Column: Consider buying a CD

Stephanie Markham, Editor-in-Chief

With the rising prevalence of Internet radio and the ease of file sharing, it would seem that buying music is thing of the past.
People want to have music to enjoy, but they either can’t fit it into their budgets or would rather just access it for free.

However, every now and then an album drops that reminds people of why the experience of owning an album and supporting the musician is worthwhile.

According to The New York Times, Adele’s recent album “25” was practically flying off the shelves with 2.4 million copies sold in the first three days it was available.

In its first week, it had sold a record-breaking 3.38 million copies.

While I don’t usually pay attention to pop music charts, I couldn’t help but notice the big posters of Adele accompanying multiple rows of albums for sale in retail stores.

One thing recent best sellers such as Adele and Taylor Swift have in common is that they do not offer their music on streaming sites like Spotify, according to The New York Times.

Sites such as Spotify, Pandora and YouTube can be helpful because people can easily discover new music they would not have heard otherwise, and the sites can be profitable through advertising revenue.

Music fans frequently discover obscure bands online that later become their favorites.

Despite the worlds upon worlds of new music available online, listeners should not get in the habit of only buying albums when they can’t find them anywhere for free.

Some albums can be hard to find; alternative genres are not always available in retail stores, and those who are lucky enough to live near independent record stores know that their prices are often higher because nowadays they have fewer customers.

However, you can easily order an album online directly from a band’s website, or you can offer your support by purchasing a digital copy from Amazon or iTunes.

Some believe that buying CDs is pointless because the revenue goes to the record company rather than the musicians themselves.

Although the $10 to $15 you spend on an album does not go directly into band members’ pockets, record sales are still a vital measure, especially for up-and-coming artists.

Record sales indicate to the label that their musicians are successful and they can afford to send them out on tour, which means they can make money doing shows and selling merchandise.

I’ve always found that buying a physical CD allows you to better appreciate the album as a whole piece of art.

Not only can you listen to the music, but you can also read the lyrics, view the album art and read the band members’ personal thank-yous.

To truly get the full experience of an album that the musicians intended, buying the album is your best bet.

Stephanie Markham is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].