People nowadays choose to enlist music streaming services instead of going to the record store to buy some albums or even go to online stores like iTunes to download music. I guess it’s more convenient since it lets you listen to virtually any song or album for a reasonable monthly fee.
At present, there are 11 music streaming services you could check out: Spotify, Rdio, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Tidal, Napster, Rhapsody, Xbox Music, Mog, Rara, and Deezer. With all these different options, you can be hard-pressed to pick one that you will be using.
To help you decide on which services to use, here are some points that you should consider.
1. What the service offer
The music streaming services that are available today offer at least 20 million songs, which mean that whichever service you choose to use you will be able to find all, or virtually all, of the songs that you want to listen to.
The libraries of these services offer quite a comprehensive selection of songs, but there are still some songs that they don’t feature, such as songs from The Beatles and AC/DC. Moreover, these services sometimes exclude new release songs and albums in order to encourage people to purchase them instead.
Also, there are also some artists who choose not to allow their music to be streamed in music streaming services since they won’t be making a lot of money through these services. So, before you subscribe to a particular music streaming service, see if you like all the music offerings of that service first.
2. How music is being streamed
Almost all of the music streaming services have an app for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, as well as a way to listen to music using your computer, whether it’s through a Web app or a dedicated desktop app.
Using different music streaming services, you will see that every service has a slightly different feature than the other. For instance, the desktop app of Spotify has more features and keyboard controls. Some services also sync with home audio devices, like Sonos players and other smart TVs.
3. Does the service offer a free trial or free subscription?
Some music streaming services offer a free trial period where people can check out the service before they actually get a full subscription. Apple Music, for instance, is offering a generous three-month free trial period from the time you sign up.
Additionally, subscriptions are typically offered on a month-to-month basis, so it’s quite easy to cancel the subscription after just a month or two if you’re not happy with the service.
Also, Spotify, Rdio, Google Play Music, and others let users listen to music for free, although you’ll have to bear with the advertisements that keep popping between tracks. The free subscription also means that there are certain limitations in how you can stream music.
4. Does the service offer family plans or student discounts?
A number of music streaming services offer family plans, which makes it cheaper for multiple users within a household to listen to music together. Spotify offers a 50% discount for each person you include a Premium account. Apple Music, on the other, lets you add six people to share the same membership for just $14.99 per month.
Similar to Apple Music, Google Play Music also offers a family plan for 6 people for $14.99. However, Rhapsody doesn’t offer such a family plan, but you can use a single account in different devices, which means you can share an account by using a single log-in.
Tidal also offers a family plan by offering a 50% off for every person you add and having a maximum of five people in the plan. With a five-person membership, you will have to pay $30 per month, which is almost double the amount for a subscription with Apple Music.
Another thing to consider is student discounts. A lot of services, such as Spotify and Rdio, provide discounts to college students.
There are also other things you should consider like if the service lets you stream and save music and if the service is available in your country. Think of what you want out of the subscription by using these considerations and enjoy listening to your favorite music.