Music streaming services are the best they’ve ever been in terms of both price and quality. Hardly anyone buys CDs anymore, and it’s just not worth downloading music when streaming services offer you access to millions of songs for not much more a month than a single would cost.
So there’s no doubt that music streaming services are the best way to listen to your favourite songs, but the question is which service to go with. Gone are the days when everyone used iTunes, now there are a whole range of different options, all with different advantages. Here’s a review of the best music streaming services to help you decide which one to go with.
Spotify is by far the most popular streaming service at the moment, with over 75 million users. So what is it that makes it so popular?
First off, Spotify is perhaps the best value for money, as it offers different prices depending on what you’re after. If you can’t afford a monthly subscription, it even allows users to listen for free. The free version of Spotify still lets you listen to all of the available songs, and you can even still create your own playlists. Its only limitations are that you can’t skip songs, you can only use ‘shuffle play’ so that your saved songs play in a random order. There are also ads that interrupt streaming on the free version, which can be a bit of a nuisance.
Spotify Premium (the paid version) doesn’t have any such limitations, and offers a few different pricing options so that you can find the subscription that suits you best. The standard Spotify Premium subscription is $9.99 a month, and gives you access to the streaming service on all of your devices. There is also a reduced option for students, who can access the standard Premium Spotify for only $4.99 a month. The only limitation of this standard subscription is that you can only have one user – so only one account and only one device can be listening at a time.
If you want to share your Spotify subscription with others, friends or family maybe, this is where Premium for Family comes in. This subscription costs slightly more, $14.99 a month, but gives access to up to 6 people. The benefits of this are that different family members can have their own playlists and songs that are completely separate from anyone else on the subscription.
The main benefit of Spotify is the varied range of prices, so that you can pay only for what you need, or even not pay at all if you’re happy to listen to ads.
It’s a fairly social streaming service, as it gives the option for others to see playlists you’ve made. This means that when out and about, you can play and share your playlist on devices that you’re not even logged in on. You can also find other friends who have the same music taste as you.
On any version of Spotify, you can also discover new music through pre-existing playlists and different Spotify Radio stations. Radio stations can be started by anyone, and basically play songs based on the genre of the radio channel you chose.
Apple Music is a relatively new streaming service, but thanks to Apple’s trusted reputation in their other services, particularly the once dominating iTunes, it’s hit the ground running.
It’s much like Spotify Premium in its pricing plans, and what you get with each pricing plan. In fact, it’s exactly the same. $9.99 for a standard subscription, $14.99 for a family, and $4.99 for a student.
The main difference in pricing is that there’s not a free version. But they do offer a 3-month free trial, so you can always try before you buy. They also alter the price plan for countries who have a poorer economy, so that their music streaming service is accessible to people all over the world, not just in the west.
As for the amount of songs available, there’s not much difference between Apple Music and Spotify, both having over 30 million tracks available.
A major advantage of Apple Music over other streaming services is that the radio access is more impressive. Exclusive human-run radio channels run 24/7 on Apple Music, so you can always tune in.
The main disadvantage is the lack of a free version, but there’s also the fact that you can’t listen to music on devices that aren’t signed in with your Apple ID.
Deezer is another music streaming service that’s available all around the world, it’s just not as well known as Spotify and Apple Music.
Like Spotify, Deezer has a free version, the Discovery Deezer service gives you unlimited access to songs for a year, after that though, the free service only allows you to listen to music for up to 2 hours a month. Other disadvantages with the free service are that there’s no offline mode, so you can’t save your songs to listen to when not connected to the internet, and you also can’t listen on mobile devices, only computers. And of course, there are adverts.
There is however the Premium subscription+, which doesn’t limit your listening time at all and doesn’t bother you with adverts. The quality of the music is also enhanced up to 320kpbs – the same quality of sound as Spotify. There’s an offline mode that you can use as well, so you can listen on the go. The price is the same as other streaming services, $9.99 a month.
Again Deezer has added a family subscription for $14.99, allowing up to 6 users, but they also offer ‘kids-only’ accounts, so that children don’t stumble across any inappropriate music.
Spotify is definitely our top choice for the best music streaming service, it has options for everyone and is the nicest to use.
Apple Music and Deezer aren’t far behind though, both offering a great music streaming service. Apple Music’s radio definitely is a great benefit, and Deezer’s free option and kids only accounts are some great features.
Any of these music streaming services will serve you well, as technology is improving, and music is more in demand than ever, so whichever of these services you choose to use, you’re in for some good listening. But if you’re after the best of the best, we definitely suggest Spotify.