How to choose the best music streaming service for you

By Sophie Ogden - 06/08/2018

Spotify, Music

We all love listening to music but with so many music streaming applications to choose from, which one is right for you? Let’s compare two of the most popular options with one of the newest options on the market.

The newest option is YouTube Music which was released earlier this year. We all watch videos on YouTube and this year they are estimated to be on track to make $10bn in ad revenues, according to eMarketer. The Google-owned service paid $856m in royalties to music companies last year – only an estimated 67 cents per user annually. In 2015, they created a paid option called YouTube red, which enabled you to watch videos without those annoying adverts.

Further to this, YouTube has now released ‘YouTube music’ which is a music streaming service which replaces the ‘YouTube Red’ option called ‘YouTube premium’. YouTube music is a streaming service, much like Spotify, Apple Music and Google play music.

This service they have created works a lot like Spotify, it also offers you a one-month free trial which is then priced at £9.99 thereafter. As you can see from the table below pricing for YouTube music is exactly the same as its competitors. However, the downside of the free version, apart from the adverts, is that you are unable to lock your screen without the music stopping, much like YouTube videos.

Spotify lets you curate 15 playlists without paying a penny, and most importantly, it allows you to lock your phone screen. Apple music offers a 7-day free trial and if you’re lucky enough to get a new contract with EE you can get a 6 month free trial of the service both on iOS and Android.

Google play music is set to become YouTube music in the near future but we have not been given an exact date yet. Google execs Lyor Cohen and T. Jay Fowler wouldn't give an exact timeline on when Google Play Music will be removed,  it could even be as far away as 2019, Fowler stated.

With the integration of YouTube and Play music your experience is set to be “deeply personalised” for each user as Google extracts data from your phone to tailor your recommendations.

According to the release dates you would expect Spotify to have the most users simply because it was released first and for a while now it has been in the lead. However, there is a strong rumour that Apple Music has now passed Spotify as the most popular streaming app in the US.


This could be due to the fact that Apple offers exclusive album releases and exclusive collaborations with some of the biggest names in music, such as; Drake, Taylor Swift and Britney Spears. However, Apple executive Jimmy Iovine said that the streaming service plans to be less aggressive about obtaining exclusives in the future. “We tried it,” he said. “We’ll still do some stuff with the occasional artist. The labels don’t seem to like it and ultimately it’s their content.” Could this be a major downfall for Apple Music and the number of users? 

So what are the benefits of each? If you glance at the first table, a couple of the differences lie in the pricing. As you can see, YouTube Music doesn’t have a student pricing option nor does it have an annual plan. Apple music only has a 7-day trial and then you are made to subscribe, whereas the others are free with advertisements. Apple Music and Spotify both include massive libraries, but Apple has more, with 45 million tracks against Spotify's "more than 35 million" songs. YouTube Music has a limit of 5,000 songs for each playlist, this includes liked videos and added songs.

Overall, Spotify seems to be the best choice for all platforms, but for song choice, I would go with Apple music or YouTube, each has an extensive music library and for now, Apple offers exclusive albums which gives them an upper hand on the competition. Obviously, Apple music was primarily designed for iOS so there are a few downsides to the Android version, it can’t use voice control with the app as it was designed for Siri and there seem to be a few bugs that have yet to be fixed - the dreaded ‘apple music has stopped’ seems to be a theme.

It is recommended you try them all and see which suits you best, always try before you buy.

Which one do you prefer? And why?  



 

 

 

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