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Why do you pay for music content you can just stream?

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I'm one of those who still cherishes the experience of buying and playing physical media, be it a CD, vinyl or DVD/bluray. But it's become increasingly rare between my friends, family or coworkers.

I'm aware it's still common here and in many dedicated fanbases so what are your reasons for still doing something most people nowadays seem to consider unnecessary?

Go.

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If I had the space and the cash I would. But at the moment it’s just not practical, I hope one day I’ll be able to have a proper record player and soundsystem. When I lived with my parents I used to love it, but over the past few years moving from place to place it’s all becomes a burden so I just stream now........sorry that’s not what this thread is about 😂

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I do both. I like the immediacy of streaming but I'll always favor buying a physical copy. I guess it could be attributed to nostalgia, it's the way I used to discover music when I was growing up in the 90's. I also believe in supporting the artist when the work is outstanding.

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I subscribe to Spotify because i enjoy the immediacy of just clicking a button and listening to my favourite tunes and because I think it's good value for money. I feel guilty sometimes because record stores are slowly becoming a thing of the past. I used to love going to my local store and browsing the racks for vinyl. This was back in the 80's though when my Madonna fandom was just beginning. Like A Prayer was the first LP I bought.

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I know this concept may be very old school to anyone born in the 90's and beyond but to me the whole physical package + music is like a piece of art. It all tells a story or sends a message of sorts about the work you're about to hear. With streaming, there's no lyrics to read and absorb, no cover to analyze, no liner notes, no story told through album art. Streaming feels much colder and makes music seem so disposable. You listen to your song for "free" and you move along. Also, when I buy a physical copy, I'll own it forever (or as long as I want to keep it). With streaming, I may find a song I like and next time I go to listen to it, it could be gone. Another thing that irritates me with streaming is when wrong versions of songs are placed on album playlists. For example, if Material Girl from IC were placed with the LAV album instead of the actual album version. That kind of thing drives me crazy. 

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I stopped buying physical formats in 2008. The only CDs I have bought since are those of Madonna ( that I bought months after their release when they are on salewho have never been listened to since I had already bought them in digital format at their released. Since then, I buy in digital format only Quebec artists, Madonna and a few international artists that I want to encourage. I've been a subscriber to Apple Music for a few years and I switched to a Spotify premium subscription last spring because I prefer their playlist.

I write these lines looking at my libraries full of CDs and DVDs that are dusty and that I can not get rid of but will probably never been played again. They are the memory of the 90's when buying music and movies were my favorite activity. Today, although I recognize that the sound quality is better, the physical format seems to me so little flexible and not adapt anymore to my way of consuming music. Despite all its flaws, streaming offers so much choice and accessibility.

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1 hour ago, Kurt420 said:

I know this concept may be very old school to anyone born in the 90's and beyond but to me the whole physical package + music is like a piece of art. It all tells a story or sends a message of sorts about the work you're about to hear. With streaming, there's no lyrics to read and absorb, no cover to analyze, no liner notes, no story told through album art. Streaming feels much colder and makes music seem so disposable. You listen to your song for "free" and you move along. Also, when I buy a physical copy, I'll own it forever (or as long as I want to keep it). With streaming, I may find a song I like and next time I go to listen to it, it could be gone. Another thing that irritates me with streaming is when wrong versions of songs are placed on album playlists. For example, if Material Girl from IC were placed with the LAV album instead of the actual album version. That kind of thing drives me crazy. 

All of this, yes.

Those are primary reasons. Another minor reason is that I listen to my iPod in the car on my commute. I wouldn’t be streaming in my car — don’t wanna use my (limited) data plan for that, etc.

I buy digital, yes, but I still buy physical for certain artists I really want to support — Madonna foremost, but a handful of others. And I often buy a digital version, too, or else rip the .mp3 from the CD for my iPod. 

The same arguments apply to films/DVDs instead of streaming, too. I have Netflix, but I like a DVD — because, yeah, the thought that something I loved is just gone from the library the next time log in...? Sad. 

 

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I stopped buying music 2 years ago...decided to stream because it's convenient. The only thing that irks me about streaming is that the quality isn't as good as a CD, and they remove songs every now and then. But it's a money saver, especially the annual plans.

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3 hours ago, peter said:

All of this, yes.

Those are primary reasons. Another minor reason is that I listen to my iPod in the car on my commute. I wouldn’t be streaming in my car — don’t wanna use my (limited) data plan for that, etc.

I buy digital, yes, but I still buy physical for certain artists I really want to support — Madonna foremost, but a handful of others. And I often buy a digital version, too, or else rip the .mp3 from the CD for my iPod. 

The same arguments apply to films/DVDs instead of streaming, too. I have Netflix, but I like a DVD — because, yeah, the thought that something I loved is just gone from the library the next time log in...? Sad. 

 

Another great point that I totally forgot about peter! Yes, I've streamed while driving before and not only does it stop and buffer at times, interrupting whatever I'm listening to but it sucks that data up quickly! Like you, I do still enjoy buying mp3's and or/buying physical and ripping to my ipod. These days, I do tend to only buy physical copies of my favorite artists, unlike the 90's when I would take a chance and buy a CD just based on a song or two hoping I'd like the rest. In those cases now, I'll usually stream other songs from the album and then buy (or not) based on that or just do the samples they offer on itunes and buy if I like them. I've noticed the physical copies I buy these days are usually remastered, expanded editions of albums I previously owned or have wanted to own for years and just never got around to......for example, I've recently bought Prince Purple Rain reissue and all the recent Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks reissues. 

It's sad to me that even mp3's are becoming obsolete now......idk what I'm gonna do when my ipod finally breaks since they don't even make them anymore. 😞 I'm sure at some point I'll be forced to go primarily streaming but I'm gonna have to be dragged kicking and screaming. I just don't like the idea of not having something that I can always access, anytime I need to and not have to worry if it's gone or all my data being eaten up or not being able to listen due to some sort of connection issue....or a certain artist doesn't have their music available on the service I listen to....there's just so many little annoying things like that.

It sounds like I'm "anti-streaming" but I'm really not.....it has it's place for me too. I tend to stream music at work and even at home time to time. I will say that you can discover things you may not otherwise find and it is cool that there's such a huge selection to choose from. I can appreciate the "cleanliness" of it too....nothing taking up space in your house nor on your hard drive.

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Believe it or not, I have spent ZERO $$$ on paid streaming service.

I always stream for free. Legally free.

 

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I stream all my music on Spotify on my iPhone and only occasionally buy the mp3 (or even the physical) if it's not on Spotify. At home, I listen on my iTunes all the rips and mp3s. I'm on Spotify premium so I get unlimited streams for free. I do feel guilty about streaming though as I'm not helping to keep the physical format alive as I see no use in them anymore. Music is very disposable now as the click of a finger but you can virtually access nearly every album in the world and only pay like $12.99 a month. Not having to worry about data storage from memory, updating songs, discover new music, no need to connect the phone to transfer to sync, no need to pay $2 to own a song, no need to worry about using up my data! Don't have cd player or vinyl player (not even in my car). I usually just rip cds once then put into my box never to be looked or touched again. I find vinyls too big and bulky to buy. Haven't bought physicals in ages and only ones I get are Madonna's (for the collection) and some rare pieces I run into it (aka Katy Perry's Teenage Dream Confectionary two CD digipack Aus pressing) simply because I run into it for a cheap price and its rare. Most of my physicals I can't seem t get rid of but just sits in my room as clutter! Physicals these days are just not the same as they were in the 00s! I feel physicals are just an inconvenience now even though I love them still...

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Oh and if I buy physicals, it be only CD/DVD. Not viny/cassette/VHS as they are too bulky, inconvenient and can't play them or rip them... Madonna is the only artist I have cassettes, vinyls, VHS etc for which I don't play, only collect.

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I was born in '84. That makes me 34, either in the oldest echelons of millenials, or part of the Xennials.... Who cares, right? Anyway, one of my favorite things as a teenager in the late 90s early 00s was to save 15-17 bucks and, every two weeks or so, go to a record store to get that album I had been dynig to listen to. Then, get home and lock myself in my room (as any good teen would!), and listen to the album from the first to the last track. Also, opening up the booklet, looking at the artwork, and if available, read the lyrics. Fun times!

Now, I have fully embraced streaming. I have spotify premium, and love it. I get to listen to a lot of albums, and save in my library those I enjoy from the first to the last track. I still listen to complete albums, and never listen to spotify's ready-made playlists. Before, I had tv, word of mouth and radio to find out about new album releases. Now, there's blogs, metacritic, online magazines (Pitchfork, Slant, etc), etc. I have access to albums I may have hade no access to had streaming not existed, and got to know indie bands and musicians I have grown fond of, and even seen live.

Do I miss the old times? Not really. I look back to them nostalgically, and appreciate growing up in a less tech-driven world. But I like what I have now, it's as fun as the past.

P.S.: BTW I remember the excitement of downloading (illegally, lol) Music through Napster back in the summer of 2000. Haha! Such a thrill, a sneak peek before the album was out. To think now, as already said, that mp3's are obsolete. Technology really did a major overhaul of our lives in the past 12-15 years or so.

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I always stream everything, usually spotify. It's so much more convenient, I've found tons of new music, and discovered older music as well.  It's free!

I love it, I'm 43 I don't miss buying music, I wasted so much money on it when I was younger. Stupid things, like buying a full album for ONE song.

I assume the major artist still make serious money. They literally have billions of streams, they have to be doing well.  Some choice to not put their music on streaming sites, like Taylor, Adele, Beyoncé, at least at first.  Though they are hardly lacking for cash, but this certainly helps drive physical sales.

I feel sorry for the lesser artists who might have sold a gold or platinum album in the past and made a decent living who can no longer do this, though.  But even they usually have embraced streaming and put their music on streaming services.  Probably because fans can readily access the artist's music, and this could help draw people to their tours or buy other merchandise, perhaps?  Touring is where the real money is for all artists now.

I DO rarely purchase music by independent artists I really like. 

 

 

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I have playlists saved on my YT accounts and that's how i stream music, no charge 🙂

for mp3 lovers there are mp3 YT converters available on the internet, you can download songs through them and save them onto your hard drive

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I stream on the go with Spotify premium, love the playlists and the convenience, but I rarely ever listen to albums on it, for albums I buy vinyl and sometimes a CD if there’s a deluxe edition worth getting.

honestly I don’t feel as though I can appreciate an album properly unless I’ve actually bought it physically so I can hold it, and put the needle on it.

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I only buy physical from my dearly beloved: Madonna, Eddi Reader, Tori Amos... I bought Golden by Kylie but others from the past years i didn't buy. 

Now it's all about streaming for me! 

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25 minutes ago, karbatal said:

I only buy physical from my dearly beloved: Madonna, Eddi Reader, Tori Amos... I bought Golden by Kylie but others from the past years i didn't buy. 

Now it's all about streaming for me! 

What about Kylie's old album? :1251: 

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1 hour ago, horn said:

What about Kylie's old album? :1251: 

I have some. Nowadays they're stocked under the bed.

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This has been a fantastic thread to read. So, thanks to all respondents! 

😂 @Icykiller For reminding me of the Napster/Music album downloading excitement! I had dial-up then, so a nightmare in waiting times (and Impressive Instant kept cutting out).

I am a bit slow on the upkeep with streaming, as I don't use any services. I still download mp3s and use iPods and make/buy CDs. Like @peter I use my iPod in the car (as I live rural/coastal and have a long commute to work).

Still, portability is the issue. I've been collecting Madonna music and memorabilia since 1983!!!  I'm about to take that next step (fortunately for me) of early retirement and overseas relocation. I'm not going to cart my collection around again (been doing it for 35 years!!). So...melancholy and sentimental baggage needs to be pushed aside and the music part converted fully to digital and SOLD to a collector who wants it.

Ill be crying for weeks, tho!

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On 22 November 2018 at 7:58 PM, rocknrolla said:

 

I love it, I'm 43 I don't miss buying music, I wasted so much money on it when I was younger. Stupid things, like buying a full album for ONE song.

 

Touring is where the real money is for all artists now.

 

I DO rarely purchase music by independent artists I really like. 

 

 

Man, I have so many CDs in boxes that have been a total waste of money, for that ONE song. Ludicrous!!! So, agree.

Touring is where it is at. Look at Springsteen, Rolling Stones, etc. Charts mean nowt to them!

I still buy the odd CD for peeps like Goldfrapp, Roisin Murphy, and re-issues.

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I buy about 1 CD a year now, the rest is streaming.  I hate radio so streaming services are truly the best thing to happen to music, for me.

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On 11/29/2018 at 6:05 AM, Bill said:

I buy about 1 CD a year now, the rest is streaming.  I hate radio so streaming services are truly the best thing to happen to music, for me.

Same for me.

All my cds are now in boxes, I never listen to them anymore.
The only cd I bought in the last few years was RH.

Streaming has changed my life. 10$/month is nothing compared to what I used to pay when I bought Cds...

My only complain: I miss the pleasure to have, read and smell a booklet. I wish we could still have access to an online version, at least. 

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On 11/29/2018 at 12:05 PM, Bill said:

I buy about 1 CD a year now, the rest is streaming.  I hate radio so streaming services are truly the best thing to happen to music, for me.

I buy 1 CD every three or four years. You know who. I love streaming, never want to go back. 

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I’m a sucker for vinyl, so I do occasionally purchase that physical format. I also have a paid Apple Music subscription, I like having the option to just plug and play in my car and be able to pull up whatever song I randomly want to listen to with no ads.

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On 11/30/2018 at 9:44 AM, runa said:

Same for me.

All my cds are now in boxes, I never listen to them anymore.
The only cd I bought in the last few years was RH.

Streaming has changed my life. 10$/month is nothing compared to what I used to pay when I bought Cds...

My only complain: I miss the pleasure to have, read and smell a booklet. I wish we could still have access to an online version, at least. 

True. There is something to be said for owning a physical CD and yes the smell was just fantastic.  

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Dont get me started on how this self-entitled world we live in now doesnt feel the need to pay for music.

It costs money to make music. And if I were an artist, Id like to be able to make a living off of my art, as opposed to having a bunch of ingrates claim it for free as if it was owed to them, just “because they can”.

This is why alot of new artists come and go and everything is so volatile now: alot of artists who make music dont make enough money to keep going, dont have a label behind them to promote and develop their craft and end up just fading into the abyss.

You wouldnt walk out of a restaurant without paying, or take a painting from a museum.

Dont take an artist’s music. Go to their bandcamp, buy it off of Itunes, buy a CD/Vinyl.

But again, just because “you can” have it “for free”, doesnt mean you have to take it.

Streaming services are WORSE than old-school disctribution: people who work at Spotify make more money than their artists.

All that being said, id still rather pay for and OWN my music.

Most of the tracks on Spotify sound like shit anyway. It’s weird how people will think thats what music is supposed to sound like.

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I pay for Spotify premium and I still buy records 

 

It's important to keep up with the times, otherwise one becomes a dinosaur. 

 

Wi-Fi is as essential to humanity as running water at this day and age. Streaming is the direction of travel for music / home entertainment. Deal.

 

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I still buy CDs. I have a pretty nice collection. I've never used streaming services.

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On ‎12‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 3:03 PM, frzndrwnwrld said:

I still buy CDs. I have a pretty nice collection. I've never used streaming services.

true that...I want to own the recordings...not rent

I do use ITunes previews a lot though to sample an album to see if I like it

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