Why I Still Buy Music

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My two favorite songs right now are Downtown by Macklemore + Ryan Lewis and Hello by Adele. They’re currently playing on a constant rotation.

How do you listen to music? The days on buying a physical CD are long gone and digital music is king. Many people have stopped buying music all together because they would rather stream it through monthly services like Spotify. Spotify, which is owned by Facebook, is currently the number one music streaming service. It’s widely known that musicians get very little money from streaming music and the big dollars are in live shows. For the consumer this means digital music will continue to be dirt cheap and the days of expensive concert tickets are here to stay.

After trying all the different options I’ve decided to go back to paying for and downloading music through iTunes. I used Spotify’s premium (pay for) service for a long time and eventually came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a good fit for my needs. In the beginning I was excited to use Spotify and took the opportunity to listen to a bunch of different songs and albums. I was a kid in a candy store sampling all the different offerings. However as time went on I found that I mainly listened to the same self-made playlist over and over again. Like that kid in the candy store despite all the options I ended up with my good old gummy bears like I always do. At the end of 2014 it occurred to me that I was paying for more than I was getting or using. At $9.99 a month it would only be financially smart if I was listening to at least 10 new songs every month and I definitely wasn’t doing that. Instead I can go to iTunes and pay a $1.29 onetime charge for each of the songs I repeatedly listen to and save the monthly fees. In general I’ve always preferred to pay as I use rather than a monthly flat fee because I rarely use the service enough to make it worth while. I stopped paying for Netflix for the same reasons. Spotify’s monthly charge might not sound expensive however it adds up to over $100 a year. I looked at my buying history through iTunes and to date I’ve paid a total of $23.22 for the 18 songs I downloaded this year. That’s a pretty big savings. Of course everyone’s different and if you’re like my boyfriend who likes a constant variety then streaming music is a great option. My choice to switch back to paying for music also had to do with a desire to support the artists themselves. As I said I tend to listen to the same songs over and over again and I feel it’s unfair that I’m not fully supporting the person(s) that made them. You might be saying that Macklemore and Adele don’t need the money but I look at it more from a perspective of fairness. If I’m going to listen to their songs several times a day then I can at least shell out $1.29. I will say however that I still occasionally use Spotiy’s free service to find new music. That’s how I found last year’s Broken Over You by Grace Mitchell. Each service has it’s place but for now I’m going to stick to buying the songs I listen to.


I’ve been listening to Downtown ever since it was performed on the VMAs and I’m amazed it took this long for it to finally start getting radio airplay. What took so long?


For the record I don’t use Apple Music’s streaming service.

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