Music streaming is still a relatively new thing, but it’s caught on like wildfire. In fact, between 2010 and 2019 streaming music rose from 7% of the U.S. market to 80%! That’s a massive increase, and the userbase is only getting bigger as people move away from things like iPods and CDs towards streaming services.
If you’re looking to get in on the world of music streaming, you need to consider all the best music streaming sites before making a choice. Here are five of your best options.
No list of the top music streaming sites is complete without Spotify, so let’s get it out of the way right now.
Spotify is a revolution in music streaming websites. For an affordable $10 per month, you get access to one of the largest music libraries on the web. Whether you’re a fan of classical, hip-hop, or ambient noise music, Spotify has you covered with popular artists and hidden gems alike.
Spotify is fantastic at reading your music choices and recommending new artists and songs to listen to. The more songs you like and dislike, the smarter it gets. Spotify creates your new, custom playlists every day filled with your known favorites and related songs you’re bound to love.
If you’re a podcast lover, you’ll also find Spotify very tempting. Spotify has tons of podcasts for you to discover. Recently, Spotify became the sole provider of the Joe Rogan Experience, giving fans of the show a big reason to sign up for their service.
You have a lot of options for listening to Spotify, too. You can listen through your browser, and through a dedicated application for PC, Mac, Android and iOS. No matter how or where you want to listen, Spotify is there for you.
Available through your web browser, as well as an Android and iOS app, SoundCloud offers something a little different.
SoundCloud’s service has a particular focus on DIY/amateur music and social features. You’ll still find all the biggest new releases on here, but the heart of SoundCloud is in its DIY music scene.
On SoundCloud, you’ll find tons of new underground hip-hop, electronic, ambient, and indie music. Genre mashing and remixing is big on SoundCloud, and there’s always a new, fascinating genre or group to discover. Like Spotify, SoundCloud gets better and better at recommending you new music as you use it, creating custom playlists and suggesting new artists for you to follow every day.
Every artist on SoundCloud has a feed where they can repost songs they like for their followers. In this way, SoundCloud is all about supporting each other. It’s a social music streaming site rather than just another music library.
If you’re into modern music and you’re always looking for the next big thing, you need to get on SoundCloud. It’s free to use with occasional ads, or $10 per month for premium.
In every way, Bandcamp is a music streaming app for serious music lovers and admirers.
Bandcamp features music from every genre across the sun. Like Soundcloud, they’re focused more on rising indie bands, but also offer a good selection of the biggest artists today. Bandcamp goes a step further than most streaming services and lets you buy music directly from the site, either in physical copy or as a direct download.
Of course, you can stream from Bandcamp through the web browser, or a dedicated app on iOS and Android. The premium service comes in at $10 per month. Album and single prices vary, with many artists allowing you to download their music for free or on a “pay what you can” basis.
Occasionally the first Friday of every month, Bandcamp gives 100% of the profits from album sales to the artist. This just shows how Bandcamp respects its artists. Streaming music services are constantly under fire for underpaying their artists, but never Bandcamp.
Beyond that, Bandcamp is just a great streaming service. You’ll find tons of great new bands, recommendations from artists you love, and you might even find some cool new vinyl to add to your physical music library.
4. YouTube Music
Coming in at the usual $10 per month, YouTube Music is an underrated gem when it comes to music streaming sites.
YouTube music offers all the biggest artists and newest music, and comes with the added bonus of music videos. When you’re browsing through your favorite artist’s songs on YouTube Music, you’ll also see a section for their music videos. This is something that no other streaming service really offers, and it’s a welcome addition.
YouTube Music gives you great suggestions based on your taste, with custom playlists like the ‘Discover Mix’, ‘Your Mix’, and ‘New Release Mix’ filled with new songs you’ll love. They also have ‘Presenting’ playlists filled with all the best music from select artists.
If you’re a big YouTube user, you might want to use YouTube Music just because of how it connects with your YouTube account. If you stumble upon a song or music video on YouTube, you can like it from there and it’ll automatically add to your YouTube Music account. You never have to worry about losing a song you’ve found again.
Finding the Best Music Streaming Site
There are a lot of music streaming services out there right now, but not all are created equal. To get the most out of your money, use one of the top music streaming sites featured above. You’ll find everything you love, and stumble upon tons of new artists in the process.