Mario Villalobos

I’ve Spent How Much on Music?!

  • Notes

I love music (who doesn’t?), and in America, you show how much you love something by how much you paid for it, so how much did I spend on music this year?!

I spent $937.22 on music this year. Is that a lot? I feel like that’s a lot. That’s an average of $78.10 a month, which, yeah, feels about right. That’s also about 93 to 94 albums in a year, or about 7 to 8 new albums a month, which, yeah, also sounds about right. I think one of the main questions some people will have is: why not subscribe to Spotify or Apple Music or another streaming music service? And my answer to that is:

Fuuuuuuuuuuuck streaming music services. Fuck them all to hell.

I used to subscribe to Apple Music. For a few years, actually. I paid for their $99 annual plan, which came out to $8.25 a month. For $8.25 a month, I could listen to all the music I wanted. It was great! I listened to everything, and I discovered many great new artists. All in all, I had a great time with Apple Music… until I canceled it during one fire season. I had plans to renew it later, but I wouldn’t need it during fire season because I would be in the mountains where service was spotty and where I wouldn’t really have the time or the energy to listen to music anyway. And when I canceled it, I saw the last few years’ worth of music—music I’ve spent time listening to and curating and rating—vanish. Of course it vanished, but I still felt like a big part of me just died. All my new artists, all my playlists, all the work I did to curate my library to my tastes—all gone. So what did I actually pay for? All those hundreds of dollars?

For limited access to an infinite number of songs. I was renting this music—it wasn’t mine. And right then it hit me:

Fuuuuuuuuuuuck streaming music services. Fuck them all to hell.

The only music left in my music app was all the music I purchased before I subscribed to Apple Music, before I spent hundreds of dollars on… honestly? Nothing. It’s like spending $20 for a movie ticket—the cost is in the experience, and for $99 a year, I was allowed access to this musical experience for a limited time, and if I wanted continued access to it, I would have to spend more and more of my money. I would have rather spent that money on buying my music—for sure, far fewer albums than before, but at least I would own them.

And so, that’s why I’ve spent $937.22 on music this year, and why I will continue to spend more than $99 a year on music, more than $8.25 or $9.99 a month on music. Besides, the artists making this music deserve to get paid, and they get paid more when I buy their music directly rather than if I streamed it.

Do I recommend you buy your music, too? I don’t care. If you want, I guess. If you’re happy renting your music from these big companies, then more power to you. For me, though, I’m just fine spending almost $1,000 a year on music, and I will continue doing so for as long as I have money to spend.