Music Industry

If Americans Think That Streaming is Too Expensive, What Must Canadians Think?

Is $9.99 a month too much to pay for unlimited access to 35 million (and counting) song? A just-released survey by Nielsen says that almost half of Americans say “yes.”

Why not stream

Let’s deconstruct this a little. Why would $9.99 seem too high? Because studies show that the average consumer in the US spends less than $50 a year on recorded music. Some studies put the annual spend at $35. Dropping $9.99 a month (or about $120 a year) is more than double and even quadruple what people are spending now.

I’d reckon that the situation is much the same in Canada, except that we’re further spooked by the high prices for data that come with our smartphones. Prices are coming down, but the overall feeling is that we’re still getting hosed and people are loathe to use too much data less they be charged ridiculous overage fees. Even using the free (i.e. non-subscription) tier of streaming services isn’t enough for use to overcome our fear of data charges.

Read more about the American survey here. How does this line up with what you and your friends think?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37438 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “If Americans Think That Streaming is Too Expensive, What Must Canadians Think?

  • Lets face it, most people simply think music is transient thing that waifs through their lives on the periphery of their attention. They have a basic awareness of what is trending in pop and that is about it. Or they are stuck in 1978.

    Anybody who is paying attention to your posts and has subscribed to your music journalism, has a serious interest in music. There is a clear declination between those that do and those who do not. But this has always been the case. When I was a teen I would take one quick look at a person’s LP collection and knew if they had any real interest in music or not. You could just see it.

    I personally spend about $1000 a year on Recorded Music, and an additional $2000 a year on viewing live music. And I DO THINK that streaming music is too expensive.


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