Updated: Jun 30, 2020
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People Have Started To Turn To Music Streaming Services
In the past, people buy physical music like CDs or cassette tapes to listen to their favourite music artists. However, as time passes by, physical music sales have gradually fallen with many people turning to other sources for music that are much more convenient. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, physical music sales have even dropped to their lowest in 60 years, according to NME.
In turn, people have started to stream music for their music needs. Streaming music has become so popular that revenue in the Music Streaming segment amounts to US$16,632m in 2020 and the year hasn't even matured fully yet.
What Is Music Streaming?
Music streaming in simple terms refer to the listening to audio files online without downloading any kind of content. With an internet connection, a technological device, you can access to lots of songs for a listen. Of course, the music quality of music streamed is worse than physical music copies. However, it has been compensated with its convenience, wide array of music, affordability and easier access.
In other words, music streaming has become the new form of access for listeners with these essential benefits and its influence and popularity is only going to grow for here onward.
The Top 4 Best Music Streaming Services
Now that we know what is music streaming and the benefits to it, it is time to know what are the best music streaming services available.
Without further ado, here are the top 4 best music streaming services that you can find on internet currently. If you are a starter on music streaming or already an active listener on music streaming services, these can serve to help you make better decisions in purchasing a music streaming service.
This is definitely the top pick for a music streaming service at the moment. Spotify is a music, podcast and video streaming service that gives you access to millions of songs and other content from artists all around the world.
Spotify has a recommending feature. Based on your music listening history, Spotify is able to recommend you similar songs that you might like.
You can make your own playlists on Spotify with your favourite songs and share with others to listen. Of course, Spotify also makes playlists based on different genres, moods, or specific activities which is very useful if you are finding songs based on those categories.
You can tune into podcasts on Spotify like TED Talks or Crime Junkie. Recently, actually bought 3 podcast companies and the most recent one being The Ringer. So you could say that the podcasts quality and quantity is rising as time passes.
The Spotify community is also very active and you are able to share with your friends the songs that you listen to and playlists that you make.
You can download music and podcasts and watch them even without mobile data.
Spotify has two different types of accounts: free and premium.
For the free account, there are limited features to it, but you could still listen to music, watch podcasts and watch videos on it with ads every now and then. However, for the mobile app version, you can only get skips a few times a day and then you won't be able to listen anymore for the day. So for people who don't really want to pay and don't really listen songs on a daily basis, the free plan would be the best for you and of course, use the desktop if possible.
The premium account allows you to access all the above features that I've listed ad free.
There are a total of 3 plans available there: Family, Individual and Student. All the plans offer the first 3 months of your plan free. You will be charged monthly after the free trial.
The best plan to get would be the Family plan. With 6 people for the price of 14.99/month, it would be $2.50/month for each person which is cheaper than the other plans. You don't have to actually get your family members to purchase this plan (although you still can but its hard for small families).
You could get your friends and purchase the plan together and share the costs!
Spotify is available in the IOS App Store, Google Play Store and on the desktop.
TIDAL is the first artist - owned global entertainment and music streaming service and app built for fans. Like other music streaming service, it also has access to over 60 million songs and 250,000 videos. However, it is known for its high definition audio sound which is not commonly seen in music streaming. Personally, I feel that this is not as good as Spotify due to its lack of social features.
If you are looking for quality music streaming service just for audio quality, TIDAL is a great choice.
Like Spotify, you can make your own playlists with the songs that you like.
TIDAL Masters is an ultimate audio experience that they claim to give you. Basically, they offer you high quality sound tracks with 96Hz/24bit audio. However, not all songs are available on TIDAL Masters.
TIDAL Rising is a function for which you could use to find rising artists all over the world. So if you are looking for fresh and new music content, you could head there to search for them.
You can download music content so that you can play without an internet connection.
There are two different types of TIDAL accounts: Premium and Hi-Fi.
The standard TIDAL Premium account costs $9.99/mo, and provides audio quality of up to 320kbps. The music quality isn't as good as the TIDAL Hi-FI and Masters that it offers but still listenable. You can still gain access to TIDAL's exclusive music and videos. So if you don't want anything fancy and just a normal music streaming experience, you could use this.
The standard TIDAL Hi-Fi account costs $19.99/month. You basically get the same perks as the TIDAL Premium account but you get to listen to music in TIDAL Hi-Fi and Masters. So if you are a SERIOUS music listener, this is for you.
There are four different plans for TIDAL: standard, family, student and military.
The standard TIDAL plan as said above charges $9.99/month for the premium and $19.99/month for the Hi-Fi.
The family TIDAL plan allows up to five person to be registered. It charges $14.99/month for the permium and $29.99/month for the Hi-Fi.
The student TIDAL plan allows students to provide their valid school email addresses before being eligible (only for certain geographical locations). It charges $4.99/month and $9.99/month.
The military TIDAL plan is for military personnels. They are required to provide their current military status, their branch of service and an applicable email (only for certain geographical locations). It charges $5.99/month for the premium and $11.99/month for the Hi-Fi.
Obviously, the family plan would be the cheapest so if you could, try and get that as well!
TIDAL is available in the IOS App Store, Google Play Store and on the desktop.
Youtube Music is a music streaming service recently launched by Youtube, a video sharing platform that needless to say is THE most popular platform till date. Youtube Music offers music and videos for listening. It is basically Youtube but the just solely for music listening.
Unlike Spotify and TIDAL, Youtube Music has the largest variety of songs, from viral songs to oldies hits that might not be available in other music streaming platforms.
Youtube Music works fairly similar to Youtube, recommending you similar songs after you listen to one.
Youtube Music allows you to create your own playlists. They also create their playlists suited to you based on your listening history and based on song genres, moods and activities, just like Spotify.
Youtube Music allows you to play the music video with the song playing, but that's just normal Youtube.
Sound quality is okay, not impressive but not bad either
You can sync your Youtube account to Youtube music and immediately access recommended, personal playlists and subscribed music Youtubers.
There are three types of accounts to access Youtube Music: free, Youtube Premium and Youtube Music Premium.
For the free account, you can access the songs, make playlists and still get recommended with songs and playlists. However, you will be dealt with ads every now and then, only can listen to the music when you are in the app and you will be unable to download it.
For a standard Youtube Premium account for $11.99/month, you can access ad-free videos, download the videos and of course them in the background from both Youtube and Youtube Music.
For a standard Youtube Premium account for $9.99/month, you can ONLY access the privileges of Youtube Music but not Youtube itself: you can only access ad free music from Youtube Music, download from Youtube Music and listen music in the background from Youtube Music.
In my personal opinion, if you are going for only Youtube Music, you should just stick to the free account since the standard Youtube Music Premium isn't worth its price.
If you use Youtube really often, the Youtube Premium can be considered as well.
There are a total of three types of plans:standard, family and student. They are giving a 1 month free trial.
For the standard plan, prices are stated above - Youtube Premium for $11.99/month and $9.99/month for Youtube Music Premium.
For the family plan, the Youtube Premium cost $17.99/month and the Youtube Music Premium cost $14.99/month. Although the family plan requirements are much higher: it needs all members to be 13+ and higher and of the same household. So you can't share this with your friends sadly.
For the student plan, the Youtube Premium cost $6.99/month and the Youtube Music Premium cost $4.99/month. If you are a student, you should definitely go for this cheaper plan. However, you will have to verify with them first.
Buying the standard plan or student plan would be the best choices here. Youtube has strict guidelines and rules to the family plan so that leaves with the other two choices.
In conclusion, I would use Youtube Music sometimes but for a price? I think Spotify would be a better choice.
The Youtube Music is available in IOS App Store, Google Play Store and on desktop.
Amazon Music Unlimited
Amazon Music Unlimited is a music streaming service offered by Amazon in 2016. Just like the rest of the music streaming services, it provides a wide selection of songs, 60 million to be exact for us to enjoy. This is their upgraded version from their last music streaming service, Amazon Prime Music, which only provides 2 million songs
The main difference it gives that others don't is they provide this service for one Echo device for $3.99/month. Essentially, you are able to access Amazon Music Unlimited through for example, an Alexa.
So, for people who possess such Amazon hardware, this might be a good music streaming service to purchase.
Being able to connect your Amazon Music Unlimited to your Echo devices and play any song with a voice command
You can download the music for offline playback with unlimited skips
Amazon Music Unlimited provides the lyrics for their songs on both their apps and screen-based Echo devices for karaoke purposes.
Amazon Music Unlimited, unlike the other music streaming services, is solely fixated on providing quality music to their listeners. As such, they don't have any social functions, video,playlists and podcasts features.
To access Amazon Music Unlimited, there are two ways to purchase it.
As a non-member of Amazon Prime, you can access it for $9.99/month -- same as Spotify.
As a Amazon Prime member, you can just pay an additional $7.99/month. (Definitely not that worth it since you already have the Amazon Prime Music in your Prime package)
There are a total of 4 types of plans: individual, family, echo and student.
For the family plan, you can purchase it for $14.99/month and stream up to 6 devices at once.
For the echo plan, you can purchase it for $3.99/month.
For the student plan, you purchase it for $4.99/month but you would have to verify that you are enrolled in an accredited college or university.
Honestly, like always, I would advise you to purchase the family plan and share it with your friends cause you know, ITS CHEAP.
But if it doesn't work out, you could always go for the student plan or individual plan which is essentially the same price as Spotify.
These are the top 4 music streaming services available now.
These 4 music streaming services have a distinct feature of their own.
Spotify has better social features, TIDAL has better sound quality, Youtube Music has a wide variety of music and Amazon gives people who possess Amazon hardware easier access.
All the music streaming services are good in their own way and it is up to you to decide which suits you best. (Although Youtube Music is better off using the free version)
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