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Budget-savvy streaming: How to save money on music


On the surface of things, now looks like the best time in history to be a music consumer. Major streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music have unlocked access to every song imaginable for a monthly fee that is undoubtedly lower than the cost of buying individual records.

However, this is all just smoke and mirrors. The average American now spends more on listening to music than ever before, thanks to a combination of rising fees, aggressive marketing, spiralling ticket costs, and high inflation.

You might think you’re getting a good deal with your Spotify Premium subscription, but chances are you could actually be spending a lot less, and saving a lot more. Here’s your ultimate guide on saving money when it comes to listening to the music you love.

Source: Pixabay

Become a free trial pro

Next time a music streaming service sends you an email offering you a free trial, don’t just rush to delete. Every major platform offers free trials as a means to lure new users in, with no financial commitments required. Gaming this system by switching between platforms can actually get you a couple of years worth of unlimited music without you having to spend a single penny.

Start off big; Apple Music offers all first-time users a 90-day free trial, no questions asked. This will give you plenty of time to plot out your streaming schedule for the next year or two. Amazon Prime Music offers one free month of streaming out of every twelve months.

Spotify, Google Play, Tidal, Napster and Deezer offer 30-day trials but often give out extended ones for special occasions, with six-month trials being a common Black Friday deal. Only start paying when you absolutely have to.

Sniff out those discounts

There is a discount to be had everywhere and it’s usually possible to get a reduced rate at every single one of the major streaming platforms. If you’re a student studying in high school or college, then discount rates can be as high as 50%, with Spotify even throwing in a number of student offers and discounts to sweeten the deal.

Similarly, you can get yourself on a family plan for platforms such as Google Play, which allows you to split the costs of your subscription with up to three other people. This can see your music streaming costs reduced to a fraction of what they originally were.

Find music elsewhere

If you aren’t too specific about the kind of music you enjoy, then you can look beyond streaming platforms to access music without paying extra for it. A good place to start if YouTube, which can play full albums with any ads as long as you have a reliable AdBlocker extension to hand.

Similarly, you can move over to other media such as online games to enjoy music. This could be music-based games such as Tap Tap or Guitar Hero, or online gaming platforms offering hundreds of different games featuring music, such as online casinos.

Most online casinos have dozens if not hundreds of music-themed slot machines, featuring hits from everybody from Britney Spears to Black Sabbath. As always, make sure to save money before choosing an online casino by comparing which ones offer the best sign-up bonuses and free spins, and you’ll get to enjoy all of the accompanying background music for free.

Deal with the ads

You’ve probably already considered this one, but it’s always worth revisiting. One sure-fire way to never, ever pay for music is to increase your tolerance for periodical ads that play in between tracks, which all non-paying subscribers have to put up with.

Not all platforms even offer ad-supported free streaming, but Spotify and Deezer most definitely do. The adverts are fairly infrequent and certainly less so than on the radio, where it is not uncommon for more than half of all airtime to be dedicated to commercials.

If you are patients and have a high tolerance for ads, then this could be the one for you.

Source: Pixabay

Work for your music

This is a bonus tip for those who want to go to their favorite festival or concert but don’t want to shell out hundreds for a ticket. Many of the biggest festivals in the world give out a free ticket to anyone who “volunteers” there for a portion of the event, usually by helping sort out the trash, check tickets, serve food, or set up the backstage areas.

Volunteering slots at major festivals such as Glastonbury are extremely competitive, so it’s important to apply as early as humanly possible. Once you’re at the front row facing your musical idols, a few hours spent picking up soda cans suddenly feels incredibly worth it.

So now you know how to listen to music like a pro without breaking the bank. Follow these hacks to enjoy your favorite tracks at a fraction of the price.

Photograph by Photo Mix Company

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