You sit down at your desk after a long, hard day of work. Unraveling your headphones, you anticipate the transcendent melodies of your favorite artists. Today, it’s Elliot Smith, and nothing could stop you from drifting off to the sound of his cherubic voice. Just as you lift a steamy cup of herbal tea to your lips and click play, you jerk back in agony, your headphones flying off your head and crashing to the linoleum floor.
The sound of shrill screams assaults your ears, a stark contrast to the anticipated delicate vocals of Elliot Smith. The unimaginable has happened—A Spotify ad of the worst kind has permeated your queue of relaxing music, a commercial for an upcoming horror film.
Normally, you roll your eyes and muster a dull groan in response to the typical ads—a plug for some band nobody’s heard of and will now forever loathe for interrupting the music of the artists we actually want the listen to, a commercial about muscle milk which has virtually no correlation to the “Cello Top 50” playlist you’re currently attempting to listen to, and even a proposal of why you should actually purchase Spotify Premium so you don’t have to listen to ads like this (how meta). But now they’ve just gone too far.
Are trivial annoyances like these enough to warrant a ramen noodle-eating, bus-riding, college student to fork over the (discounted) $4.99 a month? That $5 could buy an entire pizza from Little Caesars. While a monthly rate for listening to music ad-free sounds a bit unnecessary, there is more to the coveted Premium package than simply the luxury of listening to Elliot Smith in peace.
For one, Spotify Premium allows users to access all music at all times. With just the free version, you can only shuffle songs (with intermingled ads) on a mobile device, meaning that you may have to wait through the duration of 4-5 songs on an album before listening to the one you actually wanted to listen to in the first place. This accounts not only for wasted time, but for wasted, precious phone battery.
Another feature of Spotify Premium is that users can actually download their favorite songs and playlists so they no longer need data or wifi to listen. Although these songs technically still aren’t ‘yours,’ you are able to indefinitely ‘borrow’ them and listen anytime, anywhere at your leisure. Going on a trip? Download and enjoy music on your flight. A cruise without wifi or cellular data? Download. An underground bunker? Got ya covered.
Now, I realize there are other (legal) mediums for music downloading. iTunes, arguably the most popular alternative, charges an upwards of $1.29 per song. Sure, the song is ‘yours’ and you get to listen it whenever, wherever, and as often as you’d like, but even at this steep price, many artists aren’t even on iTunes. If you are a true music junkie, iTunes will quickly deplete your meager budget and reduce you to pleading for iTunes gift cards from distant relatives come the holiday season.
Additionally, iTunes does not allow you to conveniently make your own playlists, enjoy those created by other music enthusiasts, or create a personalized “Discover Weekly” playlist of new music catered to your unique taste every week. Instead, it boasts the top tracks and artists of each genre (as I we don’t already know).
I know it’s a big step, but at least consider the merit of a Spotify Premium account. If anything, contributing a small sum each month will serve as a small reminder of the immense value you place on your boundless love of music (and fear of horror films).