For the love of artistry, buy a music subscription

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For the love of artistry, buy a music subscription




MADISON JACKSON | Evergreen music columnist

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When it comes to spending money, most college students avoid it at all costs. A college student’s unwillingness to pay for music streaming and purchasing creates consequences that affect the artist more than anyone else.

Artists, musicians and bands spend hundreds of hours to write, record, mix, promote, design and release an album, and they need to be paid for their hard work. There is more to creating music than what we listen to in our headphones.

A career in music means a lot of work with very little monetary payoff, especially if you’re just starting out.

Think of new musicians like college students: they work more than the average person without any kind of reward. The only difference is that musicians don’t get a diploma after four years — their journey never ends.

It’s 2016, and our exposure and access to music is greater than it’s ever been. There are online stores to buy mp3 digital copies that can be stored wirelessly, streaming services to listen to music with an Internet connection and websites where you can illegally download mp3s to your computer.

The musician’s personal benefit from putting their music online is publicity and potential ticket sales, but they have to get real-life people to listen and maintain interest in their music.

The interest of fans can be seen in number of YouTube video views, merchandise and ticket sales. All of which require money to maintain.

Music streaming services can be anything from YouTube to Spotify to iHeartRadio. Their free versions run on ads to make up for the lost revenue of subscriptions and must have ads to continue operating.

If you are willing to pay for a subscription to a streaming service, the digital download or the physical copy of a CD or vinyl, I salute you. I also understand that not everyone can afford to spend those few extra dollars on music.

If you’re not willing to pay a subscription fee, you can deal with the ads or you can download them illegally. I know some people that would take time to transfer YouTube links into mp3s online just to avoid the ad that interrupts their playlist.

All streaming services need to make money. They have to keep running and pay their artists so they can keep making music. It’s an ongoing cycle of “this person pays this person who pays this person who will pay this person.”

Thirty years ago, the only way to bring music with you was to carry a Walkman and cassettes everywhere. Even then, people would steal music by recording the radio themselves. Illegal possession of music isn’t a new problem, but it’s much easier to do now.

Whether your preferred streaming service is Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Apple Music or any other streaming service, the only way to avoid advertisements is to pay for a subscription. Either way, you have to pay to listen to music.

As a college student, it can be difficult to purchase anything with reoccurring payments. At that point, it begins to feel more like a bill than a fun recreational activity.

But it’s true. You are being billed to enjoy music ad-free. And with most streaming services you can save songs to the app and listen without an Internet connection. Streaming services allow anyone access to thousands of songs with one flat fee.

There are perks to each individual streaming service, but the one that stands out the most to me is the ability to share the subscription with your “family.” The family subscription can be a little bit more expensive, but you can have multiple accounts.

If you and your best friend are sick of hearing ads in the middle of your study session, it’s entirely possible to go halfsies without feeling guilty when your streaming service of choice offers a student discount. Not all do, but it is always worth a shot.

Sometimes the best option for you is coping with the advertisements that everyone hates. After all, it is free. Fifteen seconds isn’t that long of a wait for your favorite song.

Think of the work your favorite artist put into their latest album. If you dedicated six months of your life to a project, would you want that stolen from you? Every time an album is downloaded illegally, that person is stealing the property of that artist and their label.

You can pay in time being annoyed by advertisements or in actual money, it’s your choice; but remember artists need money to keep making music.