What feels like forever ago now, Microsoft had its Zune media playback device. This was Microsoft's go at taking on Apple's iPod, and, well, here we are without a Zune to look at anymore. But I loved that thing. I had tried an iPod, and plenty of other alternatives, but the Zune and, eventually, the Zune HD, kept me quite content. And while the hardware was part of it, and even the software was pretty great at the time, it was something else that really kept me coming back.
The fact that every month I got free credits towards buying songs.
The Zune monthly subscription was the same as Groove Music (Microsoft's current music streaming option) is today: $9.99 per month for a single, non-student subscription. But, back then, every month users got ten "credits" to buy an album or individual tracks. It wasn't quite enough to buy a full release album, especially not with so many "deluxe releases" out there, but, eventually, you could really put together a nice library of tracks, along with whatever hundreds of thousands of songs Microsoft had in the Zune library.
This particular feature was part of the Zune Music Pass, introduced way back in 2008 and lasted until 2011. It was grandfathered for several years after that, though, so Zune Music Pass subscribers could still take advantage of it. It was genuinely a great deal, and a nice little bonus on top of the huge library of songs that people had access to with their subscription. It never felt like it was going to last, though, and it was certainly not something other companies were going to emulate.
I don't buy a lot of music these days. I've been using a music subscription service for so long at this point that I don't even think about it. Switching to Apple Music recently, though, has started to make the option a bit more apparent. Since Apple Music is integrated into iTunes, there's always the ability to quickly buy an album or individual track. Using Spotify doesn't really populate that option, so it might not even be in your train of thought.
The streaming music industry is huge, and growing, but I was wondering about this earlier today so I thought I might reach out to all of you and ask: How often do you buy music these days? I'm sure many of you are subscribing to at least one music streaming service at this point, so I can't help but wonder if you're still forking over any extra cash to pick up an album or buy an individual song anymore.
If you do, how often do you buy music these days, and how much do you find you usually spend? If you haven't bought any music, aside from your subscription cost on a monthly basis, anytime recently, when is the last time you did? Let me know!