During physics, I decided to completely not pay attention and start working out formulas to describe song worth. Yes, I did maths for fun. Don’t judge.
Any way, I came up with a few equations for “song worth”. AKA: How much are you willing to pay for a song? Basically, when you buy a new CD, you want to listen to it enough so that you don’t feel like you overpaid. Each time you listen to it, you are paying less for each song (you can think of it like that). It’s kind of like wearing a new pair of shoes. If you only wear that pair once, then you maybe paid thirty dollars just for that day. But if you wear them over one hundred times before retiring them, then maybe you only paid a few cents per use. It’s getting your money’s worth.
So, let’s figure out some maths, shall we? Here’s what you’ll need first:
I’ve decided to use my favourite Nickel Creek album (Why Should the Fire Die?) as an example. The album cost me about ten dollars, so we’ll say that A (album price) is 10. Meanwhile, n would equal the number of songs on the album (in my case, 14 songs). Now, divide A by n to get how much each song is worth at the beginning (S). Example: 10/14 = .71
Now, our next equation is:
Our S (original song price) is still .71 dollars. P is how much you think each song is worth after six months. In my case, I’d like to think that I listened to a song enough if it costs me only 3 cents for each play after six months. Most people will want to make their song worth at six months somewhere between 2 cent and 6 cents. We’ll go along with my P of .03. Now, if you enter in the S and P, you will find x–AKA: the number of times that you must listen to a song so that it will equal your price. Let’s see if I’ve listened to this album enough for it to be worth it.
So, that means I would have had to listen to each song 24 times for it to really be worth it to me. And what do I average according to my iTunes? Around 37 plays for each song in six months. So that means that I’ve paid a good price–the CD was worth it. You can also use the equation to show how much a particular song is worth with the current number of listens by filling in the x of how many times you’ve played it to find the P (current price).
Here is another equation if you want it all in the same place:
A= album price
n= number of songs on the album
P= price of song after so many listenings
x= the price you are willing to pay for each listen after six months (usually around 2 to 6 cents)
Now, none of this is anything other than musings while bored, but it may come in handy if you’re thinking about whether or not to buy an album. Look at similar music in your iTunes or Zune, see how much you have listened to that similar band, and then figure out how much things equal up to. Maybe you’ll find that it will tell you the worth of what you pay for. Enjoy.