Reasons To Buy Music on Itunes – The Anti-Spotify Blog Post

  1. Self-Satisfaction.
  2. Plethora of Options.
  3. For the Musicians.
  4. Building a “Record Collection.”
  5. …We’d love to hear from you.

I always find that when you put something in that you worked hard for into a purchase, you are always more satisfied with the results.

Personalizing your iTunes account is no different, and it is the much preferred method of album acquisition by musicians. Some musicians like Coldplay, have even done better when leaving Spotify out of the loop. Yes they have a huge following, but that was a bold move delivered by a bold band.

Am I being a bit of a “heckler” by disuading people from using Spotify (and other programs like it) (most of the time unsuccessfully). Perhaps, but gun held to the head I would defend the musicians that are yearning for the business “built on pirating” tobe put out of business as I am a tinkering musician myself (the reason for this website). In the long run, I also feel that not only pirating, but Spotify is bad for the production of music.

Of course that last sentence is greatly debatable, but here are a few points in case to suggest that it might be accurate.

Let’s talk about music discovery.

We can all agree that there are many ways to discover music. Buying albums is one of them (direct compensation for discovery). The radio is another; aww heck. Let’s put this in a bullet point.

  • Buying the album
  • The Radio
  • Pandora (and look-a-likes)
  • Concerts
  • Cover Bands on Youtube
  • Youtube
  • FRIENDS and Social Influence

I would like to highlight that last point. Music discovery is greatly influenced by our friends; which in today’s day and age means Facebook. It is also what Spotify banks on, claiming it is a great source for music discovery. However with my past experience, which is about a year removed now, I found that it just wastes a lot of your time because you are constantly having to search for the music. In this way it is just like Napster.

The music discovery is kind of – well – irrelevant. It’s absent. Of course I can’t speak for everybody as there seems to be a lot of sharing of music people are listening to on Spotify on the Facebook scene, but this type of indirect “recomendations” really doesn’t overrule any other type of music discovery as the authority.

In the beginning, the Spotify business model was to get everyone on the free membership plan, dilute their losses with advertisements, and hope that these people would build a large enough playlist that by the time their free trial ran out they would sign up for the monthly membership.

This kind of customer acquisition model is shaky at best.

On top of all this there is the musician pay scale factor that you have to factor in. Musicians make $0.005 per stream and $0.65 for a $0.99 download on iTunes. Here is a table you can also find here.

The DIY Band Five unkowns with a borrowed station wagon. Record every 5 years.

Revenue Breakdown Quantity Total
CD Sales $8 per CD (after production costs) 500 $4,000
iTunes and other downloading services $.65 per $.99 download (after service takes a cut) 200 $1
Merch $100 per show (twelve T-Shirts at $10 each after printing costs) 45 shows $4,500
Tour $50 per night (Plus free beer, maybe) 45 shows $2,250