This is a post about something I read on another blog, written by someone whom I respect and who’s opinion I listen to. For some time, there have been roomers about the iTunes Store being shut down, in favour of Apple Music and other streaming sites. This is not a good step forward for a number of reasons. Before I get into them, I want to try and give you their own perspective on why they want to discontinue the store.
They see this as a way to direct consumers to no longer purchase music but stream it instead, through Apple Music and as their way, of allowing you to get more for less money. They also feel that people are buying iPhones more these days and now that the iPod touch is on the way out, why not get rid of this pesky store. Also, they probably had this plan in place a while ago but, we won’t know about the real endgame until it’s too late, like when the store is no longer active.
I disagree with the shut down for a number of reasons:
We should be paying for songs and albums we purchase because paying for streaming doesn’t offset the cost of studio time and the hours spent, working on the songs. It doesn’t matter if it is in the Brill Building or whether it is in a crappy motel on the road. These songs don’t just come out fully formed and recording them can be equally time consuming. Think of all the overdubs and multiple takes a song goes through, before the final version is mixed and released to the unsuspecting public. Streaming doesn’t pay for all of that sweat and patients and time the artist takes to write and record an album, no matter who gets money from it. So, paying for downloads is the right thing to do and not for streaming services. Yes, it is convenient to download as many songs as you want at any time but, think about the artist and what he, or she, has gone through to make this music for you to own and listen to, on the radio or in your music collection.
Unlike streaming services, you can actually keep what you download from iTunes forever. You can delete songs and albums from your library but, you can get them back from your hidden purchases. Right? It’s not hard to do, if you take the time to go into the iTunes store and into your account. With Apple Music, you can get songs and if you don’t want them anymore, you can throw them away, like garbage. What does that say to an artist who has spent all the hours, months,years, recording a bunch of songs for you? This devalues the music and is a slap in the face to the writer and performer! I will give you part of an email I sent to the author of the post, which inspired me to continue this subject. This will repeat a lot of what I said here but, it is worth it.
With music we can stream, we can get it and discarded like garbage but with purchased music, we can get it and keep it forever to use when we see fit. with streaming sites like Apple Music and others, this devalues the music as opposed to those of us, who prefer to own our music. Don’t people consider the hours of work it took to record the songs that we hear on the radio and elsewhere?
I agree that the convenience of being able to download as many songs as you want without purchasing them is great but that doesn’t make up the cost in time at the artist took to write and record the songs that we hear every day. Not to mention the studio time and money spent with this work, by big name artists and even small artists who are cutting their teeth to get to a level equivalent to Taylor Swift or Adele, or even Linkin Park. I dread the day that iTunes shuts down because of all the money spent in writing and recording the songs being wasted, on streaming music. Is it another sign that album sales don’t matter anymore? Also, we won’t be able to purchase TV shows and movies anymore, to watch and to keep them. It is nice to walk around with your favourite movie or TV show in your pocket, which you have purchased and can watch again and again. With iTunes going down, we can’t do that anymore and there is another thing to consider, we are using data to stream music, TV shows and movies. With stuff you’ve purchased, you don’t have to use more data than you need, in order to hear or watch it. Yes, there is an off-line option but it is only available if you have paid for the privilege of streaming music then, you can use it.
Unfortunately, Apple does what they want without consulting the consumer first and they only apologized for slowing down iPhones with software updates, because it would be bad for business if they hadn’t spoken up. However, at least some of us are trying to express our opinions, such as the author of the original post, myself and hopefully other bloggers. If enough of us speak up, then people will listen to us and see that this could be a dumb move going forward. Here is the original post, which inspired my email and this entry.