» 9 best music streaming apps and services for Android
Review & Guide App
views: 158 publish: July 11, 2016
Music streaming has grown up tremendously since its inception and is now among the best ways to listen to music. Many streaming services let you listen for free, which has helped curb the need for piracy while artists still get at least a little bit for their work. It’s also easily accessible with a ton of options. If you’re in the hunt to stream some music, here are the best music streaming apps for Android! Please note, Groove Music and Tidal are great music streaming services, but their apps could use a little more work.
[Price: Free / $4.99 per month / $9.99 per month / $14.99 per month for a family plan]
Apple Music exploded onto the scene in late 2015 to mixed reviews. However, it has quickly become one of the best music streaming apps out there. It features 30 million songs along with playlists, a 24/7 live radio, and you can upload your music and stream it to your device. There is also a social component where you can follow artists and see what they’re up to. It has a variety of monthly plans, including individual plans, a cheaper student plan, and a family plan that supports up to six family members. The video below shows our comparison between Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Play Music!
Google Play Music
[Price: Free / $9.99 per month / $14.99 per month for a family plan]
Google Play Music is a streaming app that boasts over 35 million songs, which is among the most of any of the music streaming apps on the list. Subscribers also get a YouTube Red membership which lets them view YouTube videos without advertising along with some additional features. Aside from that, Play Music is known for its absurd number of playlists along with its Material Design inspired UI. You can listen for free, but you’re limited to just playlists while paid subscribers have full reign. It also has a $14.99 family plan that supports up to six people. The service also now includes podcasts.
iHeartRadio is a favorite for many users because it’s completely free (ad supported) and features a ton of content. The music service boasts over 1500 live radio stations that span a variety of musical genres. It also has talk radio if you’re into that and seasonal radio if you need Christmas music or something like that. You can create Custom Stations based on music you like and the service boasts a catalog of 18 million songs by 450000 artists. It doesn’t have the individual song control of Spotify or Google Play Music, but it’s right up with Pandora in terms of ease of use and convenience.
[Price: Free / $4.99 per month / $54.89 per year]
Pandora is among the most popular music streaming apps out there. It’s supported on virtually every platform (including some vehicles) and it’s very easy to use. As a result, its popularity has skyrocketed over the years It’s a non-interactive platform which means that all you can do is skip tracks, give them a thumbs up, or give them a thumbs down. Free users can only skip so many tracks per day while paid subscribers can have unlimited skips. It’s only caveat is that it only features about one million songs (hand-picked) in their catalog. Most people don’t really notice, though.
[Price: Free / $3.99 per month / $9.99 per month]
Slacker Radio is an underdog in the music streaming apps realm, but it’s actually pretty good. The free version is similar to Pandora, with limit track skipping (six per hour) and the ability to create your own stations. A $3.99 per month subscription gets you ad-free listening, unlimited song skips, and offline stations. Those that go full price will get a Spotify-like experience with on-demand song playbacks as well as handmade playlists. As a result, the service is among the most versatile out there. The only potential caveat is that it has about 12 million songs, or about one third of what Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Play Music have.
[Price: Free / $9.99 per month]
SoundCloud is one of the more entertaining music streaming apps out there. For years, it was a bastion of independent media and you can find all kinds of stuff there. In early 2016, they launched SoundCloud Go, which gives you everything that SoundCloud is but also includes popular music from well-known artists. Consequently, that gives SoundCloud the largest library of them all with 125 million songs. It’s a solid overall service that also includes things like podcasts as well.
[Price: Free / $9.99 per month / $16.99 per month]
Spotify is pretty much the undisputed king of music streaming apps. At least, it is for right now. It features over 30 million songs in its library and also has playlists (both handmade and curated), decent discovery tools, video content, and podcasts. Hence, it’s one of the most well-rounded streaming services out there. You can use it for free and you’ll have access to playlists but you’ll need to fork out full price in order to get the entire experience. It also includes a family plan that, like Apple Music and Google Play Music, is $14.99 per month for up to six people.
[Price: $9.99 per month / $19.99 per month]
Tidal is another interesting music streaming service. It claims to have the highest royalty payment rate to artists and boasts a catalog of 25 million songs along with 130000 music videos. The app has had its problems in the past, but it seems like it is improving. It also features regular (lossy) streaming or you can pay the $19.99 per month for the lossless (16-bit FLAC) streaming option. It also includes things like music history articles, offline mode, and more. It’s not the greatest, but it’s definitely getting better.
[Price: Free / $7.99 per month]
TuneIn isn’t the biggest music streaming app ever, but it has a lot to offer. It’s a radio station based service that has over 100000 radio stations that include music, talk, comedy, sports, and other types of radio stations. There are also AM and FM stations for your convenience. If you pay the $7.99 per month, you’ll get access to 600 commercial-free music stations, no banner ads, and live sports. It’s an excellent overall option because of its generous offerings, but it’s not quite as musically inclined as many others on this list.