Mainstream Music

The days of turning a dial to flip through a pre-set station for a good song is long gone.

No more must we practice patience, waiting for the local radio stations to broadcast the top hits in the hourly playlist. Much like the instantaneous world we live in, music has evolved into a music lover’s paradise, where songs of any decade can be instantly accessed. Streaming music has become the lifeblood of the music industry. According to Lifewire.com, “streaming audio is a way of delivering sound without requiring you to download files from the internet.” As streaming has surged in popularity (now you can stream not only music, but movies, shows, and video games), the number of companies offering their musical services has also increased! Tour Collierville is here to help wade through the industry’s main players jockeying for a coveted space on your phone’s home screen.

For starters, consumers have a tough time telling most of these services apart because the plans they offer are largely the same. Some of these rival platforms focus on radio while others offer on-demand streaming, and some promote uninterrupted listening, free of ads. But at their core, all of these paid services give the listener unlimited music streaming and the ability to create playlists, their own radio stations, and an opportunity to download songs for roughly $10 bucks a month. Tune in to our list to see the break down of the top-rated platforms before ultimately deciding which one to subscribe to!

Apple Music

  • 50 million+ songs
  • 50 million+ subscribers
  • 3 month free trial

Best Suited For: If you already have a large iTunes library of downloaded music, you’ll enjoy a fairly seamless integration streaming new tunes with Apple Music.

Bottom Line: The service works well with iOS and Android, and often features early releases of popular musicians’ new music. Also, if you have difficulty remembering song titles, it has a nifty tool where you can search for songs by lyrics, instead.

Pricing: $10/month, $15/month (family plan), $5/month (students)

Spotify

  • 35 million+ songs
  • 96 million+ subscribers
  • 30 day free trial
  • Partnership with Hulu
  • Offers freemium model

Best Suited For: This is probably the best service for those who want to play songs on-demand. Spotify® also offers great genre and activity-based playlists, as well as easy playlist customization for those who like to create their own.

Bottom Line: This is Tour Collierville’s staff pick, so obviously it’s the best! Spotify is arguably the world’s most popular music streaming service, and also the first one to partner with TV and movie streaming (Hulu is free with Spotify Premium).

Pricing: $10/month, $15/month (family plan), $5/month (students)

Pandora

  • 2 million+ songs
  • 6 million+ subscribers
  • 3 month free trial
  • Offers ad-supported freemium model

Best Suited For: Listeners who want to hit play and enjoy for an extended period of time, whether hosting a party, listening during a work-out session, or just simply want to put the device down for a while.

Bottomline: Pandora® offers tailored recommendations, and somewhat customizable stations. Start a station based on one of your favorite artists, then be surprised by all your other favorite songs that somehow manage to come on next.

Pricing: $5/month, $10/month (on-demand listening), $15/month (family plan)

Amazon Music & Amazon Music Unlimited

Amazon Music

  • 2 million+ songs
  • 16 million+ paid subscribers (between both Prime Music & Unlimited)
  • Included with Amazon Prime Membership, or offers ad-supported freemium model for non-members

Amazon Music Unlimited

  • 50 million+ songs
  • 16 million+ paid subscribers (between both Prime Music & Unlimited)
  • 30 day free trial

Best Suited For: Amazon Prime members benefit the most from using either of Amazon’s streaming services. Prime Music is included with your Amazon Prime membership, and Prime members also get a discount if they want to upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited ($8/month instead of $10/month for non-members). In addition, if you have an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Amazon Tap, Music Unlimited only costs you $4/month.

Bottom Line: Prime Music and Music Unlimited are both ad free (unless using the freemium model), and if you have an Amazon device like the Echo, you can summon songs. However, a big con is that Prime Music only offers around 2 million songs.

Pricing: Prime Music is included with Amazon Prime membership ($13/month), Amazon Music Unlimited is $8/month for Prime members, $4/month with an Echo device, or $10/month for non-members

Tidal

  • 60 million+ songs
  • 3 million+ subscribers
  • 30 day free trial
  • Exclusive artists

Best Suited For: Tidal is best suited for HiFi aficionados, and hip hop and R&B fans looking for early releases and exclusive material.

Bottom Line: Tidal is kind of expensive, and can eat through your cellular data fairly quickly. However, exclusive artists and material is always an advantage.

Pricing: $10/month standard audio, $20/month high-resolution audio, students pay half price for either standard or hi-resolution tiers

Source: Germain, T. (2019). Best Music Streaming Services. [online] Consumer Reports.
Available at: https://www.consumerreports.org/streaming-media/best-music-streaming-service-for-you
All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them. All pricing for all streaming services and specifications are subject to change without notice.
“Apple Music” and the Apple Music logo are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.  “Amazon Music” and the Amazon Music logo are trademarks of Amazon Inc.  “Spotify” and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB in the USA and other countries.  “Tidal” and the Tidal logo are registered trademarks of Aspiro AB in the USA and other countries.  “YouTube Music”, the YouTube logo, and the YouTube Music logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc.  “Pandora”, “Pandora Radio”, and the Pandora logo are trademarks of Sirius XM Holdings, Inc.