There are few things which transcend cultures, languages and nationalities the way music does. Apart from being fun, it is also a unifying factor and, as such, can connect people over several otherwise dividing lines.
I (and several other people the world over) have listened to Spanish songs without having any idea what the lyrics mean. I have also listened to Portuguese, French, Chinese, Arabic and music in several other languages none of which I speak or understand. Such is the power of music.
With the advent of the internet and eventually, streaming services, music has become more accessible than ever before. All you need to do now is simply subscribe to a music streaming service and access free music from any and every part of the world. There are several music streaming services out there today which might prove something of a challenge when looking to choose a streaming service for yourself. Since you are here reading this, however, you have more or less eliminated that challenge. The reason being that all of that research has been done for you and distilled into this article.
Here, I have listed some of the best music streaming services in the world today, along with their pros and cons. One thing I have endeavoured to do is to ensure that there is something for everyone. So, whether you are from Nigeria, Malaysia, USA, Australia or even France, you are sure to find something useful here.
It is important to note that while some streaming services have free options, although with restrictions, some are strictly premium based.
Music Streaming Services
Joox is one of the largest music streaming in the world today, albeit restricted to the Asian continent. It is a free music streaming service which means that the vast majority of its music catalogue is free, while a select few are accessible by only premium subscribers or by subscribers who fulfill tasks set forward on the app. Unlike other streaming services such as Spotify, which use audio ads, Joox uses banner ads, splash ads and the likes to generate revenue.
- It has the largest catalogue of music on the Asian continent
- The type of advertisement it runs are not as pesky or as annoying as those other streaming apps run
- It offers more content from the Asian continent than other (mostly western) streaming apps do
- Free music!
- Its catalogue is not as vast as that of Spotify
- There is no hi-res or CD quality sound which audiophiles would have preferred
Spotify is the most popular music streaming service in the whole wide world and it has one of the widest ranges as well as largest volume of content. Also, there is an opportunity for you to hear free music and suffer through some adverts. At $9.99 a month, the subscription price is average and quite affordable for most people. You can then download music and hear unlimited & uninterrupted music.
- It has what is arguably the most user-friendly app in the music streaming space
- It has a free version where people can listen to music without paying a dime
- It can be used on several devices operating different platforms
- 3-Month free trial
- Its best quality is 320Kbps which might be satisfactory to audiophiles
- Its form of advertisement, which are majorly audio ads, are usually pesky and annoying
Tidal is the streaming service for people who have an excellent taste in music and who do not want to soil their ears by listening to nothing but the best quality sound that is achievable. Most streaming services offer their content at a maximum bitrate of 320Kbps but Tidal being what it is offers its content at up to 1,411Kbps. Basically, it offers content at CD and hi-res quality. The subscription price is $9.99 for premium and $19.99 for Hi-Fi.
- It is the streaming service of choice for audiophiles with very high-quality music
- It has a very vast catalogue
- It runs across a wide variety of platforms including iOS, Android and Windows
- Sometimes, it is used for ticket presales
- Can be used for live streaming certain concerts
- The subscription price is quite expensive
- It is a premium only service such that you cannot access it for free music
- 30-day Free Trial only 🙁
Boomplay is a music streaming service established by Transsnet, a Chinese company, for the African music consumer. Although they offer content from artists from all parts of the world, a vast majority of their content are from African artists. At the moment, Boomplay has a catalogue of about 5 million music tracks and about 42 million subscribers, both paid and free, who use the service actively every month.
- It is available for web, android and iOS devices
- The premium subscription is cheap at $1.5
- It is a storehouse of music native to the African continent
- It is restricted as most of its content are by African artists
- The catalogue isn’t very large with about 5 million songs
- 30-day free trial only
Amazon Music, while a great music streaming service on its own, is a service that is even better for people who use Amazon products, who are Amazon Prime subscribers, or who are both. This is because of the discounts that come with it for those sets of people. The streaming service has a wide array of music content, although nothing on the scale of industry leaders Tidal and Spotify. You can stream its content at a quality of up to 256Kbps. The subscription price is $9.99 for non-prime members, $7.99 for Prime members and $3.99 for owners of Amazon Echo or Echo Dot.
- It is heavily discounted for people who are already established as Amazon customers
- It has a vast array of music
- It is versatile and can be used across different platforms
- You can listen to limited free music with ads if you just have an Amazon account
- Lyrics available for all
- It only offers music content
- 30-day free trial only
YouTube Music is Google’s attempt at providing a music streaming service for members of Google’s ecosystem. It is especially useful for android users who would love to have their streaming service work well with their Google Assistant. The subscription price is $9.99.
- Free music version is there, albeit riddled with ads
- The catalogue is vast and wide
- It has a maximum sound quality of 320Kbps
- It is not really compatible with other voice assistants
Apple Music is another streaming service that has a super impressive catalogue of music, which means that users have a wide array of options to choose from. The sound quality of songs hosted on this streaming service is comparable with that of Spotify. This particular streaming service is best suited for already established members of the Apple ecosystem though. The subscription price is $9.99. Free trial is sometimes 30 days and can be 3 months too.
- It can be controlled with Apple’s AI assistant, Siri.
- It is a cross platform streaming service
- The experience is not as smooth on platforms that are not iOS
- It is a premium only version
After reading through this article, I am certain that your choice of music streaming service is easier to make now than it was before you began. There are other streaming services that are worth mentioning and which you might want to check out. They are Deezer, RDio, Google Play, Pandora, Xbox Music, KKBox, Qobuz and Primephonic.