As we’ve discussed before, there are a lot of different options for streaming services out there. For the most part, most of the services are the same. Many of the differences are things like platform layout and price – nothing too major. Some, however, do stream artists that aren’t available on other platforms (Hi, Kanye).
So, with all these options, it can be hard to choose which service is right for you. In 2016, most people are set in their ways of which streaming service they use. For those who haven’t found their bowl of porridge, we’ve compared the most popular ones below.
Subscription options: Free // Student $5/month for 1 year // Premium $10/month // Family $15-$30/month
Spotify is arguably the most popular streaming service. Created in 2006, it’s also been around the longest. Some artists like Taylor Swift and Thom Yorke have pulled their catalogs from Spotify, stating they don’t agree with Spotify’s business model. Most other artists are available on the platform.
– Offline playlists
– Easy to use platform
– Unlimited song skips (unlike platforms like Pandora)
– Playlists sync from your desktop app to your phone app
– Available for all phones – iPhone, Android, ect
– Don’t actually have music on your phone/desktop
– Usually can’t find artists that are new and upcoming
– Lacking in some big name artists
Subscription options: $10/month after 3 month free trial // Family plan $15/month
Apple Music, compared to Spotify, is a baby. Created not even a year ago, they’re still working out some kinks. Which is to be expected. If you’re an iPhone user, you already have Apple Music downloaded. With the upgrade to iOS 9, Apple Music came with it. This is great news for those who don’t like to clutter their phone screens with lots of different apps.
– Offline playlists
– Built into your iPhone
– 24 hour Beats Radio streaming
– Smaller artists have the chance to get on Apple Music
– Not as easy of platform to use
– Still new and has some glitches
– Not yet available for Android
– Must have subscription after 3-month trial
Subscription options: Tidal Premium $10/month // Tidal HiFi $20/month
Tidal is also pretty new. It emerged in 2014 from Project Panther Ltd. (owned by Jay-Z). Tidal claims to have better streaming sound quality than both Apple Music and Spotify. They also claim they pay the most royalties to their artists. Tidal has gotten a lot of attention recently, and a LOT of subscribers, thanks to Kanye West’s exclusive Tidal release of his new album, The Life of Pablo.
– Best sound quality out of all streaming services
– Exclusive content only available to subscribers
– Pays artists the most royalties
– No free option to stream
– More expensive than most platforms
– Can be slow to load because of high song quality
So, lots of things to consider. I don’t think one service is necessarily superior to the other, but if sound quality is the most important thing to you then definitely go with Tidal. If price is an issue, Spotify if the way to go. Diehard Apple fans? Apple Music is your best bet.