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

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.

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

Table of Contents

  1. 1. Apps We Selected
  2. Our Pick Spotify: Music and Podcasts Spotify: Music and Podcasts Runner Up Apple Music Apple Music Also Groovy TIDAL Music TIDAL Music
  3. 2. Everything We Recommend
  4. 3. The 411 from our Appventurer
  5. 4. Other Apps Considered
Our Pick

Deserving of the top spot

  • Listen to songs, play podcasts, create playlists, and discover music you'll love
    4.6 Ratings 49M+ Reviews 1B+ Downloads
    Free Feature Rich Fresh 1M+ Reviews
    Free
    Free In-App Purchases

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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, Wear OS watch 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
    Fill your world with the songs, albums, and artists that define you. Get unlimited access to millions of tracks, curated playlists and original content from the artists you know and love. Experience Lossless Audio, and hear sound all around you with Spatial Audio featuring Dolby Atmos.

    Over 90 million songs, all ad-free.
    Spatial Audio, featuring Dolby Atmos.
    Follow along with time synced lyrics, and share the parts that move you in Messages.
    Download your favorite music and listen offline.
    Make and share playlists with friends.
    Get personalized picks in Listen Now
    Browse picks and playlists from Apple Music editors.
    Stream your favorite music via Chromecast to your favorite device.
    Search for songs by lyrics.
    Go deep into the music with interviews, live performances and more that can only be found on Apple Music.
    Explore dozens of exclusive shows, created by the most iconic names in music, live or on demand.
    Follow friends to discover what others are listening to.

    Availability and features vary by country, region or plan. Subscriptions automatically renew unless they are canceled at least 24 hours prior to the end of the current period. Your account will be charged for renewal within 24 hours prior to the end of the current period. You can manage or cancel your subscriptions in Settings after purchase. Apple Media Services Terms and Conditions can be found at https://www.apple.com/legal/internet-services/itunes/.
    Cost
    Free
    Free
    In-App Purchases
    $5.99 - $14.99 per item
    No
  • Also Groovy
    You can now enjoy TIDAL FOR FREE or through our new paid subscriptions. With more options to elevate your music streaming experience with TIDAL, now’s the time to sign up and experience over 80 million audio tracks the way they were meant to sound.

    In addition to premium, immersive audio experiences on our new HiFi Plus subscription, you can learn how your listening behavior adds up to support your favorite artists, and support artists directly as a result of your streaming.

    With TIDAL HiFi, never miss a note with lossless quality audio.

    With TIDAL Free, you can enjoy music across all genres with limited interruptions.

    Get TIDAL HiFi to:
    - Listen to over 80 million songs in HiFi, ad-free sound anywhere you are, even when you’re offline
    - Use TIDAL Connect to listen to HiFi on your favorite devices, including TVs, Amazon Alexa, your preferred speakers and more than 150 other integrations.
    - Access 350K+ music videos*

    With HiFi Plus, get everything in HiFi and:
    - Listen to music in premium, immersive audio formats (MQA, Dolby Atmos, 360 Reality Audio)
    - 10% of your subscription gets directed to your most streamed artists every month**

    You can start streaming now with TIDAL Free, or visit tidal.com to start your free HiFi or HiFi Plus trial, and then come back to the app to start listening. 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

    *Video not available in UAE
    **Select plans may have lower percent allocation
    Cost
    Free
    Free
    In-App Purchases
    No
    $12.99 - $39.99 per item
Compare All Apps

The 411 from our Appventurer

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Anton Mark
Written by:

Anton Mark

As a freelancer, I use all types of different apps so that I can manage my time and remain organized with ease. I’m always on the go so I love anything that can help me to stay on top of my tasks but for fun, I love playing games or watching movies.

I’m a huge sports fan so I’ll usually be checking the latest scores or following up on my teams and I also like to expand my mind with audiobooks and podcasts. Using apps allows me to get through so much more in a typical day that I simply wouldn’t be able to cover otherwise and I love it.

Being able to write about apps is pretty great as I get to research the best apps out there and find the hidden gems that people may not know about then share that information to help others discover their new favorite apps.  

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

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