Time to Get With The… Times
Are you still listening to radio with commercials? Do you still buy songs for $1 or more each? If so, it’s time to make a change! Listening to music has evolved from album records to 8-track cassettes to cassette tapes to compact discs (CDs) to .mp3’s and finally to streaming. Streaming is wildly convenient and surprisingly affordable.
What is streaming?
Streaming gives you access to millions of songs at your finger tips. Listen to virtually any song imaginable on your home theater speakers, in your car, and on your computers, tablets, and smartphones. Streaming is wildly convenient and surprisingly affordable. You can expect to pay around $120 per year to get this kind of unlimited access and for around $180 you can expect to share this with several other family members or friends. Below are some of the options available as well as the pros and cons of each.
If you use an iPhone, iPad, and Mac then all signs point to Apple Music.
Apple Music boasts over 30 million songs that you get unlimited access to for just $9.99 per month. You can even setup a Family Sharing account with Apple which shares this unlimited Apple Music subscription with up to 5 additional members for only $14.99 per month. New subscribers even get the benefit of three months completely free!
Even if you don’t use Apple products, you can get access to Apple Music on any PC with iTunes or Android device by downloading the Apple Music app from the Google Play store.
Don’t miss out on your 3-month free trial. Get started with Apple Music today.
Spotify also offers 30+ million songs in their vast music library and is available for your Apple, PC, or Android devices as well. Spotify does offer a free version of its services unlike Apple. However, you can expect to hear advertisements with the free version which will likely encourage you to sign up anyway, so save yourself the time. A Spotify Premium subscription will cost you the same $9.99 per month or Family Premium subscription at $14.99 per month for you and up to 5 additional members.
Get started with Spotify today and try Premium free for 30 days.
Amazon Prime Music & Amazon Music Unlimited
Amazon makes things interesting here by offering a few variations of music streaming options. First off, if you’re not already a Prime member, you should definitely sign up for Amazon Prime right now and open your mind to a new world of shopping convenience. There are tons of benefits including music, videos, photos, books, and more! Free 2-day shipping on almost everything makes last-minute gifting surprisingly easy. You can also setup household sharing which allows you to share all of this with one other person, essentially splitting the $99 annual fee down to just $50 each. Seriously, it’s so worth it… become an Amazon Prime member today!
Now, if you’re reading this and you still aren’t a Prime member, that’s okay (even though you get access to 2 million songs completely free just by being a Prime member). Now, on to the subscription options. Amazon offers “tens of millions” of songs in Amazon Music Unlimited for the same $9.99 per month and $14.99 per month (up to 6 members) as the previous competitors. However, if you are a Prime member, the monthly option for individual is only $7.99 per month. Get started with a free 30-day trial of whatever plan suits you best. Annual options are available too at $79 per year and $149 per year respectively which essentially offers 2 months free.
If you fell in love with Alexa, Amazon Music Unlimited may just be the best option for you so try it out here.
For most of us, Pandora was our first introduction to streaming music and it was great. The ads were annoying but hey, it was free music! After a while, we became annoyed because we couldn’t just play any song we wanted but instead picked an artist or genre and heard “similar” music. Pandora now offers Pandora One which is ad-free but you should know Pandora still works much more like a radio than a personalized music library. You still cannot play specific songs at your will. Apple Music and Spotify both offer radio channels like that of Pandora so consider this in making your music streaming decision. Pandora One offers a lower price tag at only $4.99 per month for their commercial-free listening.
If you want to save a few bucks and not have to worry about picking songs, give Pandora One a whirl here.
Google Play Music
Moving into the slightly-less popular music streaming services, big-name Google offers their equally massive 35 million song library (because really, what’s another 5 million songs at this point?) in Google Play Music for $9.99 per month individually or $14.99 per month for up to six members total. Google allows you to upload 50,000 of your own songs from your library which sounds great but chances are they already have all your music. Also included is a newer service called YouTube Red which is for streaming music, ad-free videos and more.
You get to enjoy 30 days for free and there is also a free version available, but as mentioned previously, it’s well worth the small expense to enjoy ad-free listening without any library limitations.
If you are an Android fanatic or aren’t impressed with the previous options, give Google Play Music a spin here.
Need a Side-by-Side Comparison?
If the comparison looks overwhelming, close the tab, go back to the top and sign up for Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, or Amazon Music Unlimited (but please, do yourself a favor and sign up for Amazon Prime).