Streaming Services just might not be for me

Back in early 2011 I went on a conference trip to the US. Spotify hadn’t been available in Austria at that point so I gave it a shot there. I was instantly hooked and couldn’t wait for the day they would launch back at home. I haven’t bought a single album since Spotify opened in Austria at the end of 2011. More or less the same thing happened with Netflix except without getting a sample before.

Ever since Netflix and Spotify were available to me, I’ve used them and I really enjoyed them. It felt like having everything I could ever want out of these media being at my fingertips. DVD boxes I had just bought weeks before lay in the corner simply because their content was available on Netflix or Amazon Prime anyway and it was simply so much more convenient.

Eventually, I lost those pink glasses, though. More and more of my playlists were showing grayed out tracks. A good example here is my work playlist where I had added the Halo Reach soundtrack. Now that whole album is no longer available and that playlist has become rather useless to me.

A big part of my work playlist is gone by now.

Netflix has a similar problem. Not only do shows get pulled from it, but some only have for instance the first seasons and then don’t receive new ones for ages if ever. Thanks to Netflix I’ve learnt about Person of Interest and Grimm, two of my favorite shows by now. In Austria both are stuck at their respective 3rd season while season boxes for their respective 4th seasons have been available on Amazon.de for 6 months by now. Same goes for Elementary. The service is still awesome for their original content (Daredevil and Jessica Jones especially) but that’s about it for me.

This all makes me wonder, if spending EUR 10 per service and month is really worth it. Especially for listening to music, iTunes + YouTube + Last.fm might be a much better combination for me. If I like a song, I play it over and over again. If I find 3 new songs I like in a month, that’s a lot! Spotify’s weekly mix is great but if I’m just looking for new music, Last.fm and then sampling them for instance through YouTube might be much more cost-effective.

Also: While Spotify has a huge library, it doesn’t have nearly everything. Back in the early 2000s I enjoyed listning to J-Pop and J-Rock. That’s not even remotely available in the Austrian catalog. Importing CDs from over there is a hassle but still better than not having access to that music at all. Same goes for older songs that never became too popular to make it into the mainstream catalog.

Back at the beginning I wrote that I hadn’t bought an album ever since Spotify launched. Well, that is no longer true as of two days ago and I’ve started to buy my favorite tracks I found on Spotify all over again on iTunes and Amazon just to make sure that they stay available to me. Same goes for DVDs. Chuck is no longer available on Netflix (as of 2 months ago) and now I have the DVD box sitting next to my TV. And don’t get me started on that Castle marathon I’m in right now…

I’m not yet sure, when I will cancel either of them, but in their current states it’s perhaps just be a matter of time. As for Netflix, just coming back whenever a new season of Daredevil or Jessica Jones is out, could be a viable option, too 😉

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