When is the last time you purchased a hard copy version of your favorite album? Most of us would have to think back years to remember the last CD we purchased. Other than the novelty of buying something material, there is not much we miss about the “old days” of music consumption. Today’s listeners enjoy online music streaming features like playlist creation, offline streaming, multi-device streaming, increased sound quality and songs catalogues that typically range from 15 – 30 million titles. Let’s take a look at some of the top streaming services and what makes them unique.
A Review of Top Music Streaming Services
Launched by musician Jay-Z, it is no wonder that Tidal offers the highest sound quality available through any streaming service. Tidal’s $19.99 per-month subscription offers 1,411 kbps (kilo bites per second) of data transfer – the highest quality available across all music streaming platforms. The $19.99 monthly fee may be a little tough for some to swallow but for those who are true music lovers with the speakers to show it, this service makes a lot of sense. If you are interested in the Tidal platform (25 million song library, 75,000 music videos, playlist creation, offline listening) but you’re not ready for a $19.99 expense each month, you can still have good quality sound with 320 kbps for $9.99 per month.
Songza is not just a music streaming site but a music recommendation site as well. The unique feature of this service is that music is only searchable by mood, activity, genre or time of day. If you want to expand your music horizons but you’re not sure where to turn, turn to Songza. The service is not available offline but is FREE with ads or $.99 without ads. You are also limited to only 6 song skips per week with ads or 12 without ads. Considering that there is a free option, Songza is a great, quirky way to supplement your other paid music streaming services. You never know what artist you might find out you love!
If you are looking for the best all-around internet radio service, Slacker might be it! Obviously there is no shortage of internet radio providers but what makes Slacker standout from the rest is its curated playlists that are created by real people along with their non-music channels such as sports, news and weather. For paying subscribers ($9.99/month), you can search specific artists and stream playlists and albums offline.
Google Play Music
In our opinion, Google Play Music is the only real rival to the market leader, Spotify. Google Play Music has a song catalogue of 30 million, has offline listening feature, a concierge service, and 320 kbps. What sets Google apart as a streaming service is the ability for users to upload up to 20,000 tracks that can be stored and listened to on any device, anywhere in the world. There is only 1 option for use which is a monthly subscription fee of $9.99, which currently also gets you a subscription to YouTube Music Key.
There is a reason Spotify is currently dominating the market of music streaming and that is because they are the best and easiest to use platform all-around. With 30 million songs in its library, one-click save ability for albums and songs, drag and drop playlist creation, concierge playlists, and music uploads up to 10,000 songs, Spotify is sure to be a contender on everyone’s list. What sets it apart is its easy to use interface; in every review we read, the positive comments consistently praise the usability of the service, ease of finding playlists and the comprehensive search feature. The down side? Well, if you’re a T-Swift fan, you won’t find any of her music on the platform along with The XX or Radiohead’s albums after 2011. But if that’s something you can live without, it’s a great service that will cost you $9.99 per month for a premium membership. If you choose the free version, you will forgo the offline listening, smartphone listening and 320 kbps features.
There are plenty more streaming platforms we could have reviewed. However, with these 5 options, we are confident you will find the right platform to match your music listening needs.