, etc. – before getting their music in the hands of fans. These days, artists have ready access to digital platforms to reach out and get new listeners.
Probably the holy grail of these is Spotify, which has changed the game. It's even gotten the usually change-averse labels to sit up and take notice – PR reps are now pitching directly to tastemakers, much like they do with radio stations.