So I received my free trial Spotify invite a few weeks back. After several sleepless nights of obsessive listening, I slapped my $10 down and subscribed to the service. At this point I'm pretty addicted. Honestly, I haven't listened to music with this much excitement or frequency since I was 15. It's kinda terrific. Almost anything I care to listen to is just a click away. I wondered why I hadn't explored this sort of thing before (sorry Rhapsody, Napster, etc) but that's for another missive.
As a sonic-minded musician do I love the quality of streaming mp3s? No. As an artist do I think receiving less than a cent every time someone streams a tune of mine is "fair" payment? No (and I'm hoping this will change as we go forward) but as a music fan do I love having near the history of recorded music at my fingertips? Absolutely!
In the course of industry debate regarding the subscription model, I think music makers/rights holders really need to approach any reservations they may have about streaming from a "fan" perspective. They need to get back in touch with their inner, teen-aged music fiend. Back in touch with the kid who hoarded every album in the house or who locked himself in the bedroom with a stereo and a guitar. Ultimately, subscription streaming may or may not prove to be the future for rights holders' bank accounts but having now experienced it first hand, I'm convinced subscription is the future of recorded music and a rosy one at that for fans of said music.
It's funny, I'm amazed at how far removed us musical folk can sometimes get from what made us join the game in the first place. Before I played music, before I made records for "commerce", I simply loved listening to music. Industry/monetary debates aside, I'm grateful to Spotify for reminding me of that. Here's to hoping the emerging popularity of the subscription model will also remind many others of that simple joy.