I was driving home today, listening to Guster on my iPod and I started thinking about how much iTunes, the iTMS and my iPod have changed my music buying habits.
Over the past year, I’ve slowly moved to buying all of my music online through the iTunes Music Store. In fact, in the last 2-3 months, I haven’t purchased a single CD or single offline except for a CD that I bought at a concert (and paid $20 for because I wanted the artist’s autograph on it).
iTunes tells me how much music I’ve purchased since I started buying music on it, and since last October, I’ve purchased 182 songs (on this machine). At the standard $.99 per track, that means I’ve roughly spent roughly $180 on music (there are a few free songs in there, so that’s not 100% accurate) since October through iTunes. That may not be a lot for most of you, but for me, it’s a lot. You see, I bet I’ve barely spent $180 in music in a store in the past 3 years.
iTunes has changed the way I buy music so much so, that I now buy it on impulse, from the comfort of my own couch. Fully 1/2 of those 182 tracks I’ve bought were bought in April, May and June, so it seems that I’m slowly getting sucked in by the ease of buying iTunes tracks.
I used to buy CDs on Amazon.com, but it really was a chore then. I had to buy three CDs or so to get free shipping, so I had to think about what I wanted, add it all together, and then buy it, wait a few days for shipping, then rip the CDs and sync my iPod.
Now, I buy music just because it sounds like a good track to buy… and if there are 3 or 4 tracks that sound good on an album, I buy the whole album. I turn to iTunes while watching Saturday Night Live if the band sounds good, and I buy their album. I have found myself looking for iMixes a few times and buying certain tracks off them (like the recent SSX iMix I found that sucked me into buying a few tracks from the game). I boot up the iTMS at least once a week now to find out who the new “free single of the week” is from. If I like the single, I check out more songs from that artist, and have bought a few more tracks that way too.
It’s great. I love the iTMS. Sure there are things they could do better, but that can be said about just about any record store, but one thing that’s important is that I’m buying more music all the time and my 20GB iPod is full of great music that I keep at my side all day.
(Yes, I know this post is about 6 months behind the times, but it took me that long to realize the impact that the iTunes Music Store has had on my music consumption habits.)