With so many choices, which music streaming service is right for you?
For the past decade, music streaming services have dominated the scene. Some let you listen for free, others charge a premium price. Some, both. A major factor in choosing a music streaming service is available content. We’ve got a list of the best music streaming services for the iPhone and why each one matters.
- Apple Music
- YouTube Red and Google Play Music
- Amazon Music with Amazon Prime
Apple launched its own streaming music service, Apple Music, in June of 2015. With a monthly subscription of $9.99 ($14.99 for the family plan), you can stream a massive amount of music from the company’s long-standing artist catalogue and download content for offline listening. Plus, you’ll get custom playlists that are curated to your personal tastes based on your past listening activities. You’ll also get access to Beats 1, which is a 24-hour per day worldwide radio station with celebrity deejays spinning their favorite hits. It’s got everything you’d want in a music service and looks great, too.
If you are deeply integrated with the Apple ecosystem, that is you’ve got an iPhone, iPad, Mac computer, and Apple TV (or some combination of the like), then Apple Music is the best choice for you.
- $9.99 – $14.99 per month (Free during the 3-month trial) – It’s in your Music app. Here’s how to sign up for it
Spotify is one of the largest music streaming services around and is arguably the biggest competitor for Apple Music. With a monthly subscription of $9.99 ($4.99 per additional family member), You can stream music from the company’s huge catalogue and download content for offline listening. One benefit of Spotify is that there is a free tier that allows you to listen to anything in shuffle mode on iPhone and iPad without having to pay for it.
If you don’t want Apple Music, but still want all the music, your best choice is Spotify.
- Free or $9.99 per month (free for first 30-days) – Download now
YouTube Red and Google Play Music
YouTube may be all about videos, but you can make it all about music if you want to. You’ll get recommendations based on your past listening activities, and you can check out what’s new and trending in the “Hot List” section. Tracks you like go in the Favorites section so you can quickly access them in the future. Music autoplays in playlists based on albums, artists, and genres. Currently, music discovery is limited to top 40 hits and music that is trending on YouTube, but if you know what you are looking for, chances are you’ll find it.
With a YouTube Red or Google Play Music subscription, you can listen to music without the video playing and continue in the background with the app closed, and remove all ads. And if you want an even better listening experience, you can go into the Google Play Music app and listen to custom playlists, on-demand radio, and a library of more than 35 million tracks.
If you know what you want to listen to, or are a big fan of music videos, check out YouTube Music; if you want a Google-centric music experience and access to YouTube Music, check out Google Play Music.
- YouTube Music – Free or $12.99 per month – Download now
- Google Play Music – Free or $9.99 per month – Download now
Amazon Music with Amazon Prime
If you have Amazon Prime the Amazon Music app is amazing. You have your pick of songs from the company’s vast catalogue. You can stream music online or download tracks to listen offline. Music is recommended to you based on your past listening activities and there are playlists for all manner of activities, like reading books, dinner parties, and more. You can listen to stations based on such themes as “All ’80s,” “Classic Rock,” “Baroque,” and stations with artists like The Beatles and Bruno Mars. Amazon Music provides an incredibly broad selection of music, although it doesn’t quite go deep enough into some sub-genres.
If you have Amazon Prime, you definitely want this app. Even if you pay for another music service, it’s worth having around simply because it is included with the cost of your membership, and if you have an Amazon Echo, you can stream all sorts of tunes at the sound of your voice.
- Included with Prime membership – Download now