I remember the day HMV introduced shopping baskets at their 333 Yonge Street superstore.
“Thank GOD,” I thought. “I don’t have to walk around juggling all these CDs before I get to the cash.”
This was a real problem because in those days, I (and a lot of other people) would buy six, seven, eight–more!–CDs in a single shopping trip. And HMV was a great place to go because they also had the loyalty club deal where you got a free disc for every ten that you purchased.
Those days are long gone, of course. And while I still buy CDs and vinyl, I’m buying way, WAY less than I used to.
It’s mostly because I have far too many CDs as it is. I’m simply running out of space. But mostly, it’s the expense. The unnecessary expense.
Yes, I’ll buy physical product by artists I really want to support. Yes, I’ll buy certain things because I really want to have a physical manifestation/backup of this music. But for the most part, most of my shopping involves purchases from iTunes. Everything else I just stream.
We’re entering a completely new era of music consumption whereby anyone can access almost any song ever recorded within seconds. Consumers (not all of them, but a lot) already have iTunes, iTunes Radio, Pandora and a huge whack of streaming music services. And more companies are getting into this virtual space every month. These new virtual delivery systems, as Rush sang in “Spirit of Radio” are “bearing a gift beyond price, almost free.”
This begs the question: outside of those songs/albums you absolutely must physically own, why would you ever buy another CD?
That’s the question posed by this article in The Atlantic. Thoughts?