Video killed the radio star

by Jon Sullivan - 2020-10-06

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Why is it harder to buy music now than it was when you needed to drive to the mall and dig through bins?

I'm one of those odd people who actually think music artists should be paid. Back in 2000 when everyone was going nuts downloading all the music for free, I was still buying it. And I continue to today when the options for doing that seem to be drying up. I understand that artists get a small bit of money when you listen to streaming services. But why can't I just buy the music?

If I like an artist, I want them to make more music. Getting their music for free, or even through a cheap streaming service, just seems like I'm ripping them off. Music artists are people just like the rest of us, trying to make money from their passion. Trying to be successful. They do all this work to create something they hope you'll love. Something beautiful. So when I find a song I like, I buy it. Always. And I hope that motivates them to make more. I'm not going to cheap out on art that I love.

I've heard people say that the cheap streaming services are just like the old radio model in olden times. You didn't pay the artists directly when you heard a song on the radio. But that's not true at all. We did pay them. We drove down to the mall and bought the whole album even if we only liked one song. The radio model was supposed to lead you to buy. The streaming model is supposed to replace buying completely.

Google Music was great for that. I spent hundreds of dollars on songs and albums there. But now that they've abandoned that and are trying to move people to the inferior YouTube Music service, the option to buy is completely gone. If I hear a song I like and I want to buy it the option just isn't there. And I know sometimes I could go to the band's website and buy it. But that option is not always there, and it's not the sort of convenience we should have in the 21st century. This stuff is digital.

So during all that K-Pop stuff I talked about in my last post I wanted to just buy the music. Of course. Took me days to find it (on 7digital if anyone is interested). It shouldn't be that hard. And finding a service that has all the songs for sale that Google Music had seems to be impossible. How is it that in the digital age we can't buy digital music?

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