Streaming music services offer unlimited access to millions of songs with playlists customized to your personal tastes. Most services offer a free listening option with intermittent ads, but for a fee, some services allow you to store ad-free music offline to play on multiple devices in your home. Although you don’t own the music, the monthly subscription cost is typically less than the price of one album.
Which streaming music service is for you? Let’s break down our top picks.
A great choice for enthusiasts of radio-style playlists based on your favorite songs, artists, or genres, Pandora offers custom radio stations with a library of 50 million songs, all for free with occasional ads. With Pandora Plus ($4.99/month), you can enjoy unlimited, ad-free, personalized stations with even higher-quality audio and play up to four stations offline. A premium subscription ($9.99/month) includes the ability to play and download any song you want for offline listening. This service is available on smart and IoT devices as well as some audio equipment.
Why Pandora? It’s one of the original internet radios, which is ideal if you’re looking for new music to add to your playlist. Also, if you’re cost-conscious, Pandora Plus is the least expensive option on this list.
With a catalog of 80 million songs, Spotify allows you to create your own collection of music, so you choose the exact song you want to listen to. Like Pandora, you can also set up personalized radio stations and stream through a diverse range of smart home devices. Plus, it’s free! For $9.99 per month, however, you can download music to play anywhere, listen without commercials, and skip as many songs as you want.
Why Spotify? Even with the free version, you can choose to listen to any song you want at any time. Spotify also boasts podcasts and video content, so it’s one of the most versatile players in the game. According to 2021 data from Statista, Spotify is the most popular music streaming service.
Amazon Prime members get free access to 2 million songs through Prime Music—but as with almost any free service, there are plenty of unwanted ads. Upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited for ad-free, instant access to 100 million songs, handpicked playlists, and personalized radio stations for $9.99/month. Amazon Prime members pay only $7.99/month on top of the Prime membership subscription. Listen on any compatible Amazon Music device.
Why Amazon Music? With access to up to 100 million songs, Amazon Music has one of the largest collections of songs anywhere. If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, this service may be a great fit.
Owners of Android devices may know that YouTube Music is now preinstalled on new Android 10 devices. Listen to YouTube Music with ads, or upgrade to YouTube Music Premium to enable background play, access audio-only mode, and cut out the ads. YouTube Music Premium also lets you download and listen to music offline. After a one-month free trial, the premium version costs $9.99/month.
Why YouTube Music? You don’t always realize how interrupted the music experience is with ads until they’re gone. YouTube Music Premium also offers a student discount, at $4.99/month.
If you own an Apple device, Apple Music may be included as a limited, free subscription. If not, you can sign up for a free three-month trial and use their student discount, if applicable. Upgrade to $9.99 per month to stream 100 million songs and music videos ad-free on your Apple devices and download songs for offline enjoyment.
Why Apple Music? Apple Music recommends playlists and albums based on your listening history, as well as live radio. Another benefit is Apple Music’s vast library of 100 million songs.
These streaming music services provide low-cost options for listening to countless songs and playlists. If you have fast and reliable internet from Kosciusko Connect, these services will always provide something great to listen to. Whether you’re going out for a jog, embarking on a road trip, or relaxing around the house, play your favorite tunes, from classical to hip-hop, on an array of smart home devices.