Products vs. Possessions: The Means of Establishing Connections with the Two

When Steve Jobs introduced iTunes, he brought up how he believed people wanted to feel a connection their music, in that case by owning it, hence why the music streaming services of the time didn’t see much success. But today, it’s easy to see why some would see Jobs view as wrong, with the overwhelming grasp that subscription based services such as Spotify or Apple’s own Apple Music hold on the music consumption market. However, Jobs’ argument can still be seen as an accurate one today, as the way we establish connections with the things consume has evolved with the ways we consume them. With live in an era of instant and constant feedback. If you want something, it’s only a click away. The subscription service goes hand in hand with this way of life, both for users and for producers. For users, the subscription service follows this pattern by offering constant and instant feedback to users with vast libraries of content and instantaneous access allowed through streaming. For producers, a subscription allows for constant, steady, and continuous profit via a recurring revenue service, while simultaneously providing instant profit due to the the thousands of transactions being completed between the producers and users. These mutual benefits are what made the subscription service popular among users and viable among producers or manufacturers. Some argue this approach does bring with it a downside, though, that being the damage to the connection between the users and the product due to the lack of feeling of possession. However, I contest this argument, as I don’t think people really form connections with their tech possession the same way they do with their non tech possessions, due to the limited life span of the former. I think that people form connections with tech products, including streamed shows, music, and more, as it’s heard to form a connection with something that has a fluid, ever changing look, feel, and method of interaction. I think that people form connections with products through the user experiences they encounter on them, such as meeting a new friend on SnapChat, finding a great new album on Spotify, or building a cool world in MineCraft. These experiences, not ownership of the products they are found within, are what helps to establish connections between user and product, and instead of making them more scarce, these products have helped to build connections by making the experiences that lead to them more accessible.

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