When it comes to listening to music, there’s a huge variety of music streaming services you can choose from. If you have an Apple iPhone, you may find yourself using Apple Music more than the other music streaming services. If you’re a huge fan of curated playlists, you may lean towards Spotify. It all depends on what you’re interested in when it comes to music streaming services. When it comes to a person choosing which one to use, it depends on their taste and what appeals to their own eyes.
The different variety of music streaming services comes with many similarities and differences. A person could pay up to $0 to $10 a month for a specific music streaming service. Some examples of the most popular music streaming services are Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal. Although there is also other music streaming apps like YouTube Music, Soundcloud, and Amazon Music, those aren’t as popular as the big three.
- Spotify users can stream music for free with ads on the mobile app and desktop/web app. The premium option is $10 a month, with a family plan price of $15. Similar to Apple Music, they also offer a student discount price of $4.99. The premium option of Spotify removes ads and gives users unlimited skips. Spotify is best for people who enjoy very unique curated playlists that are created by Spotify. While also for people who enjoy Podcasts, Spotify is known for many podcasts being streamed on there.
- Pros: Many people lean towards Spotify due to the curated playlists they have for users. With over 100 playlists for different genres, moods, and even events. Spotify is also likable for their variety of podcasts, one of them being “Joe Budden Podcast“. Spotify also is known for the popular end of the year musical summary for users. Which tells them their most played artists, song, and other things. Which during this year, many users were able to post an unique format of these summaries on their Instagram.
- Cons: One of the main cons for Spotify is that if you don’t want to pay the money for the premium option, you’re stuck with having to listen to ads and not having unlimited skip options when listening to music.
- Apple Music costs $10 a month, while they also offer a family plan of $15 and a student discount plan of $4.99. If it’s your first time using Apple Music you can also get the first three months free. Apple Music is best for consumers who are already familiar with and committed to the Apple industry. It also is for people who had large iTunes libraries, since before there was Apple Music, many of us brought our favorite artist music off iTunes.
- Pros: Apple Music has a library of 60 million songs that can be accessed on devices running macOS, Windows, iOS, or Android. Many users on Apple Music create public playlists that could be listened to. Apple Music is also known for having exclusive early releases for some songs and albums. They also offer a novel feature where a user could search up a lyric to find a song.
- Cons: Although Windows and Android users can get Apple Music, it has been reported that the Windows feature of Apple Music can get a little laggy. Also, many people who have been using Apple Music seem to complain about their dislike of how Apple Music shuffles the songs in their music library.
- The two prices that users pay for Tidal, will decide the audio quality of your music. For $10 a month, users will have 320Kbps AAC+ music and for $19.99, users will have a non-compressed 1411Kbps FLAC audio (Tidal HiFi)—a much higher fidelity than your standard MP3 or audio stream.
- Pros: Tidal offers CD-quality and high-res audio (via HiFi, its top-tier service). Tidal’s library features 60 million songs and 250,000 videos. They’re also known to have many albums and songs that are not on other streaming services. Users that use Tidal also find themselves having exclusive access to things like the “Made in America Festival” live concert footage.
- Cons: Many users would say the price ($19.99) of Tidal could be considered too expensive compared to other music streaming services. Another con about Tidal is that you probably can’t hear the different high-quality sounds if you don’t have excellent sound equipment.
Within the pros and cons of each music streaming service that benefits consumers who just enjoy creating playlists and listening to music, music streaming services also have a huge role when it comes to many artists getting paid for the number of streams they receive from their music. According to The Guardian, Napster pays the highest rate at $0.019 per stream, followed by Jay-Z’s Tidal at $0.0125 and Apple at $0.00735 per stream. YouTube pays the lowest rate of only $0.00069 per stream. Spotify is now, it seems, somewhere in the middle ground, paying about $0.00437 per stream.
No matter who pays artists more or who offers better music selection, when it comes to deciding which music streaming service is the best, it’s up to consumers. Consumers are the ones that download these music streaming service apps and the reason many of these services are as popular as they are. With Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal gaining popularity every day, it’s quite hard to say which music streaming service is the best one.