There has never been more music to listen to, and fans have never faced greater choices on how to listen. While YouTube Music and Spotify take up most of the streaming bandwidth, rich competitors like Apple Music and Amazon Prime are pushing your eardrums, disruptors from Tidal to Qobuz hope to stand out by tweaking the listener experience.
So what is best? Well, that depends a lot on your needs. Are you familiar with artist pay rates, or more concerned about your own wallet? Are you longing for a high quality audio experience? Interested in podcasts? Is there any reason to take out Pandora?
a result Here to help. Our streaming guide ranks eight of the best and most popular streaming platforms according to a variety of criteria, from easy quantification (how much does it cost?) to more poetic concerns (how good does a drum break sound on Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight?”) . Read on to find the platform that best suits your needs. – Wren Graves
There are a range of price tiers on Spotify — the free account comes with ads, and the student account (the cheapest paid option with no ads) costs $4.99 per month. From there, the standard single account runs at $9.99 per month, and the six-account family plan is a bargain at $15.99 per month. Spotify also recently launched a category perfect for couples called Duo, which keeps separate accounts but works as one joint payment. First two months free, next two months $9.99, and official pricing starts at $12.99 per month.
Yes! Spotify is actually one of the most popular platforms for podcasting, and it offers features that introduce users to similar podcasts that they might enjoy.
Well, Neil Young said that the music on Spotify “sounds like a split movie.” Spotify’s sound quality isn’t the worst option, but it certainly doesn’t elevate or prioritize the listening experience.
How good does the drum break sound on “In the Air Tonight” on this service?
Fairly solid, but mostly because it’s a nice break in the drum. Spotify takes no credit!
This is where things get really tricky for Spotify. Known to be one of the worst options for artist payments, the latest data from a 2023 report from Ditto Music reported $0.003-$0.005 per stream on average. per stream! Apply that to a reasonably well-aired musician – let’s take a look at Gracie Abrams, for example. Her song “I Should Hate You” has been streamed 4.1 million times, but applying that airplay rate equals a total payout of $1,230, which must be divided according to publishing requirements. Think of the young and emerging artists who have never made a million on the track; Artists’ payouts are not something people can count on here.
Perhaps the best thing about Spotify is its algorithmic capabilities. Throughout the year, the Discover Weekly playlist can dig deeper into new music a user might enjoy, and it’s often right; Release Radar keeps people up to date on the musicians they actually enjoy. Spotify is able to blend taste profiles between artists and listeners, allows people to download and listen to their playlists offline, and just generally makes things fun for the user. Then, there’s the marketing gem which is the annual Spotify Wrapped Adventure, something people look forward to getting involved with and sharing. Hype builds to extreme levels near the end of the year, and social media is overflowing with snapshots of user data and hilarious analytics.
The biggest drawback
Again, this artist payout is a huge downside to the Spotify model. There are a lot of great things about the platform from a user experience perspective, but it’s not necessarily the place for anyone who likes to support their favorite artists with their portfolio.
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Obsessed with lists, algorithms, and data insights about your habits. – Mary Siroke