Have you ever found yourself sitting “listening” to a Spotify playlist and then after hours have passed, you can’t remember any of it?
Have you ever run though your own saved playlists and realized that nothing matches your mood, right now?
Then, it’s just possible that the right thing for you to do, right now, is quit your streaming music accounts.
Because when you start to use music, as you might use a fork to eat peas, to influence your mood, rather than experience music for the joy of music, you start to lose that special factor that makes music so important in all of our lives.
The Best Reasons To Quit Streaming Music And Start Buying It
We put this conundrum to the staff here in the New Music World offices and everyone had a reason that they could contribute as to why we should all consider stopping streaming!
Music is disposable on streaming services. Perhaps, the author’s favorite album of all time is, Strange in Stereo by the Norwegian act In The Woods. It’s not an immediate record. In fact, it took months of listening to it (in a pleasant haze of marijuana) in my youth to really bond with this record. If you hear a record and don’t get it on streaming? You skip over it and don’t come back. If you spend money on an album and it’s there staring you in the face every day, you do go back, because you want to get the value you hoped for.
Listening experiences that you physically curate yourself are more focused. For those of you who are old enough to remember the pre-streaming days, you’ll know that there was plenty of music out there that you never heard and didn’t care that you hadn’t either. You focused your listening hyper-selectively on music that meant something to you, that really mattered. Sure, it might take longer to build a playlist or find new listens without streaming but the payoff is in getting to music that really is part of your life. The algorithm can’t replace you.
You can save money. Many of us end up neglecting subscription services after a while, this is as true for Spotify as it is for Netflix. There’s so much choice of entertainment out there that you can pay for months and months of services that you barely use. If you buy cheap vinyl online or even cheap CDs – the investment is made at the point of purchase, you don’t pay rent for them in perpetuity.
Albums are better. Modern music has all been about meeting the standards of the algorithm and this turns an album into nothing but a collection of short, focused singles designed to maximize the financial returns of playing through a record. We get this, we just don’t much like it. Listening to physical media does two things – it gets you to listen to whole albums rather than skipping through for the tracks you really like and it has you listen to great albums because you’re not playing the algorithmic game. Telegraph Road’s 11+ minutes of live greatness on Dire Strait’s Greatest Hits is still a classic, it just needs the room to breathe.
You give an artist more of a chance. Many streamers report that they immediately skip anything that doesn’t grab their attention in the opening seconds. Imagine how many amazing tracks this causes you to miss out on? Some music requires more work to appreciate it than that.
It’s kinder to the artists you love. Artists get paid more for record and CD sales than they do for streaming. In fact, they get paid so much more that you might need to listen to an album hundreds of times on streaming to get to an equivalent. Why not support the artist rather than the streaming service with your hard-earned cash?
Final Thoughts On Ditching Streaming Services
There’s a lot to be said for becoming more mindful about your consumption in this age of excess.
If we want music to be important in our lives, we have to focus our efforts on giving it the room to be so.
Quitting streaming might be the first step in that process.
And if it’s not?
Well, the streaming services aren’t going anywhere, you can always go back.