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Streaming - good or bad for the wallet?

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  • Streaming - good or bad for the wallet?

    ive been streaming a lot more over the past 6 months. once i figured out i could use my existing library at the same time.

    but it means I'm buying a lot less vinyl as i can just check albums and tracks out immediately. i have discovered some albums i should have already known like SF Sorrow and some reggae albums. but now i just tend to buy stuff from Trunk or soundtrack stuff. i can check everything else out by streaming.

    but recently ive thought that i may as well get rid of a load of records as well, as i no longer need them now i can just stream them all the time. and i haven't been record shopping for months.

    are you streaming and if so is it effecting your buying of music?

  • #2
    I don't stream music, by which I mean I don't have Spotify or any kind of subscription to a service. However, with records routinely costing £20 or more I do find I will probably want to check out a couple of tracks before taking the plunge, because it's just too much to blow on the off-chance it will be a must-have record, so I might listen to something on Bandcamp. If I want something I'll always buy it. It'd be great if I lived on a houseboat, though.

    I also don't like the idea of streaming; I feel it would divorce me from the experience. Because I'm knocking on a bit there's a whole lot more bound up in music than just listening to it- I'm used to holding it, reading it, filing it, etc. Then I can get a Kenny Rankin LP off the shelf and remember my mum got it from Crazy Beat for a birthday, or my friend suggested I buy a particular record when we were in the Virgin Megastore in 1980 and here it is in my hand. I suppose I'm saying I can't see streaming having the same emotional pull as my boxes of records which take up far too much room, and I'll never listen to them all again, and I'm still buying them, and I can't afford them...

    I get the feeling streaming is not great for most musicians either.

    But in answer to your question I'm sure it would be better for my wallet- and therefore worse for the musician I presume.
    Last edited by Shere Khan; 10-01-2019, 03:59 PM. Reason: answer the question
    "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"


    • #3
      I play vinyl as much as I can, morning, noon and night, until I get too drunk to be able to find the hole in the middle of the rekkid. I don't pay for a streaming service, because youtube is there for the usual stuff, and Bandcamp is there for the unusual stuff.

      There's not excitement about finding music on Spotify for me, but loads to find an LP 2nd hand that *might* be amazing ...

      I try to buy as few LPs new as possible, but then I have Disk Union up the road and their B grade 2nd hand is good enough for me, and often sounds new ...

      Having said that, I probably bought about 15 new LPs last year and several hundred 2nd hand ...

      So really, there's not much thrill to streaming for me. I can often only tell the difference in quality if I A / B the 2 sources ... then it's pretty obvious ...

      Any records I buy and don't like ... out they go as soon as I find a good home for them.

      As for the musicians, they've had to become more imaginative, after being shafted by the likes of Spotify and presumably Apple, Google et al. More effort required to make something really special and personal, rather than mass produced.

      One of my best music nutter mates is a (Japanese) 30 something. He uses Google Music and loves it, only buys records to sample (so probably only has about 10 or so). Doesn't stop him from his music mania ... the ones that are record nutters are all late 40s, early 50s and have their Disk Union membership barcodes tattooed on their wrists ...
      "White paper inner sleeve is pristine ..."


      • #4
        I've subscribed to Spotify for a couple of years; I use it when I'm in the office and when I'm travelling. It's great, there's a vast choice of music, usually the 'correct' version of the recording is available, and being able to make and share playlists is useful. I've found music I wouldn't have otherwise found and I've tested music before going on to buy it.

        I need to work out what I want to do with buying new physical media. For new releases I buy CDs. I'm not really interested in new vinyl (certainly I'm not interested in reissue vinyl), nearly all the black stuff I buy (and I do buy a lot) is second hand. But I realise that in probably now quite a short time, not all albums will get a physical release, and those that do may only get a vinyl release. At which point I'm not sure what I'll do, whether I'll start buying new LPs and also go back to backfill the last 10-15 years...

        So I'm pretty sure streaming and physical media can co-exist, but I do think as people get out of the habit of 'owning' music, the number of physical releases will inevitably drop.


        • #5
          Streaming good or bad for this forum? Bad, I reckon.
          "You don't want to kill the cash donkey"


          • #6
            I’ve recently signed up to Spotify Premium in the hope it will reduce my overall spend on music. My theory is that it makes it very difficult to justify buying a CD now I know I can just stream the music (and if I really want it on CD I can just record it from Spotify and burn it to CD). However I will still be buying used and new vinyl and I don’t expect it to reduce the amount of music i buy on that format. If I can avoid buying CD from now on I reckon it will save me a fair amount.

            On the issue of ownership of music, this really is a generation thing now. I started buying records in the mid 70s so i’m firmly of a generation that got used to owning music rather than just “having access” to it. My son is music mad too but he buys very few records, just streams everything and isn’t bothered about having a collection.

            The prospect of one day reaching the point where music is no longer released in ANY physical format saddens me to the core.