Which Music Streaming Service is the Best?February 1, 2019
Consider this article a Public Service Announcement. I am always getting asked, Marv “which music streaming service is the best?”. So, I will be breaking down and comparing the best Music Streaming Services on the market. Purely out of my selfish need to not answer this question constantly and just send people a link.
Obviously im joking, but the question does come up a lot. Music is up there with the things I need in my life on a daily basis. Im almost always never seen without wireless earbuds in. There are a few options when it comes to Music Streaming Service. So I can understand it does get confusing. I will be comparing Apple Music, Spotify, and Soundcloud Go. I will pick a winner of each category and an overall winner at the end. Enjoy!
Pricing and Plans
Pricing of these services is usually the first question. Lets run through the Pricing and Plans
Apple Music is $9.99 USD per month, or $14.99 per month for a family subscription. They do offer a 3-month free trial when you first sign up for a subscription.
Spotify is free for use and you get access to all music in a “shuffle mode” + Ads. You can upgrade to Spotify Premium for $9.99 USD. You can also get a 30-day free trial of premium before you commit. There is a Family Plan for up to 6 people that is $14.99 USD
Soundcloud Go is a fairly new entry into this market. It comes in 3 tiers, you can get Souncloud Go free with Ads and you can’t save songs. Paid Go is $4.99 USD a month, is ad free and you can save songs offline. Go+ is $10 USD a month, is ad free, you can save songs, you get access to exclusive audio, and high quality audio.
Winner – Soundcloud
Soundclouds new paid service Soundcloud Go was positioned to undercut all competition.
Apple has a library of over 45 million songs. They are also able to score exclusive artist releases on the service. This is due to Apple not offering a free service, so they can “Buy” artists for releases on their platform before anyone else.
Spotify has a library of over 35 million songs and an estimated 20,000 songs get added daily. The service also brings a few exclusive single releases every Friday.
Soundcloud boasts a library of over 110 million songs. This is much more than Apple Music and Spotify combined, at first glance. When you pay for Soundcloud Go you get an extra 15 million songs, these are the actual paying artists. 90% of Soundclouds library is DJ mixes, up and comers, and remixes.
Winner – Apple Music.
Apple wins this category. You shouldn’t have an issue finding any popular artist you are looking for.
Apple Music is a simple white look on mobile and is very easy to navigate. It comes standard with all Apple products, so no need to download it. You can get Apple music on Android devices as well, which is very handy. The app integrates with Google Maps for use while navigating. Apple Music is also compatible with Apple CarPlay.
The design of the App is intuitive and you can usually find any artist or song quickly. You can even search with lyrics, this is a nice touch. Certain songs will also display lyrics while you play them. Apple purchased popular song finding app Shazam in 2017, the App now integrates with Apple Music.
Spotify goes with an all black look that is also very easy to navigate. It gives you 3 options for easy navigation and it is pretty self-explanatory. There is a dedicated Podcast tab as well, for those that listen to Podcasts. The Podcast library is limited but it is growing. Depending on the song, Spotify also has animations, videos and lyrics that will play in the background.
Spotify also integrates with Waze and Google Maps so your music and navigation work together. If you have Android Auto there is also a Spotify App on there. If you don’t have Android Auto there is a car mode that simplifies the App for easier one hand use.
Soundcloud goes with an off-white/Grey theme. They have put in the work and the most up to date layout is by far the best it has ever been. Soundclouds navigation is still a little more cumbersome than Spotify or Apple Music. If you are a creator, the App has a record function as well. There is no Android Auto or CarPlay support unfortunately
Winner – Apple Music
Apple wins this category hands down. The App is beautiful and simple with a decent amount of integration. Spotify is a close second
Number of Paying Users
As of November 2018, Apple Music had 56 million paying subscribers worldwide
As of November 2018, Spotify had 87 million paying subscribers worldwide
Soundcloud has at least 175 million subscribers to its free platform. Around April 2018 its was estimated that their paying subscribers was around 100,000 users.
Winner – Spotify
Spotify clearly has the most paying subscribers. Soundcloud does have a lot more free subscribers, but a lot of those are creators and unknown artists
Overall Winner – Apple Music
So which music streaming service is best?. Even though Apple have had to play catch up to Spotify, their fairly aggressive strategy has allowed them to level out the playing field. Their catalog and App experience are very comprehensive. Like many Apple products, they work well. If you are an Apple user it’s a no brainier to go with Apple Music.
If you are on Android you can still use Apple Music. But it makes more sense to use Spotify due to all its integration and features. Soundcloud has a way to go until it is really comparable with Spotify or Apple Music.
Links to download
Which music streaming service do you use ? Comment below and let me now