Everyone loves free music right? This is the whole reason why streaming services like Spotify are doing so well and also why the genre of Hip Hop has become so popular over the past decade thanks to free mixtapes produced by artists. But people often say that all this free music is lowering our perceived value of music overall. They say that just because we have all this music at our disposal we don’t pay attention to it and just have it on in the background when in reality the amount of free music has allowed us to be picky.

That’s right we don’t need to listen to horrible AM/FM radio anymore for free music. We can actively seek out music that we enjoy, and because there is more available to us now than ever before, we can pick exactly what we like and support those artists by going to shows, buying merch and so on.

The ability for us to be picky about what we listen to makes me believe that music is more valuable now than ever before. We know how to listen to free music. Perhaps those who think that we are devaluing music aren’t making good enough music or promoting music well enough.

Now, I’m not a Spotify user. I subscribe to Google All Access which isn’t free but I do download free Hip Hop mixtapes on DatPiff and I also get free music through Noisetrade and I, like many of you, pay attention when I listen to this free music. One way, I do this by adding a bunch of new stuff I download into a playlist and listen to it all shuffled up so that I don’t fall into a zone and get used to the style that I’m listening to at that moment in time. This way, when something comes up that really entices me and intrigues me, I’m fresh from listening to a bunch of different songs from different artists. Then I dig deeper into the albums of the artists that intrigue me.

This is how I’ve come to find and love bands like Ha Ha Tonka, Laura Marling, Shearwater and more.

I’ll also get right into an entire album and listen to it right through the end. Even if I’ve never heard anything from the artist before. I do this because all music has something to offer a listener. Even if it’s not the greatest piece of music, I can usually pull away at least one thing that I liked.

I’m definitely not alone in these practices either. People think for some reason that just because there’s more music available to us, we don’t listen to it when it’s played and don’t value it being in our lives as much nowadays.

I’m going to close this argument once and for all. The most valuable thing each and everyone of us has is our time. So for a person to spend their time with a piece of music shows us how important music is to that person. Especially when there is so much music available everywhere and anywhere. To choose one song out of billions is extremely valuable to the artist of that song and the listener of the song. Even more so when it’s the first time.

Jeremiah Craig - Live at Silver King Hotel

(btw click here for some of that free music…)

This is why I have so much free music available and why I working on another Home Tapes volume to give away right now. I realize that your time is the most valuable thing you have and if I can get you to spend some of your time with my free music, maybe you’ll spend more of that time with one of my vinyls or at one of my shows.

So people can say whatever they want about the devaluing of music thanks to all the free music available but you and I know that it’s not true. Now I’m going back to listening to free music to discover my next favorite band and support them and their music.

Have your own unique way how to listen to free music? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!