Why am I Paying for Spotify?

Streaming Services are Scams

December 21, 2023

Multiple times my mom has told me that she is done buying music. When she was growing up everything was on cassette tapes so she, along with everyone else back then, would buy music on tapes. Then out of nowhere CDs came along so everyone had to go out and replace their cassette tapes with CDs, buying the music they already owned a second time. Then technology progressed a bit more and iPods came along and for the third time in my mom’s life people had to go out and buy their music for a second or third time to keep up with technology. My mom got off the bus there, refusing to buy into that ecosystem, but the bus kept going and today people pay ten dollars a month to music streaming platforms to listen to all their music, and nobody knows where the bus is going to stop.

For a long time I thought people like my mom who refused to pay ten bucks a month to Spotify for unlimited music were a bit crazy. If you are the type of person who loves to listen to new music all the time or who listens to several different artists and genres then Spotify (or another music streaming service) sounds like investment for you. But the thing that most people don’t realize is that they probably aren’t that type of person, so Spotify is ripping them off.

Let’s take my current music listening habits as an example. 90% of the time I’m listening to music I’m listening to one of three artists. It is either my friend Patrick, his band Charity Kiss, or my friend Dustin. That isn’t very much music, and it is not uncommon for people to listen to such a small collection of music. If I were to buy every piece of content these three artists have put out it would cost me about fifty bucks. That sounds like a lot of money until you look at it in context and see that that is five years worth of new releases. I’ve spent over twice that over the last year paying for a Spotify subscription just to listen to that music. I feel stupid that I have paid $120 to listen to $50 worth of music, and that isn’t even counting the other years I’ve been subscribed to Spotify.

Now I will admit that I may be a bit of a special case only listening to three artists, but I’m not as special as you might think. You could probably identify your favorite 100 songs and be able to buy all of them for less than what a year of paying for Spotify would cost you, and be perfectly happy just listening to that.

Then as time goes by and interesting new music comes out just buy it. For my music listening habits I’d predict less than $20 worth of new music to come out over the next year (maybe even ten), spending that twenty bucks makes a lot more sense than spending a hundred twenty for the same stuff, and in one case your money is going to an actual artist while in the other it is going to some faceless company.

There are plenty of basic white girls out there who only listen to Taylor Swift. How often does she release an album? Maybe once a year. How much does that cost to buy? Like twelve bucks. Twelve bucks a year is better than a hundred twenty a year.

If you’re like me and have never bought music before the initial investment to get a decent music library going looks a bit scary. But spend some time thinking about it. Is it better to pay a hundred bucks for music now then maybe twenty to thirty bucks a year for new stuff, or start paying $120 a year to a company who will probably raise their prices to be closer to $200 a year pretty soon? I hope your answer is clear.

Online streaming companies have been ripping us off for years. I used to think that Spotify was a good deal because it let me listen to everything. But I don’t listen to everything, neither do you, why should we pay to listen to everything? Movie streaming was great back when it was only Netflix and it had a large selection, but now people need to have multiple streaming services just to be sure that they have access to the stuff they actually want to watch.

How often does a working adult even sit down to watch a movie these days? Maybe twice a week. What makes more sense: paying Netflix twenty dollars a month for access to bunch of movies you don’t want to watch, or spending two dollars to rent a movie that you actually want to watch when you are in the mood to watch one? Two movies a week comes out to eight a month, at two dollars each that’s eighteen dollars a month for movies compared to giving Netflix twenty, along with another fifteen to Disney, and to Amazon, then to Hulu and whatever else. A TV series might mess with that math a little bit, but you have better things to do with your life than binge watch The Office for the fourth time this year.

Unfortunately streaming has become a deep infection in the entertainment industry. If I want to watch Extraction I can’t just rent it for a night, I can’t even go to the store and buy a copy of it on DVD, I have to have a Netflix subscription just to watch that one movie. I wish it wasn’t that way and you should too. We should be able to buy just Extraction from Netflix without having to pay for Cuties too. The industry would be healthier that way, it would allow us to reward companies for producing good movies and punish them when they release bad ones. It would be much better than the Marxist system we have now where all movies are presented as equals but are far from it. But I’m starting to stray off topic now.

Streaming services are scams. Spend some time evaluating your media consumption habits. Are you really getting what you’re paying for with streaming services? Odds are you can find greater value without using them. Cancel your streaming subscriptions, then replace them with stuff you actually want and don’t look back.