Spotify is often seen as the best music streaming service, but it's facing some serious competition. There are a variety of music apps like Spotify to give you an endless supply of music. If you're ready to try something new, check out some of the best Spotify alternatives to see which one fits your needs the best.
Qobuz is relatively new in comparison to the other Spotify alternatives on this list, but it already boasts over 80 million tracks, with most in hi-res audio. You can even buy digital downloads and physical CDs directly from the platform. Easily download for offline listening at any time and enjoy ad-free listening. Listen online or via the iOS and Android apps.
While there isn't a free tier, you can try Qobuz Studio, with studio-quality audio, free for 30 days. It's proving to be a worthy competitor, especially of Tidal, Deezer, and Amazon Music, that all offer higher-quality audio. The platform also offers unique Duo plans for those who just need two accounts versus a family account.
- Qobuz Studio Solo - $12.99/month or $129.96/year – studio-quality sound with original editorial content to learn more about your favorite artists.
- Qobuz Studio Duo – $17.99/month or $179.88/year – same as the Solo option but for two users.
- Qobuz Studio Family – $21.90/month or $215.88/year – same as Solo but for up to six people in the same household.
- Qobuz Sublime Solo – $15/month – same as all Studio plans, but you get up to 60% off all hi-res purchases for digital and physical.
- Qobuz Sublime Duo – $22.49/month – same as Sublime Solo but for two users.
- Qobuz Sublime Family – $29.17/month – same as Sublime Solo but for up to six users in the same household.
All Sublime plans must be purchased as annual plans.
2. YouTube Music
YouTube Music brings together music from the biggest record labels and uses Google's AI learning to tailor your streaming just for you. It also taps into the untold millions of songs from the main YouTube site: covers, fan versions, uploads, and much more. Just like Spotify, you're able to download music for offline listening – at least in the premium version.
Free users will have to put up with ads, which is fair enough, but a little more frustrating is the fact that on the smartphone versions, you can't turn your screen off without the music cutting out. But that's another way the platform tries to get you to buy the premium version.
- YouTube Music Free – Listen to curated lists and create your own. Everything is ad-supported, though you can try the premium plans for seven days for free.
- YouTube Music Premium – $9.99/month – Eliminate ads, download content for offline listening, and listen on the app with your screen off. Get two months free with an annual plan for $99.99/year.
- Music Premium Family – $14.99/month – Get all premium features for up to five people living in the same household.
- Music Premium Student – $4.99/month – You must submit verification that you're currently a student to qualify.
- YouTube Premium – $11.99/month or $17.99/month for family (up to five members) – This gives you access to the premium, ad-free version of YouTube and YouTube Music. If you hate YouTube's ads, this is a great bundle deal.
3. Apple Music
With a massive library and an attractive user interface, Apple Music is one of the best Spotify alternatives. It's also ideal for iPhone users who'd rather use official Apple apps instead, but it's not just for iOS users. You can listen on your desktop or via the iOS and Android apps.
If you have an iPhone, it just may be a better choice than Spotify since you can play music via Siri on your phone through voice commands.
Apart from the 75 million or so songs, users can also watch music videos and listen to live radio stations run by real DJs. When you first sign up for the service, it will try to build a music profile and suggest radio stations and playlists, which are about as good as Spotify's (read: hit or miss). You can also download music for offline listening.
- Free Trial – Take Apple Music for a test drive for one month for free; however, there is no free tier available.
- Voice – $4.99/month – only works on Apple devices and is ad-free, but it doesn't allow you to download music. This is the only plan that doesn't allow downloading.
- Student – $4.99/month – get all premium features of Apple Music at a discount if you're a student.
- Individual – $9.99/month – get access to all features of Apple Music.
- Family – $14.99/month – get access to all features for up to six people in the same household.
- Apple One – Starts at $14.95/month – bundle multiple Apple services into one monthly price. The Individual plan gives you Apple Music, TV+, Arcade, and Cloud+.
There are even some ways to get Apple Music for free.
4. Pandora Radio
As you might know, Pandora started off a bit differently than other streaming services. It's more like a custom radio station than a jukebox. Users create "stations" based on the stylistic similarities between songs and artists, then Pandora's algorithm plays music that matches those stats. You can listen online and via the iOS and Android apps.
When it comes to music apps like Spotify, Pandora has a lot to offer. It's evolved to be quite similar, even adding the option to create your own playlists in the premium version. The free tier works great as your own personal radio station, but you'll have to view ads for unlimited skips. It's a great option if you don't make your own playlists. However, any time you search for something, you'll have to view an ad.
- Free – Unlimited listening but ad supported. You can't make playlists or listen offline.
- Pandora Plus – $4.99/month – listen ad-free and enjoy unlimited skips. If you want to search for songs and play them on demand, you still have to listen to an ad for each search. You also have the option of a 30-day free trial.
- Pandora Premium – $9.99/month – enjoy a completely ad-free experience, listen offline, and create your own playlists.
Deezer is one of the closest music apps to Spotify. Like other services on this list, it includes a huge library (over 90 million tracks), on-demand radio, and more. Listen online and via the iOS and Android apps.
When you first sign up for the service, you'll build a profile of your listening habits by selecting your favorite genres and artists. Then it will suggest playlists based on those choices. The service uses Flow, an AI-based music mixer, to pick songs that fit your tastes and moods. You can only listen to tracks on-demand with a premium account.
- Free – Ad-supported. Listen to playlists created by Flow. If you listen to a specific song, you can only hear 30 seconds of it.
- Premium – $9.99/month – listen ad-free, pick and play songs on-demand, create playlists, and listen offline. Get a discount with an annual plan for $89.88/year.
- Family – $14.99/month – get all the benefits of Premium for up to six people in the same household.
- Student – $4.99/month – all the benefits of Premium but only for students.
- HiFi – $14.99/month – all the benefits of Premium but with High Fidelity sound.
You can test any plan for one month for free.
Jay-Z's Tidal bills itself as a "hi-fi" streaming service. While it was initially the only streaming service to offer lossless compressed audio, many services are now offering lossless and hi-fi audio options. You can listen online or via the iOS and Android apps.
In addition to high fidelity audio, you also get access to videos and livestreams along with artist-curated stations. This is in addition to over 80 million tracks. Enjoy curated lists by music experts and artists and personalized lists. Create your own playlists, too. Audio comes in three formats: Normal with AAC quality, HiFi with lossless quality, and Master with high-res quality.
- Free – Get Normal audio quality with ads. Enjoy curated playlists.
- HiFi – $9.99/month – enjoy HiFi level sound ad-free along with offline listening, more than 350,000 videos, and track your listening habits.
- HiFi Plus – $19.99/month – enjoy Master quality audio. Get all the same benefits of HiFi. Plus, your subscription fees are centered more around the artists you enjoy. Up to 10% of your fees are sent directly to the artists.
- Family – $14.99/month – benefits of the HiFi plan for up to five people in the same household. Upgrade to HiFi Plus for $29.99/month.
- Discounts – Students get 50% off plans. First responders and military (active and retired) get 40% off.
Premium plans come with a 30-day free trial.
7. Amazon Music Unlimited
If you love Alexa integration and are looking for music apps like Spotify, Amazon Music Unlimited is the perfect option. The version that's included with Amazon Prime only has two million songs, but Amazon Music Unlimited includes access to over 90 million songs. Listen online and via the iOS and Android apps.
Amazon Music Unlimited is a strong competitor, offering most of the same features as Spotify. You can also enjoy spatial and HD audio on compatible devices. Naturally, you're able to control your music with Alexa devices since it is an Amazon product. You don't need to be an Amazon Prime member to subscribe to Music.
- Free – Ad-supported and limited to stations and curated playlists. Audio is limited to SD quality.
- Individual – $9.99/month – create playlists, enjoy curated playlists, and listen on demand to specific songs and offline. Enjoy HD quality audio. If you're a Prime member, you can subscribe for $8.99/month or $79/year.
- Family – $14.99/month – all Individual benefits for up to six people in the same household. If you're a Prime member, you can get a discount on annual plans to $149/year.
- Single Device – $3.99/month – all premium benefits on a single Amazon device, such as the Echo, Echo Dot, or Fire TV. Audio is limited to SD only.
- Student – $4.99/month – all premium benefits but for verified students only.
Try premium plans for 30 days for free. You can also try these methods to help you save when shopping on Amazon.
Of course, the above aren't the only music streaming services available. However, they are the closest to what Spotify offers. A few more options you may want to consider include:
Listen to live radio stations around the world with iHeartRadio. You can also create playlists, listen to curated lists, enjoy podcasts, and catch up with your favorite artists with news stories. It's free to listen to live radio and curated lists, but everything is ad-supported.
There are two premium plans. Plus is $4.99/month for unlimited skips, playing songs on demand, and saving songs to your own playlists. It's only available via the iOS and Android apps. All Access is $9.99/month and adds offline listening, unlimited playlists, and millions more songs.
SoundCloud has over 150 million tracks and keeps adding more. Unlike Spotify and similar alternatives, SoundCloud features independent content creators, though you can find mainstream artists as well. You can listen to a limited catalog for free, but the platform is ad-supported. Listen online or via the iOS and Android apps.
With Sound Cloud Go, listen ad-free and download for offline listening for $4.99/month. With SoundCloud Go+, listen to the full catalog ad-free and download for offline listening for just $9.99/month. You can also mix tracks in compatible DJ apps.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are any Spotify alternatives available for smart TVs?
Yes. Most of the alternatives on this list do offer smart TV and streaming stick apps. However, they may not be available on all platforms. Check your TV or streaming stick app store to determine whether the app is available before subscribing to it.
Is better audio quality worth the extra cost?
It depends on how much of an audiophile you are. For many users, the difference isn't really enough to justify spending an extra $5 to $10 a month. Plus, to really hear the difference, you need speakers or headphones/earbuds that support higher audio quality.
Is there any reason to use more than one service?
Most people settle with one or two services at most. However, when you're trying Spotify alternatives, there's no reason not to try several at once.
The main reason people subscribe to two or three services is to access specific artists or features not available on other platforms. For instance, those who enjoy independent artists may want to subscribe to SoundCloud and one of the main seven Spotify alternatives to get a better mix of music.
Image credit: Soundtrap via Unsplash Screenshots taken by Crystal Crowder
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