Actinomycetes are a rich source of bioactive natural products important for novel drug leads. Recent genome mining approaches have revealed an enormous number of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters (smBGCs) in actinomycetes. However, under standard laboratory culture conditions, many smBGCs are silent or cryptic. To activate these dormant smBGCs, several approaches, including culture-based or genetic engineering-based strategies, have been developed. Above all, coculture is a promising approach to induce novel secondary metabolite production from actinomycetes by mimicking an ecological habitat where cryptic smBGCs may be activated. In this review, we introduce coculture studies that aim to expand the chemical diversity of actinomycetes, by categorizing the cases by the type of coculture partner. Furthermore, we discuss the current challenges that need to be overcome to support the elicitation of novel bioactive compounds from actinomycetes.