- Music streaming services give you access to millions of songs for a monthly subscription fee so you don’t have to buy individual songs or albums anymore.
- Spotify is the best music streaming service for most people, but Apple Music, Tidal, Amazon Music Unlimited, and YouTube Music are also great options, depending on your needs.
Music listening has come a long way over the past few decades. Gone are the days when you had to buy CDs, vinyl records, or cassette tapes. You don’t even have to buy digital downloads anymore. These days, you can simply sign up to a music streaming service and have access to all the music you’ll ever need on a device that sits in your pocket.
Of course, there are quite a few music streaming services out there, and they’re all a little different. Because of that, it can be hard to find the service that’s perfect for your needs.
When deciding which streaming service to get, it’s worth considering a few things. For starters, you’ll want to make sure that there’s an app for your chosen streaming service on every device you use for music listening.
You’ll also want to consider things like streaming audio quality and support for platforms like digital assistants. Voice assistants are getting better at working with third-party services, but they’re still not great at it – especially when it comes to Siri.
Still figuring out which streaming service is for you? We’ve done the research so that you don’t have to. Here are the best music streaming services worth considering.
Here are the best music streaming services in 2019:
- Best music streaming service overall: Spotify
- Best music streaming service for Apple fans: Apple Music
- Best music streaming service for audiophiles: Tidal
- Best music streaming service for Alexa: Amazon Music Unlimited
- Best music streaming service for Google users: YouTube Music
Keep scrolling to check out our top picks.
The best overall
Spotify has a ton of music and audio content and it’s available on a range of devices, making it a great choice for those who listen to music on a variety of devices.
Looking for a music streaming service that has a huge range of music and is compatible with all your devices? Spotify is the way to go. Spotify is the original big music streaming service, and it has apps for all major platforms – including iOS, Android, and your preferred web browser.
One of the best things about Spotify is that you can try it out without having to subscribe. There’s a free, ad-based version of Spotify that you can use for as long as you like, as long as you’re fine with hearing ads every now and then.
While on a desktop, many streaming services only work through web-based apps, Spotify has native apps for everything. In other words, if you’re on a Mac or PC and prefer a dedicated app, then you can get an app for Spotify. The service also has podcasts and video content, plus it streams music in up to a 320Kbps resolution, which should be good enough for the majority of listeners.
Of course, there are a few downsides to consider. For example, there’s no live programming, like there is on some other music streaming services. Apart from that, however, Spotify is a great streaming service that any music-lover will enjoy.
Pros: Highly compatible, has a ton of content, decent resolution, free version available
Cons: No live content
The best for Apple fans
Apple Music works beautifully on Apple devices, plus there’s an app for it across a range of platforms, including Android.
If you use an iPhone and other Apple products, then it’s worth considering Apple Music. Apple Music integrates very well with Apple’s hardware and software, plus it’s well-designed and works with your existing library of iTunes music. Not only that, but Apple Music has 45 million songs, which is absolutely massive.
One of the best things about Apple Music is that it integrates with Siri and the Apple Watch perfectly, plus it can be played on a HomePod without issue. In other words, if you have other Apple devices, then Apple Music is probably the service to go for.
Apple Music has a nice selection of content too. Apart from the songs available on Apple Music, the service also offers the Beats 1 radio station and some exclusive music.
There are a few downsides to Apple Music. For starters, while there’s an Apple Music app on many different platforms, even Android, there’s no web app for it, so you do need to install and log in to an app to use it.
Pros: Huge selection of content, live radio, excellent integration with Apple devices
Cons: No web app
The best for audiophiles
Tidal is available on a range of platforms, plus it offers a much better audio quality than the majority of other music streaming services out there.
Tidal is a little different from other music streaming services in that it’s targeted toward those who want a higher resolution audio – and as such, it offers an excellent sound quality. While other music streaming services offer a bitrate of up to 320Kbps, Tidal steps things up to a whopping 1,411Kbps, meaning that audio can be streamed in FLAC format.
Tidal works across a range of apps too. There’s a Tidal app for all your favorite platforms, including iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows, plus there’s a web-based app for when you don’t want a native app on your device.
Tidal is also known to get access to some great exclusive content. Albums like Jay-Z’s “4:44” and Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo” were first launched on Tidal, and the service will likely get other exclusive content too. There are also music videos and other behind-the-scenes content, plus Tidal subscribers get access to select concert and sports tickets.
Nothing’s perfect, and Tidal is no exception to that rule. The service doesn’t have some features that others offer, like lyrics, and there’s no free version for those that don’t mind an ad-supported service.
Pros: Excellent audio quality, available on a range of platforms, exclusive content
Cons: No free version, missing some features
The best with Alexa
Amazon Music Unlimited works on a range of platforms, plus it integrates perfectly with Alexa and offers discounts for Prime subscribers or Echo owners.
If you’re a Prime subscriber, you already have access to Prime Music, but if you really want a great streaming service, then it’s worth stepping things up with Music Unlimited, which offers a much bigger music library.
Music Unlimited is available on a range of platforms, including iOS, Android, and the web. The service is tightly integrated with Amazon’s Alexa, so if you have an Echo or other Alexa product, it’ll work perfectly.
If you use other Amazon products, you might get a bit of a discount, too – Amazon Prime subscribers pay $7.99 per month instead of $9.99 per month for Unlimited, and Amazon Echo or Echo Dot owners pay only $3.99 per month, which is pretty great.
When it comes to audio quality, Prime Music streams at 256Kbps. It also offers access to a pretty huge range of songs. Amazon Music Unlimited boasts “tens of millions” of songs, which is a pretty impressive library.
Music Unlimited doesn’t offer any non-music content, but apart from that, it’s a pretty great service for those plugged into the Amazon ecosystem.
Pros: Discounts for Amazon Prime and Echo customers, good music library selection, Alexa integration
Cons: No content other than music
The best for Android users
YouTube Music has a decent library of music, plus it integrates very well with Google’s other apps and services, including Google Assistant.
YouTube Music is the way to go if you’re really plugged into Google’s ecosystem of products. In other words, if you have an Android phone and want your music streaming service to integrate well with Google Assistant, then YouTube Music is a great service.
YouTube Music isn’t only available for Android devices. It’s also available on iOS and on the web, so you should be able to access the service wherever you are.
The service is smart, so you’ll get interesting location-based playlists and the ability to search for songs based on the lyrics in that song. There’s also a free, ad-supported version that you can try out first.
YouTube Music isn’t perfect, though Google has been working on making it better. For now, there isn’t much content on the app beyond music. Not only that, but it doesn’t really integrate with other voice assistants like Alexa, so if you have an Echo you’ll be stuck with playing music through the Bluetooth connection on your phone.
Pros: Interesting playlists, good integration with Google services, free version available
Cons: Doesn’t integrate with other voice assistants