Thanks to advances in Internet and mobile device technology, we can now listen to music anywhere we like without needing to carry lots of CDs around! Streaming music is big business; in fact, it’s worth around $2.9 billion as of 2016, and accounts for a whopping 45.2% of the recording industry’s revenue!
Many people with smartphones and tablets stream music from the Internet through to their devices and given that high-speed data access is also commonplace while on the go, one can simply download their favorite songs and albums in seconds rather than hours.
If you’re new to the world of streaming music, you might be wondering how to get started. There are many providers out there, with some offering free trials or “freemium” subscriptions (where certain features get unlocked if you upgrade to a paid subscription). Those of you with an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad will no doubt see a plethora of options in the App Store.
In today’s blog post, we will run through some of the top streaming music apps available to download and use. Here is what you need to know:
First up is Apple Music, an app conveniently pre-loaded onto all iOS devices by default. As you might expect, one can browse through a lot of albums and songs and even download them for offline use.
If you’ve never used the app before, you can start a three-month trial of the service absolutely free of charge! You can also use the app to download exclusive to Apple content, TV programmes, and films, believe it or not.
There is also the Beats 1 radio station that you can only listen to with the Apple Music app. It features DJs such as Zane Lowe and Ebro Darden, plus shows with artists like Elton John, Dr. Dre, and Mary J. Blige.
After the three-month trial expires, you can pay either $9.99/month for an individual membership or $14.99/month for a family subscription. The latter allows up to six family members to use your Apple Music subscription.
When it comes to paying for it, if you’re savvy enough, there are often ways to reduce your Apple subscription costs. For example, you could buy an iTunes gift card and use a coupon code from DontPayFull.com to get a discount. Then, once you apply the card to your account, it will cost you less money to pay for your subscription!
Apple has also been known to offer further three-month trials to people that have previously trialed the service – although you might need to wait a year before taking advantage of that. Still, even if you pay full price for the service, it’s an attractive option to those new to streaming music.
Long before Apple Music made its debut, iOS device owners could only buy tracks or albums to download from iTunes. One company that took advantage of that problem is Spotify. They are perhaps the best-known and most popular streaming audio service provider.
Spotify isn’t just an iOS-specific service; they cater to Android users and even those with Smart TVs and car stereo systems! When it comes to content, Spotify has around the same amount of songs and albums available for people to stream.
Unlike Apple Music, you can listen to your favorite tunes for free with Spotify if you don’t mind the occasional ad getting played. Let’s face it; that’s what we’re used to when we listen to the radio! If you decide to upgrade to the Premium subscription, you’ll go ad-free and have access to high-quality HD streaming. Plus, you can also download your music for offline listening.
The price for Spotify Premium is $9.99/month, although you can have a 30-day free trial of the service. And, as with Apple Music, you can get a Family subscription for $14.99 that covers up to six devices.
Google Play Music
Not content with dominating the search engine market, the “Big G” also wants to entice you to streaming audio with their Google Play Music service. Just like with Spotify, you can also use the service on non-iOS devices.
Google offers up to 35 million songs on demand for a $9.99/month subscription. And, as with the other two options, an extra $5/month allows you to have a “family” subscription for up to six devices. What’s more, they allow you to import up to 50,000 of your own songs and stream them whenever you like. Of course, you can also download music to listen offline.
As with its competitors, it’s possible to use Google Play Music for free. But, it’ll play the occasional ad, and you don’t have offline access with the “Unlimited” subscription.
The three most important players in the iOS streaming music niche offer plenty of bang for your buck. In fact, the pricing is identical across the board; it’s the services provided that differ between providers.
It’s worth doing a free trial of all three services until you decide which one best suits your needs.