I’m perhaps a little late to jump onto this bandwagon, but this week I’ve been trying to decide where to place my money in the music stakes. Do I invest N$40 / year into iTunes Match, and access all my purchased music anywhere… or do I scrap iTunes and get a $15 monthly subscription to Spotify Premium, which allows me to access any music anywhere.
At first, Spotify sounds like a good bet. I for one have a varied musical taste which has me hopping between Moulin Rouge and Imogen Heap, Rachmaninov and (as I write this) Coldplay. The promise of having all of these at my fingertips is enticing. Spotify’s catalog isn’t quite as significant as iTunes but if it sustains current popularity it won’t take too long to catch up.
However, you have to wonder what might happen when it does catch up. Or what happens when a record company suddenly becomes demanding. I will have made a decision to pour all my music (and money) into a magical yet imaginary place that I am now tied to. If the price shoots up, do I get a say?
Essentially we are changing the way we consume. We are used to the concept of hiring movies, but have we adapted to the idea of hiring music? My sentimental self is not sure whether I am ready to give up the idea of owning records. I’ve only just gotten over not exhibiting CDs on my shelves (ironically thanks to iTunes appearing in 2000).
Then I look at all those who rejected the CD because they couldn’t give up the record… and I realise this is probably inevitable evolution. In 5 years’ time I could be laughing at the thought of buying a track. Music subscriptions could easily be a part of life to come if society dictates it – we might not get a choice.
Nevertheless, I’m sticking with iTunes. I’m shallow and it’s prettier. Plus, I can always switch to Spotify if I change my mind… but it would be harder to make the return journey.