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You told us: Most of you don't buy music anymore, but is that the full story?

Several readers use streaming services and purchase the music they enjoy. But do you?

Published onSeptember 13, 2021

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Although streaming music services are plentiful nowadays, you can still purchase music singles and albums. Whether you prefer the convenience of digital formats, the feel and aesthetic vinyl, or the nostalgic value of CDs, listeners can still own their favorite tunes. But how many of our readers still do this?

Well, we posed this question in a recent poll on our website and social platforms, and the results are in!

Do you still purchase music (e.g. digital downloads, LPs, CDs)?


We saw just over 1,500 votes on this poll published to our site on September 8. Unsurprisingly, there is still a fair share of users who purchase music. In fact, 30% of our readers still prefer to own their favorite tracks. Of course, that leaves 70% of readers who no longer buy singles or albums at all.

On Twitter and YouTube, we saw an even smaller share of voters still willing to purchase music. Just 17.9% of the ~2,700 respondents on Twitter and 15% of the ~12,000 voters on YouTube still buy their favorite tracks in one way or another.

Overall, less than one in every five readers who partook in this poll still purchase music.

Despite the overwhelming majority’s tendency towards streaming rather than purchasing music, the latter group took to the comments sections to voice their opinion. From supporting the artists to guarantee offline listening, there are plenty of reasons to buy physical or digital music. That said, plenty of these readers also use streaming for music discovery or subscribe to a service because it’s more affordable. Browse more reader views below.

Your comments

  • Drone9: Digital purchase. Listen offline forever. Support the artist. I don’t believe in paying monthly fees to streaming service providers. Services will always risk being disrupted/abused.
  • Nathan Jolliffe: Use Deezer to find new music. Then the stuff I really like goes on a list to buy. I still like physical media, it’s nice to have something even if your internet goes down.
  • JK: Streaming is fine for music discovery, but I prefer to purchase digital downloads for tracks I wanna keep.
  • Michael Roth: There just isn’t anything new that I’m interested in. I’ve got a fairly large CD collection and I’ve created MP3s from those. If something were to come up, I would purchase physical media.
  • mattc: I use streaming music to find albums to buy.
  • smileyhead: I’m a big advocate of playing my own files instead of using a service like Spotify, and if it’s about smaller creators, I’m more than happy to support them.
  • Antonio Fernández: When one of my favorite bands releases a new album I buy the CD. And sometimes, I still purchase one or two songs from iTunes.
  • Reggie Dill: I only own mp3s and records. I don’t care for streaming.
  • Joe Black: I occasionally do, but only on Bandcamp, where I know where the money goes.
  • Evie: YouTube Music. I didn’t even realize it came with YT Premium so it was kind of accidental. But I love it for its suggested music. Always finds something to suit me. Edit: So my phone plan is weird and I essentially get 20 quid for free. I spend that in the Play store to buy YT Premium Family. Not sure I’d actually pay just for YT music.
  • hoggleboggle: Will always buy my music. Streaming has its uses to stumble across new, unknown tracks, much like radio or TV, but if I like it I will buy it, preferably directly from the artist.
  • Sassquatch: Haven’t bought music this millennium. FM radio usually works for background. If I want something specific, direct search on YouTube.

That’s it for this poll. Thanks for voting and commenting. If you have any additional thoughts, be sure to drop a comment below.