As a producer, musician, beatmaker, whatever-you-want-to-call-me, I hear a lot more than my friends who are not into really listening to music as I am. Let me explain...
When I'm with friends or my wife and we are just chillin', listening to music, vibin' off some of the tracks we grew up listening to, I might point out something in a familiar song that I think really sets the track apart. I forget that my friends (especially my wife) don't really listen to music the way I do as a producer - disecting the track and even listening to parts while blocking out others, etc. Most of the time, they just don't hear what I'm talking about, no matter how many times I rewind the track.
Anyway, sound quality matters to me, obviously, because the better the quality, the more I am able to hear and enjoy. I have learned to appreciate the fact that other people get enjoyment out of music in totally different ways. Sound quality is not a big deal for many of my friends. My wife will jam to a song playing on a radio station full of static, just as hard as if it was playing with pristine quality.
What about you? Is sound quality a factor, would you pay more for higher quality downloads or subscriptions?