How much would you be willing to pay for a high-quality digital-audio-on-demand service?

Assume that digital audio streaming will reach or exceed CD quality, and that you'll be able to hear anything you want to hear, any time of day or night. What would such a service be worth to you?

How much would you be willing to pay for a high-quality digital-audio-on-demand service?
Zero. Not interested.
48% (83 votes)
$5 per month
8% (14 votes)
$10 per month
8% (13 votes)
$15 per month
6% (10 votes)
$20 per month
9% (15 votes)
$25 per month
5% (9 votes)
$30 per month
3% (6 votes)
$40 per month
3% (6 votes)
$50 per month
4% (7 votes)
$100 per month
1% (1 vote)
Here's a better plan . . .
5% (8 votes)
Total votes: 172

Norm Strong's picture

$1/hr would be the best. I'm already paying more than that in practice, and I don't get anywhere near the freedom of choice you're suggesting.

Teresa Goodwin's picture

I already have a great Digital Audio Music Service I can use on demand anytime. I get the latest SACDs, 24/96 DVDs, HDCDs by Reference Recordings and others, remastered gold CDs, and even great budget Naxos CDs. It's called "my finger"; I use it to push the Play button on my remote. What could be better than that?

MyronC's picture

I am not interested! Part of the pleasure of recorded music is tactile; we need to hold vinyl albums, even CDs! Downloading, digital streaming, whatever you call it, takes away the element of collecting music—originally recorded, in the case of pop and rock music of the '60s–'90s, as self-contained albums. Listen to all the different albums of the greatest bands you can think of, and you can follow their creative development. Download, and most people will end up with "greatest hits" selections! As a serious music fan, musical pick-and-mix is a non-starter. And what will happen to music stores? Again, part of the pleasure of collecting music is walking into and browsing through music stores. The idea of sitting in front of a computer screen "searching" for music is anathema to me; what a sad day it will be when digital streaming is the accepted, and only available, outlet for recorded music!

JTL's picture

I put 100 dollars per month, I figure if we pay that much we can drive up CD prices so that in the end we will have to pay more for everything. Audiophiles love saying how much something costs and how much more it has to offer, we should make them pay for it. And that should just be for 16bit 44.1, and increase of 50 dollars a month for a higher streaming rate. Then you can say, "Well it does cost 50 dollars more, but there is so much more detail and air."

Tony's picture

It would have to be user-selectable; i.e., *I* decide what to listen to and when. The catalog would have to be extremely comprehensive as well before I agree to pay for such a service.

Anonymous's picture

Who wants to pay for digital streaming if one has radio free. Pay per download or a monthly fee for a repository of music that one can download and play elsewhere would be nice (Assuming one has the bandwidth and one can DL full CD or better quality)

Samir's picture

This would be great ... and if on top we could get on a high quality screen information on currently playing CD.

curtis's picture

i don't think the supporting technology is ready yet. i have a cable but still can't count on consistent bandwidth necessary for streaming mp3's transmission after about 8:00 est. also, the current pc interface is pretty clunky (even by stereo equipment standards) and the standard pc is still quite noisy.

Tony Esporma's picture

AUDIO ONLY? You gotta be kidding, right? We're in a convergence path, especially so in the download/Internet/PC space, and you think ANYONE would be interested in audio on demand (AoD)? No way. High-quality audio over a video on demand (VoD) makes sense, even FREE high-quality—better than MP3—audio from commercial Net radio. High-quality audio distribution for local archival is one thing, but not for one second do I think that pay-per-listen AoD has much of a chance. It's too close to today's radio.

David L.  Wyatt, Jr.'s picture

Cable TV is already too expensive; if it weren't for Speedvision, I wouldn't even think about it. And before I'll even consider paying, they'd better speed up the Net to Warp 5.

Stephen Curling's picture

Music is free!

Ken Kirkpatrick's picture

Sounds Fun! Bring it on . . . line!

Rob Cornelson's picture

Considering how many times I've seen cable systems, computer systems, or any other type of communications network break down, I'd say no thanks. If all else fails, I still have a Walkman and my entire CD collection!

Kaleid's picture

Release SACD cheaply + lots of software for it at the SAME price as regular cds.

James's picture

Let's remember the tactile joy of collecting music.

Peter K.'s picture

Got a long way to go for high-end audio!

Martin Bruczkowski's picture

I already have streaming audio reaching me any time of day or night, and it's free! It is called FM radio.

Doak's picture

5000+ LPs have me set up with HIGH-quality music for quite a while.

Chris S.'s picture

If I really could hear anything I wanted, day or night, at CD or better quality, I would pay at least as much as I paid for cable television. $20 per month for quality music listening is less than I pay per week for CDs. Of course, I don't think any digital distribution will ever be able to replace the joy of bringing home some kind of physical media. It's rather like a hunter dragging home the day's kill.

Anonymous's picture

$5 per month, but only if it REALLY works!

John Mallon's picture

The days of paying for music are rapidly coming to an end! At the moment it is not the Artists but the record companies who are making the vast profits. In the future, the middleman (record company) will not be needed. Artists will give their music away for free and then make vast profits by playing live concerts to loyal fans. They will also be able to make money by playing live on TV shows, etc. Extra income will also be available to artists by selling merchandise such as T-shirts and posters at their concerts. So, as you can see, free music is both a good and a bad thing. It is BAD for the record companies and GOOD for the artists and their fans! So who do you think are the most important people in this equation? Correct.

Jim Gemborys's picture

When the quality of service is consistently better than CD, I'd consider the quality of the content before paying for such a service. I'm very doubtful that "any music, any time" is going to be a reality for quite a while.

Ren's picture

$50 per month which is the minimum I spend on cd's or lp's.What for me would be most useful is non-mainstream FM radio with good sound quality as radio is where I find out about most of what I end up buying.

I.M.  Outthere's picture

I've got enough problems to work out with my own stream. I don't need another headache.

D.  Cline's picture

I already pay CDN$40/month for high-speed cable Internet and $28 more for the cable TV package. I would hope that some sort of reasonable bundled service would take place. All the same, I still like "owning" certain music.

Tom Strade's picture

Assuming there was plenty of SACD and/or 24/96 content, I'd cancel some of my movie channels, if need be, to buy audiophile-quality RECORDABLE music on a subscription basis.

Simon Ng, Melbourne, Australia's picture

Provided it really was high-quality (CD or better), and I could hear anything. But this all sounds like pipe-dreams to me!'s picture

Music should be free, or cost very little. I am unwilling to pay for anything downloadable!! Whatever I download may or may not stay on the hard drive. If there is no value, (i.e., I can't sell it when I get tired of it and get back some of my investment), then why should I pay? I am a musician and I distribute any of my material to anyone who wants it. When greed becomes the driving force in the production of art, it is no longer art, it becomes an excercise in marketing (sound familiar?). This corruption of music in general has made it very hard for the real connoisseurs to bear the vomit that is flung at us. Unfortunately it is the artist who is dedicated to the art and its many forms that has to endure hardships, not the drivel-producing pop factories. I use downloadable music as an experimental medium, to discover new music. I am much more inclined to search out what I have found to be worthwile than waste bandwidth on downloading poor-quality tunes. My solution is simple: Record companies should make avalable their wares online in a (practical) downloadable format, and have for sale the hard versions in high bit rates and with lots of cool things on them.

Islay Bob's picture

This may be the future for the PC generation, but for those of us raised on vinyl and having accepted CD, NO!

Geno's picture

What's the catch? Who decides that it's CD quality or better? I have a DISH satellite receiver that promises CD-quality sound, and it sounds REALLY bad.