How to listen to music the frugal way

I am not the most music oriented person, but when I am having a productive moment, such as tapping out a new blog post like this one, I love to listen to dance music. It should come as no surprise then that studies such as this one dating back to the 70s have linked music and productivity. As such, I would never suggest you don’t listen to music in the pursuit of frugality. Instead, let this guide help you listen to music more cheaply.

Listen on whatever device you have

Don’t buy a device with the intention of listening to music if you already have one that will manage this perfectly fine. Most of us own at the very least a half decent phone these days, and these normally come with half decent earphones. Use them!

I see way too many people buy bluetooth speakers or sound bars when they already have a laptop. Laptops have come on leaps and bounds in sound quality, so use them!

Look, if you are a total audiophile and a decent set of tweeters is the luxury your heart desires above anything else then I totally get it, but for most our current devices will suffice.

Listen to the radio

Hopefully this is obvious. There are a ton of radio stations in this country that are absolutely free. Some of these are even ad-free like the BBC’s offerings, and you don’t require a license fee for these. Most stations stream through their website, so if you don’t own a radio, get your phone out.

You can also play radio through digital TV channels with tons available.

Check out radio on Apple (currently iTunes) for even more choice.

Listen to free podcasts

I can’t stress this one enough. Most people assume podcasts are mainly for panel shows, humour or radio recaps. In a number of genres, dance music among them, there is an absolutely busting scene. Just try searching by genre in your favourite podcast app to find various stuff. The nice thing about these is they are normally totally free and often break exciting new music.

My current dance podcast subscriptions include Above & Beyond: Group Therapy, Jaytech Music and International Departures with Shane 54.

For tracks of the moment listen to free streaming services

They really don’t come much better than Spotify for this, but there are tons of other services out there that include free options.

Ads on these are normally short lived, or watching one video might get you 30 minutes of uninterrupted listening. Just take your earphones out for those bits!

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Try Youtube!

There is the occasional time when I can’t find the thing I’m after on a streaming service (looking at you Baby Shark), and in that scenario, the likely place I find that mops up the rest is Youtube.

If you are desperate for a paid service then shop around

These subscription based services are great for their ability to cancel and move around at short notice.

The other thing with these subscription services is that they will go to crazy lengths to get and keep customers. Try shopping around online for providers and you will soon get re-targeted ads with better offers. Keep your eyes peeled for free or very cheap trials, as even the big boys like Spotify and Apple Music run these from time to time. For instance, Spotify are currently running a 3 month trial for 99p here. Obviously cancel before the trial period finishes.

The other thing to do is try to leave relatively regularly. Its amazing how often these services pop up with a big discount if you threaten to leave.

And obviously as with everything. if you stop using a service, cancel it.

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