How much money do you spend on music each year?

Stereophile's picture
An owner of an audiophile record label recently asked us how much we figured audiophiles spent on music purchases each year. We reckoned it would be smart to simply ask you directly. How much money do you spend on recorded music each year?
How much money do you spend on music each year?
$0 to $100
10% (17 votes)
$100 to $500
31% (54 votes)
$500 to $1000
29% (50 votes)
$1000 to $2500
23% (40 votes)
$2500 to $5000
6% (11 votes)
$5000 to $10,000
1% (2 votes)
$10,000 to $20,000
0% (0 votes)
Over $20,000
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 174
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Comments
H.  Williams, Hollywood Hills's picture

I don't spend any money; I burn my own.

Tony P., Washington, DC's picture

These categories are a little broad. While I checked off $100 to $500, my spending is much closer to $100 than $500 most years. If I buy any more than that, there is no way I will ever get to listen to it with all the recordings I already have.

Bob Lowe's picture

I buy and don't download because of the sound quality. I think the record companies would be wise not to reissue still current CDs, (Beyonce: B'Day, Nelly Furtado: Loose, Corinne Bailey Rae: Corinne Bailey Rae, etc...). I for one, am upset at both the record companies and the artists for doing this! I can see a reissue several years after its release, but not within a year. This is one of the reasons (+ price) why they are losing consumers to downloading.

stevecor's picture

Almost exclusively used LPs. I do buy CDs for relatives at Xmas. I should note that over half of my expenditures are for back up copies of my top 500 records. (I have 1500 overall.) The remainder mainly goes to get improved pressings of records I already have plus the occasional new issue. I expect to be basically finished with this process in a couple more years. Then I'll be ready for the long cold (digital) winter. As can be seen I've given up on digital formats for the foreseeable future. To compete with analog, they have to move out of MegaByte size files to GigaByte or Terabyte files. Sadly, there seems little likelihood they will do so because download rules.

Aden's picture

100-500. I would spend more if there was more great music out there. Actually, there is—it is just a matter of finding recordings of it. The radio here in Australia is really really bad—top 40 and pop is all we get so what we lack is a real, affordable way to explore new music!

Mark's picture

A happy and delightful addiction! My dollar amount would be higher were it not for two offspring in college.

John V.'s picture

I try to keep it under control but it averages $150-$250 a month.

K.  Kjelson, Los Angeles, CA's picture

0-$100 is my limit. Inflation, despite government reports, is sapping me of my once disposable income.

mfeust's picture

I would like to be able too spend more money for music but it is getting to the point that we are not getting a good return on our dollars spent

Mike Agee's picture

Funny thing is I find almost no correlation between how much I spend and how much I enjoy. A 50¢ used LP is every bit as likely as a new $19 CD, a $60 concert can be a sleeper or a deafener or a revelation. Exceptions? Well done LP reissues and most of what I buy from Amazon UK.

Adam Kennedy's picture

I buy some new & some used. Once I get up to speed on my collection, I'll be down in $100–500 range

df's picture

I've gone in cycles. There were years where I spent well over the $1000 mark, and leaner years where I kept it to just a few hundred. In recent months my spending trend has been markedly upward—at this rate I'll easily exceed $1000 before the end of the year. It boils down to two factors: how much disposable income have got; and what compelling titles are out there. There's always something worth having, but you do have to consider how much you really want it. I haunt sales and used CD stores when I'm really jonsing for just something new.

deanmm's picture

It's not unusual to spend $200 in one effort. I average two a week. Definitely over $1k. I'm not sure how much I spent last year, but with Tower closing and an Xmas trip to Amoeba it was a very good year. My collection is up to 1314 titles now.

Johannes Turunen, Sweden's picture

I put some money on film also. Much more fun now, since DVD killed VCR.

Steve Guttenberg's picture

It may not be mainstream stuff, but I'm finding lots of great new music to buy. Mostly from indie jazz and rock labels, and the majors' reissues are good enough to make me buy music I already own again.

Tom Warren's picture

Since 1995, the year I started keeping records, I’ve generally spent from $2000 to $3000 a year on music. The majority of that has been on vinyl. I think that is too much, I’d like to cut back. I didn’t buy any music over lent.

Carter's picture

Gobs of money, at least that is what is seems like to me. Yet, your survey puts my outlay of about $1000 per year not even in the middle. Wha? How many people really spend more? Jeez, most youngsters just steal the stuff and pay nothing.

Warren Sprague, North Carolina's picture

In today's economy, I feel privileged to be able to listen to my radio.

Pierre Laliberté's picture

It is actually less than $0.00 a year. There are community stores, used goods stores around here and lots of people selling their stuff on the sidewalk in front of their house on week-ends. Last year I bought over 800 records (500+ LPs and 200+ CDs). I almost never pay more than $0.50 for LP's and $3/4 for CDs. I keep those I like and give away or sell others for a small profit. I have been doing this since 1996 and I now have 2000 LPs and 600 CDs, with lots of audiophiles. And, I am over by $3500. Sorry !

Grant in Toronto's picture

I missed the golden age of LP-pressings in the 1970s & 1980s...now that I'm into jazz. I am not going to miss it this time! Long live the LP!

Captaintampa's picture

I'd spend more but there's not much worth buying.

Steve's picture

I would buy more new vinyl but at $30-$50 for most titles, it is overpriced.

Tom Warren's picture

For the past 12 years I’ve spent from $2,000.00 to $3,000.00 a year on music, and most of that on vinyl. 13 years ago I had bought my VPI HW-19 Mk III, my first high end turntable, of which I’m still using the skeleton of today. Anyway, I think something happened to my habits as I entered the world of audiophiledom and it was at this point that my spending on music increased. I’ve found that the better the music sounds the more tempted I am to spend more for it. I have found the wealth of re-issues, the finely produced contemporary independent music and the second hand market, especially that of vinyl, irresistible.

John, Portland, Oregon's picture

Perhaps half this amount is spent on used/resold items, the rest on new pressings.

Chris K.'s picture

CD or SACD format mostly through clubs discounted or with coupons.

Anonymous's picture

mostly vinal

Mike C's picture

Jazz CDs at BMG for average of $6.00 each and vinyl. Occasionally full price cds at a record store. Vinyl new and used

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HH's picture

No recording can capture the sound of an un electronicaly procesed performance of a symphony orchestra in a great hall such as Carnege. However what a wonderful thing it is to hear your favorite music at home on demand in Hi Fi !!! I am glad that I can buy and own those performances I could not attend in person and can be listened to any time!!!

TonyE's picture

We have a new performance hall in Costa Mesa: The Segestrom Concert Hall. After many, many years of mid hall listening in the middle of row L, we are in the same row, same place but the new hall sounds MUCH more detailed and up front. The instruments are no longer homegeneized into layers but stand as single points of sound. So my stereo also had a radical make over. I got a pair of Acoustic Reality Class D amps to replace the old Audio Research tube amps. I may even have to get a set of Magnepans to replace the Acoustic Energy AE1s. And I'm playing with a passive preamp in place of the old Conrad Johnson. Amazing what a new "absolute sound" reference will do to you.

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