I’m not sure what’s stopping me from paying Pandora to get Ad-free listening. Maybe because I grew up in the era of free music entitlement when music piracy trumped artistic copyright. When I was in college, I could instantly download whatever song I wanted and dump it into my thousands of albums with little effort and no guilt. But when Napster got into trouble, we had to start paying. People got used to purchasing songs on iTunes. The web-savvy found other means of cheating the system, but these shortcuts are hard to tamper with if your a novice Internet user.
So as a music lover, I have turned to Pandora to accompany on my long-distance runs. I love being able to set up channels so I can listen to my favorite artist. I also like how Pandora likes to guess what else I liked based on my own musical preferences. My friend Joe uses Spotify, a similar service.
But why won’t I pay for ad-free listening? It really disrupts the mood when an annoying announcer comes on to talk to me about going back and earning an online degree from a no-name university. Or Target wants to get me in the “Makeup Mood” while I’m jogging serenely to The Shins.
But I still subject myself to these ads day in and day out. Perhaps I have gotten used to the interruptions. Or maybe because I am in the advertising business I subliminally want to listen to them. My boss tells me that it is part of my job to listen to TV commercials. I don’t really have a choice. When you are in the copywriting business, every ad, no matter what product or service in whatever medium, is relevant. A good copywriter is always paying attention to ads, even when they are in the middle of Torrey Pines running down a steep slope, jumping over tree branches. I may not buy your product, but I am always listening.