Much like what iTunes did to the CD business, Spotify and Pandora radio are quickly becoming the preferred source of music for millions of listeners.
Why would you pay for music when it’s legally free on the internet? For the price of a modem and a monthly internet bill, you can have access to more music than you will ever be able to listen to. If I care about the health of my wallet then I’m more likely to look up a song on youtube than pay $1.29 on iTunes. It’s free and it’s legal; why would you spend the money?
Pandora burst on scene 14 years ago becoming a mainstay for any causal music fan. According to the 2011 United States of America Census, the U.S. found that 71.7 percent of Americans had access to the internet at home. Almost three quarters of all Americans can listen to any genre of music they want for free with Pandora radio.
Pandora’s catch is in the term ‘radio’. Pandora operates in a way that allows the user to control nearly every aspect of the music being listened to except the ability to request a specific song. Whim’s Editor in Chief, Julian Guerra prefers Pandora and so do plenty of other college students. Pandora’s platform is perfect for anyone who will be working at a computer for a few hours; we can all suffer through a few advertisements if it means we can focus on that term paper we’ve been putting off. Pulling all-nighters isn’t such a bad thing when Pandora is on your side.
What about when you’re craving some “Baba O’Reilly (Teenage Wastland)?” You can’t request that song on Pandora and frankly, YouTube is rather annoying when you have to constantly be picking the next song. This is where Spotify comes into play.
Spotify is a downloadable application that aims to merge your music with your Facebook friends. You can follow friends to see what they listen to and even follow their specific playlists. That awesome party mix you heard last Friday might just become yours the next time you throw a shindig.
Spotify is miraculous in the way it operates; as long as you have an internet connection, you can listen to nearly any song for free. It has a layout similar to iTunes, but doesn’t ask for pocket change for every song. It does have sporadic advertisements like Pandora, but once again, most of us don’t seem to mind.
It seems that (thanks to Pandora and Spotify) the slippery business of digital music has turned iTunes into an obsolete option for students and music fans alike.