Teens and Their Tunes
By MICHELLE LU
Whether it’s via a car radio, smartphone or computer, music is a daily experience for most teens. Today, there are many different methods teens use to get music including buying it digitally, streaming it, and even illegally downloading it.
One of the most popular ways teens get music today is by digitally downloading it from iTunes. For many it’s the easiest way to get music. Services like iTunes offer a wide range of song selection and are instantaneous.
Freshman Afrida A. said, “All the songs I like are on iTunes so it’s really easy to buy.”
Others opt to stream music through services like Spotify or Pandora which also offer paid subscriptions to listen to music offline without an internet connection and which usually cost less than buying the songs themselves.
“You don’t need to pay that much, and it just gives you all the music you want. Why buy songs when I can just get them by searching them up?” said freshman Swati M.
Streaming music can allow for more social interaction. Spotify users are able to see their friends’ profiles and create public playlists to share with others. Frequent Spotify user junior Ashley M. said, “I like that you can discover new songs and follow people who have similar music interests to you.”
However, streaming music has its downfalls. Without a paid subscription, music streaming services often have ads that interrupt the listening experience. And, without a good internet connection, music streaming is choppy, of low quality and sometimes even impossible.
Freshman Kendra Z. said, “I don’t stream music because they have ads, and I can’t download it so I wouldn’t be able to listen to it if I don’t have service.”
Even though artists can receive some profit via paid streaming subscriptions, they ordinarily earn much less than if the music was purchased directly. Since these streaming services offer the same songs for a lower cost, many artists feel a lack of respect for their work. Some artists have chosen not to make their music available for streaming. Taylor Swift pulled all of her songs from Spotify last November. “You should support the singer if you really like their music by buying it,” said freshman Amanda L.
Unfortunately not everyone gets their music legally. Some teens either don’t have the money to pay for the songs or just don’t want to. With many songs available to listen to for free on sites such as YouTube or Vevo, some feel that it’s unnecessarily expensive to buy songs. Besides the obvious legal and ethical issues with illegally downloading music, there are other setbacks such as lack of quality.
“I think iTunes has better quality than illegally downloaded music,” said freshman Micky P. who primarily uses iTunes for his music.
Downloading music illegally also prevents artists from gaining revenue from their art. Swati M. said, “I feel like it’s unfair to the artists who have worked really hard to create this music and they deserve that money.”