Which Music Service Should I Purchase?

It seems that how we choose to get our music is always changing, and at the moment, streaming is where it’s at. There are many different streaming platforms with many different options, so it can be tough to choose. Here’s what you need to know about the top streaming services and how to choose which one is best for you.

Apple Music

While Apple Music might just be the successor to iTunes, Apple’s new service works on a subscription basis, rather than iTunes’ a la carte method of delivery. Just like the other big music streaming services, Apple Music boasts a big library, so you’ll be sure to find almost anything you’re looking for. What sets it apart is its curated playlists from curators and editors, not computer algorithms. There’s also Beats 1, a live broadcast station, that you can access free without a subscription. Unfortunately, you have to pay to get the rest of Apple Music’s features. A single subscription is $9.99 per month, or you can pay  $14.99 for a family membership shared among six people. There’s also a student discount membership for $4.99 per month.

Spotify Premium

Spotify was one of the first services to get into the music-streaming game, and as a result, it’s one of the most popular. It’s got the playlists and it’s compatible with pretty much every device.

While you don’t need to pay to use Spotify–there is a free version–shelling out $9.99 per month for the premium version will get you no ads, unlimited skips, and downloadable tracks. Plus, with its built-in Facebook integration, you’ll be able to easily share your music tastes with your friends.

Pandora One

While, like Spotify Premium, you may use an ad-supported Pandora for free, this music streaming service has little in common with the rest of its brethren. Unlike other services, which are built around creating playlists and listening to albums, Pandora gives you a station based around an artist or genre. The paid version, Pandora One, takes the ads away and gives you more skips. But perhaps the best difference that sets Pandora One apart from the others is its price: it’s only $4.99 per month.

Google Play Music

Google Play Music has most of the same features of the rest of the music streaming services, and at a familiar price point: $9.99 per month and $14.99 for a family plan of up to 6 members. Along with the ability to listen to human-curated playlists based around artists, genres, and moods, Google Play Music lets you upload up to 50,000 of your own songs to stream anywhere, saving you space on your computer. Plus, a Google Play Music subscription gets you another perk: ad-free YouTube videos.

Which music subscription service you choose is going to depend on how you choose to listen to your music. Do you like to listen to albums all the way through? Go with Apple Music or Google Play Music. Prefer singles and discovering new music? Pandora One or Spotify might be for you. You’ll also want to take into account which ecosystems you’re already apart of – for example, if you’re an iPhone and Mac user, Apple Music will be the natural choice. Thankfully, many of these services offer a free trial period so you can take the time to figure out what works best for you.

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