Music Streaming: Introduction
Streaming is no longer the future of music, it’s the present. Services like Spotify and Apple Music already account for nearly two-thirds of music industry revenue. Most people stopped buying music by songs or albums, and instead paid a flat rate of $10 a month to enjoy unlimited access to tens of millions of songs.
Streaming not only lets you enjoy more music, it also comes with comfortable tools for finding and playing songs. You can also use the voice assistant function to search for songs and play playlists made according to your taste. With a simple operation, you can listen to the soundtrack while exercising or working.
The question here is which streaming service to subscribe to. No matter which service you choose, you will be deeply involved in your daily life, so it is important to make the right choice. If you sign up with the service, not only will it play your favorite songs, but it will also suggest playlists that you might like and learn about your musical tastes.
Major Music Streaming Applications
There are many companies competing in the music streaming industry, but it’s actually a battle between five companies. Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Google’s music service, YouTube Music. What these five services have in common is that they can be accessed from almost anywhere and have huge music libraries.
Comparing the five major services, each one has advantages and disadvantages, and no company is clearly superior. So, based on five important criteria when choosing the best streaming services, we’ve compared them below.
In terms of price, all applications are surprisingly similar. Comparing the monthly fees, one user costs about $10, and a family membership fee that can be shared by up to six people is about $15. For Amazon, if you’re a Prime member, you can pay an additional $8 a month to enjoy all the songs, or you can use the service with a limited number of songs for free. All three, with the exception of Apple Music, also offer ad-supported, limited-feature free services.
I wrote that each service includes most songs, but each has its own content as well. In Apple Music’s case, it features exclusive interviews and Beats 1, a radio station that occasionally features famous artists as DJs. Users can also enjoy music they already own along with streaming.
YouTube music goes above and beyond. Not only can you find almost anything you want to hear, the service also includes countless music videos already posted on YouTube, remixes, covers, and live performances. The YouTube Music app doesn’t always do a good job of integrating this content, but no other service offers content that matches the library.
・Quality of curation
Each service helps you find what you want to listen to in order to efficiently enjoy your vast music library. All services offer playlists for background music when exercising, or playlists with songs you can sing in the car. Apple Music also has playlists of recently released songs tailored to your tastes. Spotify is taking it one step further. The service uses an algorithm to listen to a playlist that mixes old and new songs according to each user’s taste.
・Usability of the app
Building a great music app must be quite a challenge. No service has done it. Spotify takes a long time to launch the app, is complicated to use, and you have to go deep into the menu to find basic functions. YouTube Music’s web app is great, but it lacks basic features like sorting your library alphabetically. Apple Music looks great not only on the iPhone but also on smartphones running Google’s Android operating system, but to use it on desktops and laptops, you have to go through iTunes.
Amazon Music mobile app’s interface is easy to read and the layout is simple. But when used on the web, it’s terrible. Although the reliance on these apps has decreased with the rise of voice assistant functions, any service should focus on improving it.
Music streaming is highly dependent on user experience. In that sense, the service that readers should choose may already be decided. If you’re an iPhone user and are considering buying Apple’s HomePod, you should sign up with Apple Music. Similarly, if you have Amazon Alexa at home, Amazon Music should be the easiest to use. If you’re starting from scratch, Spotify might be the way to go. The service can be used on most devices, including Amazon’s Echo smart speaker, and can easily control playback functions using in-app functions.
My Personal Opinion
I’ve used and compared these services for several weeks. As a result, I still use Spotify. The fact that I’ve been using the same service for the past 2 years may have had a big impact. I’ve created hundreds of playlists and spent hundreds of hours using Spotify..
If you’re a music streaming user, there isn’t much reason to switch services. The YouTube Music has added new features such as downloading new songs so that you can listen to new songs even when you are offline, the same feature is also available in Spotify.
The battle for supremacy in the music streaming industry will continue for some time to come. And it won’t be the number of songs, original content, or the most user-friendly app that will determine the winner. It’s going to be the intelligence side of things like curation, personalization, voice recognition, and search.