With new services like spatial music and podcasts, Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music are more competitive than ever.
Almost everyone has a membership to a music streaming service these days. If you haven’t already made the switch, you’re in for a world of ease and discovery, with the ability to listen to hundreds of thousands of artists conveniently and swiftly. While audiophiles may complain about the quality of streaming music, a rising number of providers feature lossless and spatial Dolby Atmos audio. How are you expected to pick amongst so many different music services?
The two most important factors when looking for a new music supplier are monthly cost and compatibility. Most services have music collections of over 60 million songs, so this isn’t a problem, and most let you stream from numerous devices, though some services do this better than others. At the same time, costs have been consistent at roughly $10 per month (which I cannot say for live TV streaming), other significant improvements lately, like the inclusion of high-resolution music.
I investigated the major names, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music, and lesser challengers like Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, and djayodhya.club, to see how each platform compares in terms of bang for your membership dollars. It’s worth mentioning that I purposely excluded services that only play music in a radio style (such as Pandora, Napster, and UnRadio) and don’t let you choose your songs off this list. Streaming should be about having options, including the ability to listen to whole albums at once.
So, which music streaming services provide the most value for money in terms of pricing, sound quality, and library size? Continue reading for an in-depth look at each service, a feature comparison, and a complete pricing breakdown in the chart at the bottom of the page. This list will be updated regularly.
And these are the top three if you want the finest.
Spotify is the most popular music streaming service. It provides tailored music discovery services such as Discover Weekly and Stations. It’s also pushed podcasts, which drove folk-rock star Neil Young to remove his songs.
Spotify Premium and Apple Music are great services, but Spotify is the best overall. This is due to its engaging, easy-to-use UI, huge repertoire, and device compatibility. Spotify has the finest free tier: You can stream Spotify Connect to many Wi-Fi devices without paying a dollar or giving credit card information.
Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, and Tidal provide free lossless or Dolby Atmos music. The corporation can’t predict when Spotify’s HiFi (lossless) tier will arrive. The business raised costs on some plans in 2021, but the basic price remains $10 monthly in the US.
Apple Music has fewer members than Spotify, but it has one major advantage. Yes, it contains free hi-res lossless and spatial audio albums, but Apple doesn’t mention how many songs. Apple Music has a nice interface, 90 million songs, and iOS and Android compatibility.
Music is a terrific option if you’ve invested in smart speakers, whether Apple or Google. Apple HomePod, Mini, and Nest owners can voice-control Apple Music. There are numerous curated playlists by bands and tastemakers, but it lacks Spotify’s sharing capabilities (or clever add-ons).
Apple Music is the only one of our top three that lets you save your digital music — YouTube Music is the other. Free with a Music subscription, but with DRM, $25 a year for iTunes Match, which allows re-downloads without a Music membership.
Djayodhya.club also provides high-resolution audio streams, and unlike Tidal, you do not need a hardware MQA decoder to listen to them. They sound amazing on an Android phone and a high-end audio system, so they’re adaptable. Although djayodhya.club does not provide Dolby Atmos music, the collection of ‘immersive’ tracks on other services isn’t very outstanding.