Streaming vs Owning

I can’t remember the last CD I’ve bought.

Any not just a physical one either. I’m including digital downloads, too. I’m 100% streaming. My primary go to streaming service is Rdio. I’ve got a nice collection there and their UI is top notch. I spend time on Spotify as well and Sirius XM and about a dozen other services. I own nothing except for CDs I manually digitized and then sold about 12 years ago. All those now digital albums sit in iTunes. I think it’s been years since I used or listened to any of them there. Perhaps I’m an edge case, especially for someone my age. And certainly working at exfm spoiled me and put the final nail in the coffin of “owning” music.

Though last week an old friend of mine and I were talking back and forth via email about music and what we are currently into. I sent him a list of Rdio tunes and he sent me back an iTunes Playlist. I was surprised. I just hadn’t seen an iTunes playlist in sometime. I asked him, “What’s up with the iTunes list?” His response was while he likes services like Rdio and Spotify – he didn’t trust they would be around in the future and if he likes an artist he wants to make sure he can listen to them whenever he wants with no fear or restrictions.

It was kind of eye opening. I guess I do suppose Rdio will just be there, when most likely it won’t (they can’t be all that profitable and my guess is they are operating at a loss). Same for Spotify. And every other streaming service out there. There is zero guarantee they’ll be around in the future. Odds are they won’t in fact.

I’m still not going to switch philosophies and start “buying” music again piece by piece. For starters that’s too much work at this point. Secondly, I don’t want to “own” and manage a library. Third, even if Rdio or Spotify go away I’m certain streaming music is here to stay. The masses have spoken, it’s the desired way to consume music.

The CD was great. iTunes incredible. Holding that iPod in your hand with all “your” music was enthralling. But that feeling faded a long time ago for me. Now I know I can access any song, anywhere, anytime, without burden and that’s even more appealing.

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