As I am typing this, there is music playing in the background. Every time I open my laptop and sit down to do homework, there is always a playlist made and ready to go some that I can have something to fill the silence of my room. When I listen to music, it’s usually from one of two devices: my iPhone or my laptop.
I am not alone in the laptop and phone trend. According to Neilsen, 75% of Americans listen on their laptops and 44% listen via their phones. In the Forbes article in which I got this infographic from, the contributer Bobby Owsinski discusses how American’s still aren’t willing to buy a music subscription. He drops some percentages of people who think it’s too expensive 46%, they can stream it free somewhere else 42%, and they didn’t think they’d use a service enough to justify the spend 38%. I think the mode in which you listen to your music drastically effects if you want to use a subscription service or not and those devices have change drastically over the years and this infographic from eBuyer can vouch for that!
My most used device is my phone, but even that has changed. I went from downloading songs from iTunes to paying a small monthly fee to listen to as much music as I want on Spotify. No matter what platform I use to get the music, my phone is still my go-to device for listening. In a way, it’s like a companion (just like the woman described the radio in the documentary from class.) No matter where I am, I can plug in my ear buds and listen to whatever music I want to hear. I usually listen to the music to relieve stress or to have background noise. Like now, for example, I’m playing a “chill” playlist with easy indie acoustic music. It’s nice and calms me down, reduced the anxiety I feel about getting homework done and getting it turned in. The music is also a good “white noise” for me. I hate sitting in silent rooms. I think it stemmed from fears of ghosts and people breaking into my house at a young age. I used to be so scared (and still am) about break ins. My home was broken into freshman year of high school and now I have issues with my house being so silent that the normal creaks and cracks a house makes as it settles scares me because my mind thinks “Oh someone is breaking in!” Playing soft music at just the right, low volume soothes that fear for me.
When I was in elementary school, I felt so cool because I brought my CD player to school and listened to it on the bus ride home. When MP3 players came out, I got a Disney Mixstick that were a craze in middle school. It only held about 1GB if you could figure out how to use it properly. I remember having a lot of issues with it, it wasn’t user friendly at all. Shortly after those came out, the iPod Touch became a thing. I got one for Christmas and it changed my life a little. We talked about “Use + Gratification” in class and I definitely got so much use out of the iPod Touch. It was entertaining because not only did I listen to music, I could download apps to play games. I didn’t get my first iPhone until I was a sophomore in high school. I pitched the iPod Touch because it was pointless to carry around two devices for something one could handle, plus some. So I moved all of my music and apps to my phone and keep my iPod touch as a back up, just in case something happens to the phone.
Where I listen to music is mostly in the car. Another Nielsen report shown above, shows that listening to music in the car is far more popular listening while working, doing chores, miscellaneous activities, and working out.I hate listening to the radio because there are some stations here in town that have the most obnoxious and annoying DJs. Ugh, I’d rather not hear their voice. So, I plug my phone in and listen to a “driving playlist” that I make as I go to school and work through out the week.
I mention playlists a lot because I love making them. I even make a monthly playlist for this blog. The website ShareMyPlaylists just recently celebrated their 100,000th playlist. I think playlists play in to the “experience” side of the Use + Gratification theory. You can compile similar songs that set a tone, strike and emotion, or take you to a place by painting a picture in your mind. They’re a lot of fun to make and help pass the time.
All in all, I all into the 59% of drivers you listen and drive, I also fall into the 80% of adult who listen to online music. I don’t know what I’d do with out my Spotify account or my iPhone; it’d be really stressful getting homework done!