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Is Spotify the Best Music Streaming App? We Put Them All to the Test

Music & Audio

Is there a music streaming app out there that can challenge Spotify?  We put 9 other apps to the test to see how they compared.

Anton Mark Writer
Published:
Updated:
Is Spotify the Best Music Streaming App? We Put Them All to the Test

Introduction

Spotify has been a streaming staple since 2011, beating out many other longer-standing platforms, but is it really the best for your buck? Okay, we admit that even after a rigorous test, $9.99 per month Spotify was still our #1 option. It provides unbeatable value for money and a range of social settings to let you enjoy your music in the best way. That being said, the popular music giant has some competition, and others are getting close to giving it a run for its money.

Read on to see why we picked Spotify and which other apps made our list.

Our Pick

Deserving of the top spot

Offering high-quality audio with access to millions of songs, albums, and podcasts, Spotify stands alone as one of the best apps on the market, and it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re taking advantage of their freemium membership or you’re a long term subscriber, Spotify is the gold standard for music streaming.
Why we chose Spotify:
  • Premium plans are $9.99 per month, which gives you full access to ad-free music and offline playback
  • Add other household members to your premium plan for a discount of $12.99 per month for 2 or $14.99 for 6
  • Listen to podcasts from all over the world
  • You can create your own playlists or listen to ones that have been created by others or curated just for you.
  • Ability to follow friends and share playlists and music with others
  • Huge library includes over 50 million songs giving you a wide range of choice and more than enough to help you find a playlist for every occasion

The features on the Spotify app are incomparable, and with the ability to create playlists and share with your friends and family, you’re able to share your passion for music with anyone.

Read Spotify's Full Review
Runner Up

Essential for long-time Apple users

With an extensive library of music and a smart, "typically Apple" interface, you’ll come to love the Apple Music app. If you’re already part of the Apple world, then this app is likely the one for you. 

Why we chose Apple Music:

  • You get a 30-day free trial. After that, the monthly subscription is directly comparable to Spotify at $9.99 per month.
  • Modern interface makes the app simple to use and very familiar if you’re already an Apple user
  • Share songs, playlists, and even connect with friends thanks to the Apple Music social features
  • Can listen to live radio stations, or select from the vast collection of playlists to suit your mood
  • Enjoy the huge selection of songs from the 50 million tracks that are available

Although the sound quality isn’t as good as some its competitors, it’s still a great alternative to Spotify if you’re already in the Apple ecosystem. Especially if you want to listen to your age-old iTunes albums alongside your new steams, and you don’t want to clog up your phone with new apps.

Read Apple Music's Full Review
Also Groovy

Out of this world sound quality

The first thing you notice about TIDAL is the sleek design. It’s simple to use and effortless to navigate, and a big part of that is because it’s very similar to Spotify. However, the second thing you notice is the superior audio quality.

Why we chose TIDAL:

  • A standard TIDAL membership is $9.99 per month, although there is an opportunity to upgrade to HiFi, which is well worth the $19.99 per month if you have a sharp ear
  • Incredible audio quality provides a supreme listening experience at 24-bit/96kHz streams
  • App is super easy to use and straightforward to navigate from browsing new tracks to creating playlists
  • TIDAL includes some of the latest music videos, so you won’t have to use other apps to watch.
  • Currently has over 60 million songs available in over 50 countries worldwide
TIDAL has an incredible range of content to give you an elite listening experience. If you’re looking for a high-quality streaming experience, then you can’t go wrong with TIDAL.
Read TIDAL Music's Full Review

Everything We Recommend

  • Our Pick
    With Spotify, you can listen to music and play millions of songs and podcasts for free. Stream music and podcasts you love and find music - or your next favorite song - from all over the world.

    • Discover new music, albums, playlists and podcasts
    • Search for your favorite song, artist, or podcast
    • Enjoy music playlists and an unique daily mix made just for you
    • Make and share your own playlists
    • Explore the top songs from different genres, places, and decades
    • Find music playlists for any mood and activity
    • Listen to music and more on your mobile, tablet, desktop, PlayStation, Chromecast, TV, and speakers

    Play podcasts and music for free on your mobile and tablet with Spotify. Download albums, playlists, or just that one song and listen to music offline, wherever you are.

    With Spotify, you have access to a world of free music, curated playlists, artists, and podcasts you love. Discover new music, podcasts, top songs or listen to your favorite artists, albums. Create your own music playlists with the latest songs to suit your mood.

    Spotify makes streaming music easy with curated playlists and thousands of podcasts you can’t find anywhere else. Find music from new artists, stream your favorite album or playlist and listen to music you love for free.

    • Free music and podcasts made easy – Listen to a playlist, album, or the top songs from any genre on shuffle mode.

    Listen to music and podcasts on your tablet for free
    • Play any song, artist, podcast, album, or playlist and enjoy a personalised music experience with a daily mix to match your taste.

    Spotify Premium features
    • Listen to an album, playlist, or podcast without ad breaks. With Spotify you can play music by any artist, at any time on any device--mobile, tablet, or your computer.
    • Download to listen to music offline, wherever you are.
    • Jump back in and listen to your top songs.
    • Enjoy amazing sound quality on personalized music and podcasts.
    • Discover new music, a daily mix or curated playlists that suit your mood. With Spotify you’ll get a personalized music experience like no other.
    • No commitment - cancel any time you like.

    Want to discover new music?
    Find music that you’ll love today! Explore our curated music playlists, top songs and albums, or get personalized music recommendations with your daily mix.

    Love Spotify?
    Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/spotify
    Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/spotify

    Please note: This app features Nielsen’s audience measurement software which will allow you to contribute to market research, such as Nielsen’s Audio Measurement. If you don't want to participate, you can opt-out within the app settings. To learn more about our digital audience measurement products and your choices in regard to them, please visit http://www.nielsen.com/digitalprivacy for more information.
    Cost
    Free
    Free
    In-App Purchases
    No
    $3.99 - $16.99 per item
  • Runner Up

    Apple Music

    3.7 Ratings 404K+ Reviews 50M+ Downloads
    Experience music like never before. Apple Music gets you closer to the songs, albums and artists you love. Get unlimited access to millions of songs and your entire music library. All ad-free and available across all your devices. Try 3 months free today. There’s no commitment - cancel anytime.

    Stream over 75 millions songs, all ad-free.

    Follow along to your favorite songs with time-synced lyrics.

    Stream your favorite music via Chromecast to your favorite device.

    Download your favorite tracks and play offline.

    Create your own playlists or get personalized mixes and top picks based on the music you love in Listen Now.

    Explore all-new stations, featuring dozens of exclusive shows created by the most iconic names in music. Available live or on demand.

    Watch exclusive interviews, live performances, and more from your favorite artists.

    Search for music by lyrics right in the app.

    Enjoy our Music editors’ picks with curated playlists.

    • Create a profile and follow friends to see music they’re listening to and playlists they’ve shared.

    New members get three months free.

    • Availability and features may vary by country or region. Subscription renews automatically after trial.
    Cost
    Free
    Free
    In-App Purchases
    No
    No
  • Also Groovy
    Elevate your music streaming experience with ad-free music in high fidelity and master quality audio. With 70+ million audio tracks, unlimited skips, offline play, radio, and intuitive discovery - TIDAL is the only music streaming service for true music purists and audiophiles.

    TIDAL is the only artist owned music streaming service with high fidelity sound, MQA tracks, 360 Reality Audio and Dolby Atmos support available in one place. Enjoy TIDAL on your favorite devices, including TVs, Amazon Alexa, and your preferred speakers. With over 150 integrations, TIDAL is as connected as you are.

    Ready to elevate your music experience? Free 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.


    • Listen To All Of Your Favorite Music - On Your Terms
    Ad-free, offline and as connected as you are — 70+ million audio tracks across all genres, as well as over 250,000 videos, all at your fingertips. TIDAL members are also the first to experience exclusive music, videos, and live performances.
    • The Highest Quality Audio Available - HiFi and MQA
    Unlike other services that stream primarily in standard definition, you can enjoy your music the way the artist intended with our lossless audio experience and high fidelity sound quality. With a HiFi subscription, listen to millions of songs in high fidelity, MQA and immersive sound formats such as Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio.
    • Personalized For You - My Mix & My Video Mix
    Listen and watch your favorite artists and discover more with My Mix and My Video Mix — curated, personalized playlists based on your listening habits. You can also create and share playlists,, listen to artist, track or genre-based radio, check out artist bios, find similar artists, edit your play queue and much more.
    • Discover More Of What You Love
    Discovering new music is important. Whether it’s rediscovering an old favorite in HiFi or discovering your new favorite album to commute to, TIDAL has intuitive features to share new music with you based on your listening habits, whether it’s a personalized mix of old favorites or suggestions for similar tracks to add to the playlist you're building.
    • Artists At Work Here - Human Curation
    Our content is hand-curated by music experts and the artists themselves. Original playlists, podcasts, video series & documentaries celebrate the creators and their craft. No robots here.
    • Listen Anytime, Anywhere
    Whether on the go, driving around town, or at home with your favorite speakers or smart TV, TIDAL works with your devices. With TIDAL Connect, stream high fidelity music without relying on third-party integrations.


    Sign up for a TIDAL subscription in the app, where you can choose between Premium and HiFi. The price of the subscription in your country can be found in the overview below. You will also be informed of the costs in the app before signing up. The subscription is automatically renewed and charged on a monthly (30 day) basis. You can cancel it at any time up until the day before renewal and you can at any time turn off the auto renewal.
    By signing up, you agree to TIDAL’s Terms and Conditions of Use, Privacy Policy and Mobile Terms, see http://tidal.com/terms
    Cost
    Free
    Free
    In-App Purchases
    No
    $12.99 - $39.99 per item

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About the Appventurer

Anton Mark

Writer

Is Spotify the Best Music Streaming App? We Put Them All to the Test

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