No doubt about it, we are in the age of streaming and it doesn’t seem like it will come to an end anytime soon. Like all good things, streaming will probably end at some point in time. I came across an interesting tweet from emcee and producer Krum, “Someday all this music we stream is gonna disappear. If you love it, you gotta be able to hold it in your hand before it’s just a memory.” Although streaming is probably the most convenient way to listen to music, it is not without its faults. For instance what happens if a song or album you love is taken down because that particular streaming platform chose to do so? In the CHH sphere, we got a taste of that when J. Monty’s former label made him take down his ‘Testimony: Vol. 1’ project. By the grace of God he left his label and put the project back up, but unless you bought the music, you had to wait a little while for its return. Also, what would life be like if any of your favorite music platforms crashed? According to Krum, the safest way to always have your favorite music accessible, is to be able to hold it in your hand.
While it seems like music sales digitally are on the decline, it seems as if vinyl records, CDs, and even cassette tape sales have been revitalized. There are probably several reasons for this, one of which being many people that grew up as teenagers listening to music are now grown adults. With the audience of artists growing older over time, it makes sense that nostalgia reigns supreme. Many of us want an emblem of our younger more carefree days and to reminisce over the music of our youth. As such, this particular group of listeners may be more willing to purchase actual physical copies of music. Physical music will never fully die as it appeals to a variety of senses, whereas streaming and digital music mainly appeal to the ears. Back in the hey day of the iTunes music store, artists tried to simulate the visual aesthetic of an album cover with a digital booklet. That was cute, but didn’t really compare to the feel of ripping the plastic off the album(and perhaps smelling the album if you’re anything like me). Some of us remember listening to the music and checking the album credits to see who produced what song and who the writers were.
Physical copies of music turned music into an immersive experience, and I believe many people still want to experience music and not just listen to it. It’s amazing to think that people not only want to continue to touch music, but are requesting that artists make physical copies for them to treasure. I still have many of my old CDs, the earliest one being ‘The Last Street Preacha’ by T-Bone released in 2001, and continue to purchase physical discs when my finances and wife allow it. People are hungry for music of substance and I believe many will buy physical copies if given the chance. I believe around the time of the the release of “Guardians Of The Galaxy 2,” they had the soundtrack on cassette tape for those who wanted to experience the project in that way. There is still a market for physical merchandise, that will never go out of style. We as humans were designed with five senses, and it seems like the more things are created that appeal to more senses, the longer said thing stays around.
If you want to have music from your favorite artist stick with you longer, I suggest you buy a tangible copy of said artist’s work. People want to hold things so they can revisit them whenever the mood strikes. the era of CDs and tapes may be over, but there will always be a remnant of those who want to experience music through those mediums. If you haven’t bought a CD or tape, now is the perfect time to do so. Support your favorite artist and build a deeper connection with the music you listen to by purchasing a physical copy of music. As long as artists around the world continue to make music, there is no way physical music will ever die out.