Music Streaming Services: A Worthy Investment for College StudentsBy Jackson Bryant | 02/13/2017 12:29am
The ways music has been shared and distributed have evolved quite drastically over just the course of a few decades. Our grandparents have spoken to us of fond memories gathered around the radio or record player to enjoy their favorite tunes. Compact discs, or CDs, were seen as a revolution of sorts, enabling listeners to hear high quality music at anytime and anywhere. And, most recently, the digital age has brought about an almost instantaneous realm of music right at our fingertips.
Among the most innovative concepts of this era are music streaming services, which provide unlimited music playback and downloads for a flat monthly charge. Perhaps the two most frequently used platforms, Apple Music and Spotify, have erupted across the world, boasting around 30 and 40 million users respectively.
At first, I was quite skeptical of the concept behind music streaming services, and I was hesitant to make an additional financial commitment each month. I had also read editorials which stated that these services were essentially ploys by music companies to loop their customers into a never-ending circle of subscription. However, as my interest in music continued to grow, I decided to launch a three-month free trial of Apple Music and discover for myself if premium music streaming was a wise investment.
Almost immediately, I was positively overwhelmed by the seemingly infinite collection of music from any artist and genre imaginable. I quickly began to download a few favorite songs, as well as explore new content presented by Apple’s unique algorithm that displays suggested music based on the user’s individual listening tastes. I was finally able to instantaneously stream an album just moments after it was released, without having to pay $15 for a download or wait in line at Best Buy for a CD.
As I transitioned into college, I easily decided to continue my subscription after the free trial concluded., utilizing Apple’s 50 percent student discount, which placed my monthly fee at just over $5 per month after tax. Many times, I have been able to share new releases with friends and create unique playlists for parties and road trips, all at the tap of a screen. Moreover, if I had purchased each song individually, the entirety of my music library would have cost me hundreds of dollars.
My conclusion is that for any listener who downloads an average of five songs per month or more, music streaming services are worth every penny. Many students on college campuses across the nation have taken advantage of these services already, largely due to companies’ willingness to offer generous discounts for students. Personally, I hardly notice the $5 subtracted from my bank account each month, but I am thoroughly convinced that a lack of an abundant and instantaneous selection of music would certainly leave something to be missed.