How will you buy your music in the future?

Streaming vs Downloading

I read an interesting article recently, about the future possible ways a consumer can enjoy exploration of music. And I thought I might share my input as well as explore all of your minds on the issue…

As I read this article, the whole time I read the pro’s and con’s of people’s opinions, I kept one thought in the back of my mind…

Which way will keep corporations/money hungry musicians manipulation of art OUT?!

Is it possible? Or is this another “seperation of church and state” problem where in theory, it would be the best for the people..But in reality, it just doesn’t work as well as most would like it to. Let’s break down the options a little bit…

Obviously, downloading music will eventually (if not already) be the primary way we get music. I know there’s those old school hardcore music collection lovers who want to buy some sort of tangible device (CD, Vinyl) that holds their preferred music. To those people I say, do what you want but you’re fighting against the current…

So what’s the battle? Hang on a sec, let me clear my throat and prepare myself for the boxing match announcer voice….

L-L-Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we have an epic  virtual battle between two worthy and advisary opponents. In the blue corner we have Streaming the possible future producer of the toons you use to compliment your “game” while you romance your lover… In the red corner we have Downloading, it’s fragmented, but customizable similar to your local fast food restaurant order!

So what is Streaming?
As of right now, the best example of streaming would probably be Pandora for the US. However, in the article I read, it talks about something called Spotify which essentially you pay a flat fee and you are able to import a so called “music community” onto a mobile device.  Currently, this is illegal in the US which could explain why I have never heard of it.  It sounds to me sort of like satellite radio except you have a little more control over what you hear and it’s not a monthly fee. I believe you can replay the music streamed to your device (as if you downloaded it yourself).

Don’t stop there Nate, what’s Downloading?
Okay, yeah… Like you don’t know what that is… you PIRATE! Well, this version is like iTunes you do pay per song/album (unless you enjoy rum and wear an eye patch. Haven’t you seen those commercials? You wouldn’t steal a DVD, why would you steal music? Hah, as you can see from my interviews with generally broke musicians, they are FOR downloading.. The only people who get angry about downloading are the “musicians” who are only in it for the money… These are also the people who will sell their T-shirts for $30-$50 at shows…)

But who does that…..?

(Lars: Steal my shit and I’ll make sure you live in a trashcan the rest of your life trippin’ your balls off thinking you’re surrounded by giant birds and cracked out cookie fiends.)

How did that get in there? Let’s continue..

So there’s downloading where you have the most control on content, or streaming which is essentially a music community where you can hear new stuff… What is our future? What will be most successful?

Nate, what’s YOUR opinion before I make mine?
(Don’t care what I think? Skip down to the poll)
Well, I agree with one of the musicians when he was asked this exact question… There’s a quality over quantity… I’d much more prefer getting to know a band musically before I dive into another… and another…I’m no music whore, skipping gingerly from band to band without even knowing their name.  And I’d like to have more control over what I choose to put in my collection. I also see streaming as a way for corporations to get their crusty hands in the mix and “influence” what is being exported to my personal collection. I vote Downloading as my primary means of gathering toons.

So, you’ve had a little taste of both worlds… Now let’s find out what the world thinks… (Vote below)

Note: I’d just like to say, there are some good corporations who can make money without exploiting art, I shouldn’t generalize and say ALL corporations can only see $$$ and creative people as a means to stuff their wallets with it.

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7 Comments

  1. I see the two as complimenting each other. Streaming seems like a good way to “browse” a music genre you like, and hear samples of music from bands you might not be familiar with, which would then lead you to download the album for your collection. Streaming is to downloading as the radio is/was to record stores.

    • I think it depends though, because the streaming the article talks about you have to pay a flat fee and the music is actually downloaded onto your device. I think there will always be something like Pandora where it’s just radio style listening, but I think people will have a problem paying the fee for streaming. So, I think the primary means to get music will still be downloading. I don’t think the streaming flat fee thing will take off. Thanks Dave!

  2. I go downloading. And I still pay for all my music like a good little girl on iTunes even though it’s readily available online for free.

    It sounds like with streaming you couldn’t listen to the same song over and over again (though I could be wrong) as I am prone to do. I’ve had Josh Ritter on repeat for nearly a week.

    Thanks for the info, Nate!

    • Thanks Stacey! I’m glad you help support musicians by still purchasing albums. I admit I don’t pay for a lot of my albums, but if I really support a band I do buy them. And I almost always buy merch at shows.

  3. I personally have found a great affinity for pandora. It does not have every single artist that I want to listen to, but I also hear music I have never heard of before. I also like that I can turn it on, know that I will get a variety of music without having to manage that variety myself.

    this being said, purchasing hardcopies will continue to be my favorite no matter what. CD’s have a very long life span, are impervious to electromagnetic waves, and as long as you keep them stored properly, not going to be effected by heat or physical damage.

    I don’t have much faith in the digital technology as it stands right now, cassettes weren’t much better. CD’s still seem like gold to me and I like knowing that even if every computer or server in the world was demagnetized, I have music that is still untouched.

    • I also forgot to mention that now I can listen to most bands on myspace, get unlimited replays of every single, or most of, of the albums they have made. this is another point for streaming for me.

      • Awesome Eric, I was hoping to get someone who still must buy physical CDs. Thanks for your input!


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