Today we break down these major music streaming services for you — Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and YouTube
Listen without limits
Play millions of songs ad-free, on-demand, and offline.spotify.com
Spotify practices what it preaches “Listen without limits” — Spotify has the edge over its competition when it comes to curated content and the playlists it recommends. Having one of the best music discovery algorithms, it learns the more you listen. Creating and adapting playlists to suit your musical interests. It also has in-depth discovery features, easy to use interface, a great selection of podcasts, coupled with amazing playlist features.
With 50 million songs available at 320Kbps quality, there is a massive selection of music at your disposal. With can be played on basically any device you own.
Spotify Free, you can listen to all 50 million songs and access the radio but with several catches. You will have ads, you can only shuffle an artist, album, genre, or playlist, no song selection. No Curated playlists, offline listening.
Spotify Premium cost $10 per month, here you get all features including no ads, freedom to select individual songs, offline listening and watch music videos.
Spotify Student gives verified students Premium for just $5 per month plus a free Hulu subscription. Students need to re-register every year or they will be renewed for the full cost.
My personal favourite plan is Spotify Family Plan. For only $2.50 per person, you can register 6 people on this $15 per month plan. It has the added feature of parental control options.
UNLIMITED ACCESS TO 60 MILLION SONGSmusic.amazon.com
For Amazon Prime members Prime Music may be a great option, being free! The downside is only 2 million songs out of the 60 million it boasts about are at your disposal but does include thousands of ad-free stations and top playlists. And there is more, you can even listen offline and with unlimited skips. Amazon Prime members can get the Amazon Music Unlimited service for $7.99 a month instead of the $9.99 fee for non-members.
Both options become even greater when you own Amazon devices such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Tap, the app is built around working flawlessly with these and really add to the listening experience.
If you are a true music lover then Amazon Music Unlimited unlimited access to 60 million songs may be the choice for you. With Amazon Music HD available as an add-on, you can have access to high-quality. “HD audio quality is more than double the quality of standard streaming services. Ultra HD audio quality is up to 10 times the quality of standard streaming services.”
Other key features
- Recommends playlists and radio stations based on artists you’ve already listened to.
- Compatible with smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs, Fire tablets and some TVs, some in-car systems and audio products.
- Slick and user-friendly interface
#3 Apple Music
Lose yourself inapple.com
60 million songs.
For Apple users, Apple Music is a solid option naturally! If you have fully committed to Apple’s in the past, Apple Music makes it easy for you to take advantage of all its features across their multitude of devices. Their app and site are well designed with easy to use and useful layouts. Even the Android version is getting better with time.
It costs is on par with Spotify with the $10 per month, $5 per month student deal, family membership $15 per month. But it stops there, they do not other high-quality memberships like other competitors and no free membership. But their free trial gives you full access allowing you to experience all they have to offer.
In typical Apple fashion, they do share their bitrate but is comparable to Spotify’s 320kbps stream rate which is enough to provide a crisp and clear listen experience. Also like Spotify, Apple Music provides impressive recommendations and creates amazing playlists
Safe to say, for Apple users this just as good as the competition.
All your favorite music.tidal.com
Best sound quality available.
What truly makes Tidal stand out from the rest on our list is its CD-quality streams. typically 24-bit/96kHz, with some going up to 24-bit/192kHz. Keep in mind this is extra and with the Premium Subscription, you only get the 320kbps like the rest. Available on all major platforms you can listen on iOS, Android, desktop, you can listen to your music offline too. It is easy to use and navigate through, providing an immersive experience, a listener can truly experience songs the way its artists intended.
Tidals prices are comparable to the rest but with the addition of discounts for military and first responder personal, which is cool of them to offer. All Subscription types have a HiFi option, doubling the price but providing the much better streaming quality mentioned before. Full price list here – Payment and Accounts
Tidal prides themselves on being for the artist, its payout beats out some competitors but is less than Amazon and compared to Qobuz it is far behind. In my opinion, they do not back up their claims. It must be said their overall platform seems to be based around the user-artist experience, which they achieve but with some drawbacks.
For example, no personal library to add local files, no podcasts, has fewer social features compared to others, for example, you can not see what friends are listening to or have a playlist between friends allowing each other to add to the list.
Get Music Premium to listen ad-free, offline & with your screen offmusic.youtube.com
What makes YouTube Music unique is the ever-expanding library of official and unofficial music videos in addition to just audio files. This applies to downloads too, you can experience your favourite videos offline too! You can listen even when you change apps or close your phone, unlike the YouTube app.
Both mobile apps and desktop site are similar and super easy to use. The home screen has been made to provide all its main features with just one click. While listing you can switch between audio-only and video with ease.
Ever wanted to be woken up by your favourite song? YouTube Music works Google’s Clock app, making this possible. Similar to other services the app learns what you like based on songs you have listened to and liked(thumbs up). It creates “Your Mix” a playlist designed just for you.
With no free version, YouTube Music costs $9.99 or is included in your YouTube Premium, which costs $11.99, way worth the extra $1.99 if you are an avid YouTube user! And family plans are only available through YouTube Premium at $17.99
A downside to YTM is its 256kbps bit rate and with no plans to improve this, YTM is not the best option for those who enjoy high sound quality. It’s recommendations are not as personlized and accurate as say Spotify with suggestions being more focused on what is popular than matching your personal tastes. All in all YTM is not perfect but near perfect for those music video lovers.