There are many advantages people cite when asked why they still buy physical media like LP’s or CD’s. Some are nostalgic, others involve the magic of handling a physical medium like an LP or having a booklet/album art in your hands.
My reason is much simpler:
I have a bad memory.
Because of this bad memory, a physical collection helps me rediscover artists and albums that may have slipped my mind in word-territory. However I re-experience the feeling connected to music upon seeing the cover art, picking up the LP or CD, taking it out of its cover, etc.
When using a digital service, for instance Spotify or iTunes, I have to either make explicit playlists, or browse by searching for specific artists/albums. Yes, iTunes has a visual way to browse by album art. But no, this is not the same experience as shelves filled with CD’s & LP’s provide.
Just the simple fact that I can stand in front of my collection and let my eyes wander and rediscover all the artists and music I have at one time or another found precious enough to invest money in, is such a great experience that I wouldn’t want to miss it for the world. Often an artist just leaps out at me from my unconscious, triggered by the spine or location on the shelf.
On top of that, you get the added experience attached to the moment of purchase, the first time you played an album or artist you love to a person you love, and other connected experiences. All of which seem to be less vivid when I consider digital media.
So the bottom line is, I will keep on investing in physical media. Although the digital services are great and I mostly listen to music from my laptop or phone, I have enough reasons to buy my music on LP and CD. Don’t you?