Subscriber Account active since. When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more. Music listening has come a long way over the past few decades. Gone are the days when you had to buy CDs, vinyl records, or cassette tapes. You don't even have to buy digital downloads anymore. These days, you can simply sign up to a music streaming service and have access to all the music you'll ever need on a device that sits in your pocket.
We compare the biggest on-demand music streaming services to find the best one for you. Streaming music is cheap or even free in the case of Pandora and Spotify and outpaces any physical format when it comes to ease and convenience. In some cases, subscription services can sound indistinguishable from, or even better than, a CD. We've checked out the leading on-demand music streaming apps and options -- services such as Spotify, Pandora Premium , Apple Music and Tidal -- as well as Amazon Music Unlimited and YouTube Music to see how each platform stacks up for your subscription buck. While most boast music catalogs of more than 50 million songs, each has its own unique pros and cons. We've also left out services that only play music in a radio format and don't offer a la carte listening. Read on to find an in-depth look at each of the services and a feature comparison.
How to choose among Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, and more
For many of us, the days of buying albums are over. Music streaming services have put millions of songs at our fingertips, ready to play through our smartphone, tablet, computer or smart speakers whenever we fancy. Clever algorithms suggest artists and albums based on your listening habits, expanding your musical horizons daily. The tracks available on music streaming services have been compressed to save space, meaning audiophiles may find the sound quality disappointing. Some apps, including Tidal and Amazon Music, let you pay more for a hi-res stream that offers CD quality or better. The improvement is noticeable, but these bigger files will eat through your data allowance more quickly. Some music streaming services, including Spotify and Deezer, offer a free, ad-supported version that limits how many times you can skip songs.
A reimagined mobile app and brand new desktop player that are designed for music. YouTube Music has thousands of playlists, the official versions of millions of songs, albums, artist radio and more, in addition to all the music videos people expect from YouTube. At the airport? Entering the gym? Thousands of playlists built to help you discover new music. Copy link.