Is a Music Subscription Worth the Price?

My free four month Play Music subscription runs out on April 25th, which means I have to figure out if I’m going to keep the service or end it. When I first signed on, I didn’t think I would like it…boy was I wrong. The selection is great, especially for an old soul like me who enjoys jazz, soul, and European ’80s pop. If you read my original post from January, Nostalgia and Play Music, you know what I’m talking about.

Although it’s been great making my own playlists using the 40 million songs on Play Music, I’m not sure I want to spend $9.99/month for the service. But my music library isn’t that large.

Here’s the breakdown of my music library:

  • Artists: 157
  • Albums: 336
  • Songs: 3,921

Play Music gives you free storage for up to 50,000 uploads. Music purchased from Play Music does not count against this number.

For some people, 3,921 songs isn’t a lot. In fact, it’s probably a decent average for a guy approaching his mid-fifties. It’s good enough to enjoy, but you still have those days when you’re sick of what you have. At least that’s how it was for me before Play Music got me roped into the subscription.

Since I’ve been using my free music subscription, I’ve mostly listened to music I don’t own. Most of which I enjoyed back in the 1980s at clubs, parties, and at home. Some of them were recordings I owned on cassette and never bought on CD, such as a Peter Murphy album I had back in the ’90s, Deep. Then there was This Mortal Coil’s It’ll End in Tears, and the endless stream of The Smiths peppered with Everything but the Girl. There was also the time my hubby and I listened to disco hits all night. And last night, while in the car, my husband happily used it to play some old Tina Turner.

So now I’m stuck trying to figure out what I’m going to do when the free subscription runs out.

What I Like About Play Music

The music selection in Play Music is much better than expected. Most of the obscure music I listened to in my youth is there, along with all the ’50 and ’60s jazz you can shake a stick at. I was happily surprised to find The Blow Monkeys, a group from the ’80s that I had forgotten about until they popped up in a playlist.

So here’s a list of what I like about the music subscription:

  • Incorporating my own music library with Play Music to make a playlist.
  • Downloading albums to my phone to listen to later.
  • Having the entire 40 million song selection available, not just the portion available via the free subscription.
  • I haven’t felt the need to purchase any music since starting the subscription.
  • Having an endless amount of songs you can skip in a playlist or station.
  • Not getting sick of my music library.

What I Don’t Like About Play Music

  • Not being able to share playlists with non-subscribers.

This is the only thing that bugged me. I sent my husband a link to a playlist, but he wasn’t able to access it because he’s not a subscriber. Now that was annoying.

Is the Music Subscription Worth the Price?

This is the question I keep asking myself. I already own a good amount of music, and the majority of what I listen to is old jazz from the ’50 and ’60s and a ton of euro-pop from the ’80s with disco and soul thrown in for color. Add some Sly and the Family Stone, Corinne Bailey Rae, Esperanza Spalding, Jimi Hendrix, The O’Jays, etc… That’s the stuff I like, and it’s all either in Play Music or my music library.

If you look at the frequency in which I purchase music, it’s not worth the price. The last time I purchased an album was 11/27/17; before that, 6/25/17. My Play Music free four-month subscription started 12/25/17, so you need to take that into consideration.

However, it would cost a pretty penny to purchase the music I’ve rediscovered and been enjoying. That would be a one-time price, but the subscription also allows me to listen to old and new music I may not necessarily want to purchase. To be honest, the last time I bought a new album was on 12/24/15, Cheers to the Fall by Andra Day (It was free on Play Music but would have been worth every penny if I’d paid for it).

Although I don’t often buy music, I do think the Play Music subscription is worth the price. I’m just not sure I want to pay for it. Having all that great commercial-free music available 24/7 is wonderful. Being able to download the music I want to my phone to save my data is also a plus. Can I go back to having only a portion of it available, a limited amount of skips, and dealing with commercials? I probably won’t know until my subscription runs out on April 25th. Ugh.

So for now, here’s a little ’80s love for you.

Keep in mind that there are other music subscription services out there.  I haven’t tried them, but I’m sure they’re all fairly similar. Here are some popular ones.

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