I’ve been an avid consumer of music since my freshman year of high school. Back then I would scrap up every dollar I had, head to my local department store, and pick up a copy of one of the latest album releases. I mastered the process of getting the plastic packaging off without damaging or scratching the CD. Before long I had an extensive list of album in my collection. A collection that, to this day, continues to grow.
Now the department stores I use to shop in have dramatically reduced their CD selections. Cd sales are down, and it appears the digital age is slowly, but surely, pushing the CD out. Apps like Spotify cost 5 dollars a month and can be used on multiple mobile devices. Artists, particularly bigger acts, have even begun giving their albums away for free, having it available as an exclusive to one of the streaming sites. It appears that with every passing day we are getting closer to the death of the Cd. I’m here to say, please, SAVE THE CD.
I like digital music. I stream music on Spotify and Pandora and I use these apps regularly. However, streaming music as your primary way of listening to music will have dangerous consequences. There a many negative things that are happening because of streaming. One is financial. Musicians get little to nothing from streaming music. Streaming music doesn’t support the artists. It just diminishes the value of their artwork. This affects the jazz community tremendously. Most jazz artists sold very few albums before, and now and with no money in streaming, it’s very plausible that you can see a decline in album releases in jazz. This decline in album releases will result in a stunting of creativity in the jazz community. As jazz musicians, we learn from one another, and with less music being released it can result in a lack of new ideas which will hurt both the artist and the consumer.
Another issue I have with streaming is the uncertainty of it. How viable of a business are those sites you give your money to on a monthly basis? Rdio died just a few months ago and many claim not neither Spotify nor Apple Music are turning a profit. So how will you feel when all your playlists and all the albums you have in your digital library disappear because the company folds?
Another issue I have is that streaming is just glorified renting. You don’t own anything. You are just paying for access. Any album can be taken down or put up regardless of your thoughts. You have little to no input on what gets added or removed. At this point you are just paying for the service and hoping for the best.
So please, I beg of you, if you enjoy the music and want to support the artist, buy a physical copy of the album. Show that you are invested, be passionate, not passive with your consumption of music. Let’s support the Cd let’s support physical media. Because if we don’t, the ramifications to the music industry will be irreversible.