The music industry as you know is ever changing. While digital distribution is still quite widespread, many users now gravitate towards streaming music. Even music labels are finally on board with this new trend, and Spotify is often considered to be the most significant music streaming service with the best discovery and recommendation system too.
Looking at this golden opportunity, a lot of music streaming services have since given up, giving the fact that Spotify has gone far ahead of them. If you are an existing Spotify user who would instead like to check out other streaming services or maybe you are finding Spotify a bit too expensive, well you don’t need to worry as this article is a compilation of the top 10 Spotify alternatives for you.
Why and Why Not?
Spotify is the world’s most popular music streaming platform, with a massive 180 million fan base and over 83 million paying subscribers. It has made its mark in the industry over the last couple of years, making itself the superior hotspot for music consumption and capturing the interest of music artists and labels alike.
The platform is accessible from a wide range of devices, be it browser on your desktop, TV, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles and even your car screens. It offers a way for users to listen to the latest tracks from their favourite artists, build out their music collection and then organise the same through the playlists.
As for a reason, Spotify has gathered a lot of subscribers is its recommendations which is one of the best among the rest. It allows you to gain access to new albums, artists and more based on genre, likes, listening history and more. There is a social networking aspect of Spotify as well where you can connect with your friends and thereby see what they are listening to.
While all this may sound amazing, Spotify’s free subscription is limited for a time, and then you have to cough out $9.99/ month for the premium subscription. Though the $9.99 gets you ad-free streaming, offline downloads and most importantly, it gives you the ability to jump and play all tracks instead of being stuck with random shuffles.
The premium feature set here is restricted for the asking price. Here’s the list of the top 10 Spotify alternatives you can check out:
1. Apple Music
Apple Music is one of the most reputed music streaming services with over 60 million paid subscribers all over the world yet it still lags behind Spotify by a considerable margin. The service gives you access to a catalogue ranging from over 50 million tracks for streaming and sync of your iTunes library as well as gives you the ability to upload your music library to the service. The recommendation system is not the best, but it is okay from the experience i have had with it.
One of the features of Apple Music is exclusive album launches and 24/7 Beats1 radio station, curated playlists and so much more. It is lush with features which includes Apple watch and Siri integration but the social experience is now being pulled out, and there is the lack of a free version which is one of the major plus Spotify has over it. You can pick between the free version, a monthly subscription, with cheaper family and student plans.
2. Google Play Music
Google‘s Music streaming service is also a solid option for music streaming especially when it’s pre-loaded on Android devices, and you don’t need to look elsewhere. It gives Android users access to more than 35 million songs, and it also lets you upload over 50,000 songs from your playlist, and discover podcasts as well. The artist recommendation along with great genre and affordable family plans which makes the streaming platform quite appealing.
it’s quite interesting to know that the app learns your music references over some time and then gives you curated radio stations based on artists you have previously listened to based on genres, right on the home screen and its great.
Google’s Music stack is a bit messy just like messaging stack, and you can use YouTube Music which is available for cross platforms to stream tracks on your smartphone as well. It also plays music tracks from YouTube so you can be able to see video alongside the latest music tracks, with background playback and no ads.
3. Amazon Music
From selling musical contents digitally to streaming, Amazon has also dipped its toes in this fledgeling segment. Amazon Music allows you to listen to a massive catalogue of songs through your Prime subscription, but Amazon Music Unlimited opens up the whole library of over 50 million songs to you. It presents you with unlimited skips, an ad-free experience, and the ability to download songs and then control playback using Alexa.
Amazon Music may have a considerable library and new releases made available in time, but the one thing that I dislike about this platform is its user interface. It is dated and similar to Amazon’s official app which is improving but slowly, as well as clunky too. Users would not be drawn to using the streaming service if it was not for the Alexa voice integration in the app and Prime subscription that makes its users curious.
Pandora is not just one of the oldest, but it’s also one of the most popular streaming services out there. It has been in existence since 2002 and currently boasts of 75 million active users, even though it’s has been in the industry for quite a long time. It has one of the largest music libraries, but it also makes it available in the form of radio stations, which is fantastic by the way. I won’t have found a lot of good rappers if no for the Mac Miller station, also its recommendation system is pretty high.
The platform’s free tier limit you from skipping songs and includes some ads between the songs, and it can also be found on the playback screen which I found to be annoying. The monthly subscription comes with no commercials, unlimited skips, higher quality audio and replays, is available when you subscribe to Pandora Plus for just $4.99 per month with a 30-day free period. Sadly, due to DMCA regulations, Pandora is available only in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
5. Tidal Music
Tidal is a music subscription service based on subscription; a famous rap star Jay-Z owns it. It combines lossless audio and high fidelity (Hi-Fi) music videos with curated editorial. The service prides itself on providing its users with the highest quality of music contents and also disbursing the highest percentage of royalties to music artists and songwriters in contrast to its competitions. Then, there is ‘Tidal X’ experience that brings listeners close to their favourite artists.
Currently, the platform has over 50 million tracks and 130 thousand music videos in its library with over 3 million subscribers which are low next to its competitors. If you’re a true audiophile, who has a problem paying extra for improved quality content and have decent internet connectivity, then this is your best bet. There’s a 30 day free trial period, a post which the service costs $9.99 per month for the excellent quality and $19.99 per month for high-fidelity (Hi-Fi) music.
Deezer is one of the most respected and oldest music streaming service, which is no known to offer its users a collection of over 53 million licensed tracks, over 30,000 radio channels, podcasts and many more. It can boast of over 14 million monthly active users which pale in comparison to Spotify.
The streaming service allows you to listen to songs, create and then rate custom playlists based on your favourites, and then group songs into radio stations. The highlight is called Flow, and it’s a non-stop mix of songs customised to your liking to not merely give you a dose of your best tracks and also introduce you to new artists as well.
The free tier of Deezer is rich with features, but it comes with ads. So, if you’re ready to spend some money, $19.99 per month to be exact, then the Hi-Fi streaming option, with a 16-bit FLAC quality will be enabled for you, and there’s nothing better. It will also elevate the experience by taking out ads, allowing offline support, shuffling and skips.
7. Sound Cloud
Well, if you’re looking for some fresh indie music or an upcoming rapper, the likes of Post Malone, the Soundcloud is the perfect music streaming service for you. It is one of the popular services among creators, with its whole collection adding up to 120 million tracks which include favourite songs and indie ones. That is a massive library for a melophile like me, and it can be said to be bigger than Spotify, who likes to go on a new artist hunt every so often.
Soundcloud is continually adding new features to make discovery easier. The Upload is a feature which has been added recently, and it surfaces the latest music uploaded by indie artists in a playlist which is curated just for you. Apart from the high collection, Soundcloud is known to hold all standard features like playlists, the ability to skip songs, and a stream of artists you follow. There is a social element to Soundcloud as well, and you will love it.
If you want to remove ads and you want to support upcoming artists, well, ‘Soundcloud Go’ is the mature way to go about it. It is a $4.99 per month subscription that shares revenue with creators, brings in offline support and more. It is cheaper than Spotify and also fun.
For Bollywood lovers
Spotify just made its entry into India, and so far we would recommend you to not switch to it at least not yet. If you’re craving for Bollywood music, I am sure that some of these apps mentioned above can come to your rescue. Although, if you want a fulfilling experience, a homegrown music streaming service then maybe it’s your best bet. So, below are some of the top Spotify alternative for lovers of Bollywood sounds.
While Gaana once claimed it to be the number one music streaming platform in India, there is a new rival in town, and it’s all thanks to Reliance Jio. Saavan and Jio Music have recently merged to create the most significant streaming service in India called JioSaavn. I mainly stick to Spotify but I switched to JioSaavn for a week, and well, the UI is undoubtedly a breath of fresh air, and the recommendations are decent too.
JioSaavn has over 50 million songs across English, Bollywood, Hindi, independent artists and many different regional languages like Tamil, Punjabi, Telugu and more as well. You will get ad-laden unlimited playback, radio stations, curated playlists, and exclusive podcasts and more for free.
You can also get a 90-day free trial if you’re an existing user, but, if you pick the Pro subscription, then JioSaavn will remove the ads, they offer an unlimited skips, ability to download tracks and then stream music at 320kbps as well. It is on par with Spotify in terms of features and music collection as well, which is just great.
Let’s move to Gaana; it’s not behind from JioSaavn in terms of features and usability. The streaming service offers an extensive collection of more than 30 million Bollywood and English tracks. Millions of region tracks supplement this in Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and more. Gaana is also stocked with curated playlists, radio stations including 20 Radio stations for users who are lacking a Radio app.
Gaana has a pretty neat and simple user interface, which is inviting to the users, and one thing I like about its discovery and recommendation system is that it sticks to your initial choices. I don’t like listening to regional contents; neither do I have an interest in them, so i chose the western artists, and I listen to the whole service accordingly. Gaana is free, but affordable Plus subscriptions get you high-fidelity (Hi-Fi) playback, offline downloads and the ability to sync contents.
10. Wynk Music
This music service has tons of Bollywood content along with a hoard of western and regional content to round off its collection. You can easily find the song you are looking for, with a massive 3 million free song library. The service provides high-quality streaming, curated playlists, a personalised radio station and a lots more.
While the free version of Wynk Music is excellent and allows access to most for the features, you will no longer see ads and get offline downloads with a paid subscription.
Hungama Music is a renowned name in the music streaming industry in India, but with the introduction of Saavan and Gaana, combined with their growing popularity over the years, Hungama Music has lost its touch. Though it’s still has a decent library with over 10 million songs ranging from Bollywood, rap, hip-hop, rock, pop, jazz and regional tracks. The differential factor for Hungama Music is the availability of videos on the platform, alongside the music tracks.
Hungama Music is not the best when it comes to music streaming, but it has a clean user interface, and you get a lot of features such as online radio, multi-login, song lyrics, a point-based reward system and more. The Hungama Pro subscription gives you ad-free playback, an offline downloads option, high experience and high-quality streaming.
Spotify has a way of getting your attention, all because of its outstanding recommendation algorithms. Although I did not land on the perfect choice for me right now. I had to check out other services to find the right fit. So if you are ready to do so too, pick from the above-mentioned streaming services and then start a musical journey with them.
Do well to let us know the choice you made and why in the comments section below.