2021’s Best Music Streaming Platforms – Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, and Amazon
The most convenient way of listening to music today is via streaming. While vinyl might be making a renaissance amongst audiophiles with many cheap turntable options, many casual music lovers are tired of physical records. If the high-quality sound is your concern, you might be surprised that streaming songs can sound vague or even better than a CD.
Music streaming is now a trend and it is the number one means through which many listen to music today. There are many music-streaming service providers with many being confused about which is the best. Some of the top music-streaming service providers include Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Tidal, and Pandora Premium. As an artist, the best thing you can do for yourself is to have your songs or albums on those platforms.
Some of those platforms offer music catalogs of over 50 million songs. However, they all have their unique features, pros, and cons. Services on those platforms vary, with a typical charge of $10 per month. Some of them do not have contracts, and TV streaming offers better swapping than they do.
Most times, you will have to create your playlists and library afresh if you switch, except you use some advanced services to move your playlist. If you are looking for the best, user-friendly music-streaming platform to upload your songs or listen to your favorite songs, read on to see the best options, their features, and everything you need to know about them.
Best Music Streaming Platforms of 2021
Spotify is the most popular music-streaming platform in the world. It is the forerunner in the music-streaming industry, arguably the best in the space. This platform offers a wide range of curated music discovery services, with its Discover Weekly playlist being one of them. The platform also continuously implements new ones like Stations.
However, Spotify has a major rivalry – Apple Music. It is a very close race between Apple Music and Spotify Premium. Nevertheless, Spotify is still at the top of the game in the music-streaming space, thanks to its easy-to-use, fun user interface, the best device compatibility, as well as an extensive catalog. The platform is compatible with a wide range of devices and its music catalog is one of the largest in the world.
Many people also love this platform because it offers a free tier. With this mode, you can stream over Spotify Connect to several devices without paying a dime. You can do that without even providing your credit card. The user interface is also very easy for artists to access and get their songs or albums online.
- Spotify Connect makes it easy to connect to receivers and wireless speakers
- The free tier mode is extraordinarily robust.
- You can create your own playlist and synchronize it for offline listening with ease
- You can follow your favorite artists and get notifications whenever they release a new song or announce an upcoming event.
- Intrusive ads in the free mode
- You cannot listen to certain songs in the free mode.
- Spotify is great for those that are looking for a solid all-around music-streaming platform. If you love to create, share, and browse playlists, Spotify is the right platform for you.
Apple Music is the major rivalry to Spotify. Apple Music is the second-best music-streaming service provider in the world. This platform features a digital locker, which allows you to store your own library of songs. Another platform with this great feature is YouTube Music. Apple Music is a great choice if you are using an Apple device.
If you have an Apple HomePod, you will need an Apple Music subscription to be able to play songs with your voice. This music-streaming service also makes the ideal acquaintance for an iPod Touch, which many people still use until now. This platform also has loads of curated playlists, and many were handpicked by tastemakers and musicians. However, Apple Music lacks the vigorous sharing features that Spotify has.
- Algorithms and human music professionals help pick your next song based on what you are listening to.
- Combines your iTunes with other songs you do not own
- Allows for easy voice control
- Poor experience on the android app
- It does not work with older versions of iPods
Tidal is holding the third position because it is one of the most amazing music-streaming services in the world. This platform is known for the best quality audio it offers. If you are looking for the best sound quality, this is the go-to music streaming platform. However, you would have to pay a little bit higher for it. This platform is partly owned by Jay Z.
Tidal is the only top music-streaming platform that offers lossless audio streaming with sound quality that is almost the same or even better than a CD. The music catalog of Tidal is more than 60 million songs. Nonetheless, you might not always find what you are looking for there.
- Offers high-quality audio streams
- Offers many video content, including live streams of concerts
- Record and profile reviews on every page.
- Not the best user-interface
- Limited catalog compared to Spotify
Amazon Music Unlimited is the elder brother (paid version) of Amazon Prime Music – which is free for Prime subscribers. With $10 as a non-Prime subscriber and $8 as a Prime subscriber, you can enjoy an expanded catalog of music on this platform. Instead of paying more attention to cutting edge music as other platforms do, this platform recommends radio stations and playlists that are accumulated around artists that you have already listened to.
- It is cheaper
- Shows lyrics while playing a song
- User-friendly interface
- No biographies in artist profiles
- The catalog is not large.
YouTube Music is the successor of Google Play Music. This music-streaming service comes for free if you subscribe to YouTube Premium. YouTube Music comes with the music locker system of its predecessor and it renders an impressive service. You can also upload new tracks to the online music locker of this platform. YouTube Music also has a better, cleaner user-interface than Google Play Music. This platform offers well-curated radio stations that play updated and endless tracks.
- More than 40 million tracks
- Looks cleaner and better
- The subscription includes ads-free streaming on YouTube.
- Its catalog of songs still needs improvement.