Music Makes The World Go Around [We Ask You Results]

A love of music is one of those things inbuilt into all humans. Our tastes vary wildly, but being pleased by a combination of pitch and rhythm is almost universal. This means there will always be a market for music, with artists (and Miley Cyrus) creating melodies for our listening pleasure.

The way we obtain music has changed massively over the years. Vinyl has given way to first cassettes and then CDs, physical formats have been superseded by digital formats, and programmed radio has given way to you’re-in-charge streaming services. And then there is music piracy.

With all this going on, we sought to find out where you source your music from.

A Wealth Of Options

We asked you, How Do You Obtain Music? We loved the response to the question, with over 100 comments (and counting) making for a fascinating discussion. The range of answers proffered was dizzyingly wide, which collectively suggests that we all have our own very specific needs, wants, biases, and morals when it comes to obtaining music.

The diversity of responses makes it impossible to draw any real conclusions. The only thing that this discussion made clear was how we all have different ideas over what is the best way of getting hold of the music we love.

We can, however, take a brief look at some of the ways you, the MakeUseOf readership, obtain your music.

  • Purchasing Music: A good percentage of you still buy music, some in physical formats, some in digital formats. Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Bandcamp, CDJapan, and NoiseTrade were amongst the names mentioned by those who happily pay the asking price for copyrighted music.
  • Streaming Music: A surprising number (to us at least) of you now use a dedicated streaming service as your primary way of listening to music. Spotify, Rdio, Google Play Music All Access, Pandora, and Grooveshark were all mentioned, with some commenters feeling these services offered the best value for money.
  • Pirating Music: A fair few of you openly admitted to music piracy, using various methods to obtain copyrighted material without paying for it. A worrying trend for the music industry has to be the number of young people for whom piracy is the norm. Convincing them that this is an illegal activity is a seemingly impossible task.

Comment Of The Week

We received a lot of great comments, including those from Cassie S, Sean Conley, and Clément. Comment Of The Week goes to R. Martin, who wins a T-shirt chosen from those available through MakeUseOf Rewards for this comment:

I have over 10,000 tunes on my computer. Some were transferred from the large collection of CD’s I have accumulated over the years. Some were purchased online “legally.” The majority were purchased from the recently shut down Russian site, Legal Sounds. I have not purchased any music since that site was shut down. I do pay for XM satellite radio, which I listen to in my vehicles. At home, I either listen to music stored on my computer or to Pandora.
The music industry uses false logic when estimating their monetary losses because of sites such as Legal Sounds. As an example. Suppose I purchased 1,000 tracks from Legal Sounds. That would have cost me $90 at $0.09 per track. The music industry assumes that had the Legal Sounds website not been available that I would have purchased the same 1,000 tracks from a site such as iTunes at a cost of $1,290 at $1.29 per track. The music industry counts that as a $1,290 loss. It is absurd for them to make such an assumption. There is no way on earth that I would have spent $1,290 on music from any website! The amount lost by the music industry was only the $90, which I spent at Legal Sounds.

We chose this comment because it covers a range of different methods, is honest and upfront about the reasons behind each choice, and even attempts to justify music piracy. We do not and cannot condone piracy in any way, but some of the claims made by the music industry clearly don’t add up.

We Ask You is a weekly column in which you have your say about a particular subject. We ask you a question each week, with the results compiled and compressed into a follow-up article the following week. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.

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Peter Stephens

The comment of the week is correct, I`ve been saying exactly the same thing for years. The music industry (and movie industry) keep saying that illegal websites are costing them millions, but they are not. Most people who pay for cheap pirated versions do so because they are cheap. They wouldn`t in most cases have purchased the legal version.

You have to assume these industries are run by idiots.

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Dave P

They’re run by people who are scared of losing what they have. I’m no fan of piracy but overestimating the harm it’s doing is only making these industries and their spokespeople look stupid.

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