Spotify is probably the subscription service I paid for the longest time. After thinking about it for about a year, I decided to finally put a stop to it.
When I started getting into music the only way I had to get the music I liked was pirating. There wasn’t any store in my city where I could by music from smaller bands, everything you found there was whatever was playing on the radio in Spain. With time, I was able to buy some of my favorite Japanese band cds in Stockholm, but it was still a limited collection.
Then Spotify showed up. I thought it was a good compromise; paying for it was a good justification to not pirate music or have to chase weird cds around the world, and best of all, “my money is going to the artist”. There was also the convenience of having all the music I wanted in one place, especially when I finally was able to get a smartphone. No more playing around with foobar2000 themes.
A lot rained since then. The landscape is completely different now, and Spotify doesn’t seem to have the artist’s interest in mind anymore. Lately, they are not even paying artists with small number of “listens” at all. There’s also all this podcasting phase they went through, where they decided to pour a lot of money into questionable people and plastered all the UI with podcast recommendations.
When things started to go south I started looking at other options, but none convinced me. I started buying music again via bandcamp, but you can’t really find everything there. One of my favorite artists (Luca Bocci), only has one album there, so if I want to listen to the latest stuff… I can only do it in a streaming service.
I’ve downloaded the stuff I bought from bandcamp and started to look for my old cds. I don’t have a cd player anymore, but as soon as I get my hands on one I might set it up next to my audio setup. For now, I’m just back to the weird p2p programs where I can try to find the music I bought or the ones that are just impossible to get.
Have you tried buying music from your favorite bands recently? It is REALLY hard sometimes. Some of them have their albums on their websites, but others just link to Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, or YouTube. It is getting harder to really own the things we ✨c o n s u m e✨.
Funny enough, the only easy way I found to buy music nowadays is vinyls. Unfortunately, I don’t have a record player, and I have a bad habit of traveling a lot, so going around the world with a vinyl collection is not really convenient. I might eventually get one, but it is not a real solution.
Leaving Spotify was harder than I thought, but despite all the issues I listed here, I’m actually having fun again, and listening to music feels more meaningful, not a thing that happens in the background.