Yes, the lack of shared experience that radio hits provided is a huge difference between then and now. Also the way music is listened to today by most people, on ear buds while doing something else like cleaning, jogging or driving. Everyone will sit and watch a two hour movie, hardly anyone will sit and listen to a 40 minute album.
And there is a great music being made. And it is easy to find, but to certain folks if they don’t hear it on the radio and know it is popular with others then it must be a complete music desert out there.