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Streaming

STREAMING VS. BUYING RECORDS

I remember going out to multiple record stores on Saturdays it was my hang-time with friends; we all were looking for that “find” for the day.  Those days are few and far between with record stores barely surviving now days and the Music Business is at a new place that it’s never been before; retail is all but gone in the “Big Box Chains” and like I said record stores are almost gone with the exception of the cool, hip, small vinyl stores popping up around the country.  There are the rare unique stores like McKays Books & Music in Tennessee that carry everything from music in cd’s, cassettes, vinyl, even 8-tracks! To books, musical instruments, stereos, video games, movies, etc.  But for the most part the stores like Tower Records, Sam Goody, Camelot Music, CD Warehouse, Musicland, & Hastings are a thing of the past.  With vinyl records sales over 13 million in 2016 and is projected to grow again by the end of 2017 it seems that the resurgence is not a fluke or fad it’s here to stay.  For how long who knows but music lovers like myself are loving it!  Compact Discs sales or CD’s are down to 104 million units sold in 2016.  The good news is that physical sales were actually up from over a decade ago in the total share of album sales than the previous year.  But the big elephant in the room is Streaming a format that’s been around since 2008 or at least that’s when it truly became a way to get music through an app on your phone.  We all know Napster started the sharing-file system but streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Unlimited have become the main source for people all around the world to listen to music.  Music Streaming has taken over now and is the largest share of the Music Business;  there are over 400 million subscribers and counting!  It doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down anytime soon; so, what do we do as consumers of music? What is our best option? Do we continue to purchase music in physical form or do we sucumb to the inevitable and get a streaming service for our music collections?  I for one, will always buy music physically because I love to read the liner notes of who produced, wrote the songs, what musicians played on it, etc.   But I’m going to make a decision soon on a streaming app to go forward with so that I can save some cash instead of spending thousands of dollars per year on music when I can put it on other things.  I’ll still buy my favorite bands and maybe some new bands if I like them enough to give them the nod on a physical purchase.  I still take my ipods everywhere for now, but I have a feeling that will end in the coming years.  I just wanted to give you an overview where we are in the Music Business right now and where we are going; the choice is yours keep buying music physically or join the millions of Music Streaming listeners. Or do like myself use them all and see where the road takes you.