As a music lover, you probably think of Apple Music as one of the most popular streaming services. It has a vast library that lets you enjoy more than 100 million songs. Besides, here you can enjoy your favorite radio shows live. But it sometimes feels inconvenient, so looking for Apple Music alternatives is a good idea.
Apple Music has severe competitors that can give you a better music experience. I found some better alternatives through research, considering some of the disadvantages of Apple Music.
This article will walk you through some of the options that will help you choose a good streaming service. Moreover, some additional information will also be available here.
What is Apple Music?
Apple Music, provided by Apple Inc., is a popular streaming music service that grants users access to a vast library of music spanning various genres and artists. Users can stream music on-demand across their devices. Apple Music operates on a subscription-based model, with users paying a monthly fee for full access to its features.
With Apple Music, users can discover and listen to millions of songs, create personalized playlists, and explore curated playlists and radio stations. The service is compatible with iOS devices (such as iPhones and iPads), macOS computers, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Android devices, and web browsers.
Apple Music enriches the music listening experience through various features. It offers recommendations tailored to user preferences, generates personalized playlists using algorithms, and provides access to exclusive content like live radio shows, interviews, and music videos.
Moreover, Apple Music seamlessly integrates with Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, enabling users to control music playback through voice commands. Social features are also available, allowing users to follow friends and artists, share playlists, and see what others are listening to.
New users can enjoy a free trial period, after which a subscription is required to continue accessing the service’s features. The subscription fee varies depending on the country, and there are individual, family, and student pricing options to choose from.
Apple Inc. launched Apple Music in 2015, which reduced the hassle and cost of buying individual music albums for many music lovers. You can enjoy tons of songs on this platform by paying a monthly fee. Besides, if someone wants to listen to the songs offline, they can download them.
Few other platforms offer a library with as many songs as Apple Music. You can access Apple Music from almost any device. The platform is supported in more than 100 countries worldwide.
Apple Music Pricing And Features
|Cost||Starts at 4.99 USD/mo to 14.99 USD/mo (30 days free trial)|
|Best for||Unlimited music and radio shows.|
|Total downloads||About 78 million|
|Free songs||6 months free with specific devices|
Pros of Apple Music:
- Vast and diverse music collection: Apple Music offers over 75 million songs for streaming or download, allowing users to explore various genres and discover new artists.
- Seamless integration with Apple devices: Users can access their music library across multiple Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Siri integration enables convenient voice control for music playback.
- Expertly curated playlists and personalized recommendations: Apple Music provides tailored recommendations and curated playlists based on users’ listening habits and preferences, enhancing the music discovery experience.
- Exclusive content and early releases: Subscribers enjoy access to exclusive content such as album premieres, music videos, and live performances from popular artists.
- Integration with iTunes: Apple Music seamlessly integrates with iTunes, enabling users to access their existing music library and sync personal collections with the streaming service.
Cons of Apple Music:
- Primarily designed for Apple users: Non-Apple devices may not have the same level of integration and functionality as Apple devices, although an Android version of the app is available.
- Complex user interface: Some users find Apple Music’s interface to be complex and unintuitive, making navigation, feature discovery, and playlist management confusing for newcomers.
- No free, ad-supported tier: Unlike some other platforms, Apple Music does not offer a free version supported by ads. Users must subscribe and pay a monthly fee to access the service fully, which may not suit those seeking free streaming options or a trial period.
Why do You Need an Apple Music alternative?
Here are some reasons why you should look for alternatives to Apple Music. There are some severe reasons or drawbacks to Apple Music that will make you look elsewhere. After using Apple Music, I learned about several problems, which I will present below.
- No free plan: Apple Music does not offer a free plan, meaning you have to pay to access the services after registering here. However, the platform offers a limited-time free trial for new users.
- Songs are protected: The songs you download from Apple Music are protected by FairPlay Protection. So you cannot enjoy them forever. Once the subscription is canceled, these songs can no longer be played.
- Always requires sign-in: You must be signed in with Apple ID to listen to music; otherwise, no music will be played. Whereas other platforms do not require sign-in.
- Lacks ad-supported tier: Apple Music does not offer an ad-supported tier. So you have to put up with long ads when you enjoy streaming.
- The user interface is complicated: The interface of this platform will seem quite complicated to you, even though you may need clarification at times. It has many menus and submenus on each tab.
- Usage limitation: It will depend on what part of the world you are in. Also, the music added to the library will be lost upon canceling the subscription.
Spotify should be considered when looking for a free alternative to Apple Music. As a music streaming service, it has long been the preferred platform for many users. Here you will find an extensive song library that is updated regularly.
It has another serious feature that makes it even more unique. Spotify offers an ad-supported tier with 273 million active users as of 2022. A year ago, its number was 220 million. This number is expected to increase further with time.
Spotify Pricing And Features
|Cost||Start at 4.99 USD/mo to 15.99/mo. (1-month free trial)|
|Best for||Updated music library.|
|Free songs||Millions of songs|
Pros of Spotify:
- Spotify offers millions of songs across various genres, providing users with a vast range of music from popular artists, independent musicians, and emerging talents.
- Spotify’s algorithm analyzes users’ listening habits, playlists, and preferences to offer customized recommendations. The Discover Weekly and Release Radar features curate playlists and highlight new releases tailored to individual tastes, aiding music discovery.
- Spotify boasts a user-friendly interface that is intuitive and easy to navigate. Users can effortlessly create playlists, follow artists, explore genres, and access their library, prioritizing a seamless and enjoyable user experience.
- Users can share favorite songs, playlists, and listening activities with friends and followers. Collaborative playlists allow multiple users to contribute, fostering a social and interactive platform.
- Spotify is accessible on mobile devices (iOS and Android), desktops (Windows and macOS), web browsers, smart speakers, and gaming consoles. Users can seamlessly switch between devices and continue listening to their favorite music.
Cons of Spotify:
- The free tier of Spotify offers audio quality up to 160kbps, which may not meet the standards of audiophiles or those with high-quality audio equipment. Other platforms may provide higher-quality audio options.
- Free users can only download and listen to music offline on mobile devices with certain limitations. This can inconvenience users who frequently travel or have limited internet access, as upgrading to the premium tier is necessary for unrestricted offline listening.
- Spotify’s free tier includes advertisements that interrupt music playback. Free users also have a limited number of skips per hour, which can disrupt the listening experience for those who prefer more control over their music.
Consider SoundCloud when you want to get a lot with a free option. Not only is it popular among users as a music streaming platform but also as a social media platform. Here you can discover any songs and artists in the world absolutely free.
There are many famous artists who gained huge fame by uploading their songs on SoundCloud. You can enjoy tons of music from any artist anytime without any subscription. People can download any song from here and enjoy ad-free listening, but for that, you must be a subscribed user.
SoundCloud Pricing And Features
|Cost||4.99 USD/mo and 9.99 USD/mo.|
|Best for||Listening to free and offline music.|
|Downloads||around 76 million|
Pros of SoundCloud:
- Independent and emerging artists have a platform to showcase their music and gain exposure. SoundCloud offers a diverse range of music from up-and-coming musicians, remixes, and underground genres, which may not be as easily accessible on mainstream streaming platforms.
- SoundCloud allows users to upload and share their own music, podcasts, and audio recordings, fostering a vibrant community of creators and listeners. This encourages collaboration and the discovery of unique content.
- SoundCloud is renowned for its extensive collection of remixes and DJ mixes, making it a go-to platform for remix enthusiasts and electronic music lovers. Users can find alternative versions of popular songs and enjoy continuous mixes from DJs across various genres.
- SoundCloud promotes social interaction through comments and likes on tracks, creating a sense of community and enabling direct engagement between artists and their audience. This fosters connections and feedback.
- SoundCloud offers a free tier that provides access to a vast library of music and audio content, making it accessible to casual listeners without the need for a paid subscription.
Cons of SoundCloud:
- While SoundCloud excels in independent and emerging artists, its catalog of mainstream music may be limited compared to established streaming platforms. Users seeking a comprehensive collection of popular hits and major-label releases may find some content gaps.
- The audio quality on SoundCloud can be inconsistent due to artists being able to upload tracks with varying audio quality. Some tracks may not meet the same production and sound engineering standards as those on dedicated music streaming platforms.
- The free tier of SoundCloud does not support offline listening. Users who want to enjoy content offline or have limited internet access will need to upgrade to SoundCloud Go or SoundCloud Go+ subscription plans.
YouTube Music is a top-rated platform where you can enjoy music without launching the YouTube app. Here you can create a playlist and share it with others. This is a good platform for those who enjoy listening to music instead of watching it. YouTube Music is a suitable medium for listening to mp3 songs.
You can initially consider it a free platform because it has a free plan. But when you use the free plan you have to put up with some ads while playing music. Also, there is no support for background play, so users must keep the app open on the screen while listening to music.
YouTube Music Pricing And Features
|Cost||4.99 USD/mo to 99.99 USD/mo (30 days free trial)|
|Best for||Listening to audio music.|
|Downloads||80 million paid subscribers.|
Pros of YouTube Music:
- YouTube Music offers a vast music library, including official music videos, live performances, covers, remixes, and user-generated content. It provides access to a wide range of music across different genres and languages, ensuring there is something for everyone’s taste.
- YouTube Music is tightly integrated with the broader YouTube platform. Users can easily switch between watching music videos and listening to audio-only tracks. This integration allows for a seamless transition from visual content to audio-focused listening, offering a unique and comprehensive music experience.
- YouTube Music offers a premium subscription option that eliminates ads and provides ad-free listening. Subscribers can enjoy uninterrupted music playback and have the ability to download music for offline listening, enhancing the overall user experience.
Cons of YouTube Music:
- The free tier of YouTube Music includes advertisements that can interrupt the listening experience. Additionally, certain features like background playback, offline listening, and ad-free experience are restricted to premium subscribers, limiting the functionality available to non-paying users.
- YouTube Music’s audio quality is generally lower compared to other dedicated music streaming platforms. The audio is compressed to conserve bandwidth, resulting in a potential loss of audio fidelity, particularly for users who prioritize high-quality audio reproduction.
I recommend Tidal for those who want to enjoy the best quality audio music streaming. But with this, the user needs to have an advanced tool. Unlike Apple Music, it is a free option that offers users plenty of entertainment. Here you can discover a lot of new artists.
However, subscribers can enjoy a lot of benefits on the paid plan. With the paid plan, you can listen to the highest quality music and record your favorite songs offline. However, when users cancel the subscription, the downloaded music will not be lost.
Tidal Pricing And Features
|Cost||9.99 USD/mo (30 days free trial)|
|Best for||True lossless streams.|
|Free songs||90 million+|
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Pros of Tidal:
- Tidal is known for its emphasis on high-quality audio. It offers a HiFi subscription tier that provides lossless audio quality, delivering music in FLAC format with high bitrates. This appeal to audiophiles and those who prioritize superior audio fidelity.
- Tidal often secures exclusive content and early releases from popular artists. Subscribers can access exclusive albums, singles, music videos, and behind-the-scenes content that may not be available on other streaming platforms. This gives Tidal users unique and early access to new music.
- Tidal prides itself on being artist-friendly and advocates for fair compensation to musicians. The platform offers higher royalty rates compared to some other streaming services, making it an appealing choice for artists looking to support platforms that prioritize their financial well-being.
Cons of Tidal:
- Tidal has a limited free tier that only provides access to a smaller selection of content with ads. To unlock the full features and catalog, users need to subscribe to a premium tier, which can be more expensive compared to other music streaming platforms. This pricing structure may be a drawback for those looking for a free or more affordable streaming option.
- While Tidal has a dedicated user base, it may have a smaller community compared to mainstream music streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music. This can impact social features, such as user-generated playlists, recommendations, and community engagement, as there may be fewer users to interact with.
5. Amazon Music
Amazon has several popular services, one of which is Amazon Music. It is considered quite convenient compared to Apple Music. Although you won’t find an extensive music library, its interface is simple enough that Apple Music’s interface could be more precise for many.
So subscribers can access a lot of content at no extra cost. But you can listen to ad-free music and podcasts without a credit card when you’re not a Prime member. Prime members get all music free of charge. Besides, you can enjoy this platform with any of your devices.
Amazon Music Pricing And Features
|Cost||14.99 USD/mo to 15.99 USD/mo (3 months free trial)|
|Best for||Enjoying thousands of stations and playlists.|
|Downloads||More than 100 million|
|Free Version||free access to top playlists|
Pros of Amazon Music:
- Amazon Music offers a vast music library with millions of songs across various genres. It covers a wide range of music from popular artists, independent musicians, and niche genres, ensuring there is something for every listener.
- Amazon Music seamlessly integrates with Amazon Echo devices and utilizes the voice assistant Alexa. Users can easily control their music playback, create playlists, and request songs using voice commands, enhancing the convenience and hands-free experience.
- Amazon Music provides additional benefits for Amazon Prime members. They have access to a large selection of songs, playlists, and stations as part of their Prime membership at no extra cost. This makes it a cost-effective option for Amazon Prime subscribers who want access to a music streaming service.
Cons of Amazon Music:
- Some users may find the user interface of Amazon Music to be less intuitive compared to other music streaming platforms. Navigating through menus, searching for specific songs or albums, and managing playlists can be less user-friendly, leading to a steeper learning curve.
- Amazon Music lacks robust social and discovery features when compared to other platforms. While it offers personalized recommendations based on listening habits, it may not have the same level of community engagement, user-generated playlists, or collaborative features as some competitors.
Deezer is a highly competitive music streaming platform that is an excellent alternative to Apple Music. It has a vast library that allows a music lover to enjoy the music of his choice. Users will also get a radio station in addition to listening to podcasts. This platform is mainly suitable for audio music rather than radio shows and videos.
There is also an option to download favorite songs, so you can catch songs even when you are offline. It has a free plan where users can listen to ad-supported music. But when they are on a paid plan, all the music can be accessed without the hassle of ads.
Deezer Pricing And Features
|Cost||10.99 USD/mo and 17.99 USD/mo.|
|Best for||Enjoying a vast music library.|
|Downloads||More than 100 million.|
|Free songs||More than 73 million.|
- Deezer offers a diverse music catalog with millions of songs across various genres and artists. Users can explore popular hits, underground tracks, and international music, ensuring a wide range of options.
- Deezer provides high-quality audio streaming options, including lossless FLAC streaming for subscribers who prioritize superior audio fidelity. This appeals to audiophiles and those seeking the best sound quality.
- Deezer offers personalized music recommendations and a feature called “Flow” that creates a continuous playlist based on the user’s listening habits and preferences. This helps users discover new music and enjoy a tailored listening experience.
- Deezer’s free tier has limitations, restricting certain features and displaying ads during music playback. Users looking for a free, ad-supported listening experience may find these restrictions compared to other platforms.
- Deezer’s availability and functionality may vary by region. Some features, like lyrics display, may be limited or unavailable in certain countries. Additionally, the platform may have a smaller user base compared to global competitors, affecting social features and community engagement.
Another great alternative to Apple Music should not be mistaken to consider Pandora Music. Although the last recommendation on my list, it still has a lot to offer entertainment lovers. It can even know what you want to hear next. Listen to various ad-supported songs and podcasts with a free membership.
Users can also create and share their playlists. Enjoy your favorite content, even offline, when on a premium plan. One of its main advantages is discounted plans for specific individuals, such as students, family members, and military personnel.
Pandora Pricing And Features
|Cost||4.99 USD/mo to 14.99 USD/mo (1-month free trial)|
|Downloads||More than 100 million.|
|Free songs||250 stations limit|
Pros of Pandora:
- Pandora is renowned for its personalized radio stations that are tailored to the user’s musical preferences. Utilizing the sophisticated Music Genome Project, an advanced music recommendation algorithm, Pandora curates stations that match the user’s taste, providing a seamless and customized listening experience.
- Pandora excels at introducing users to new music and artists. The platform’s recommendation engine suggests songs and artists similar to the user’s preferred genres and artists, enabling them to explore and broaden their musical horizons.
- Pandora offers an ad-supported free tier, granting users access to the service without a subscription. This makes it an appealing choice for those who prefer not to pay for a streaming service or wish to test the platform before committing to a subscription.
Cons of Pandora:
- While Pandora’s radio stations offer personalized recommendations, users have limited control over selecting specific songs. Unlike on-demand streaming platforms, users cannot choose individual songs to play at will, which may be a drawback for those who prefer precise control over their music choices.
- Pandora’s availability is primarily restricted to the United States. Users residing outside the U.S. may face limitations in accessing Pandora’s full features or encounter restrictions in their streaming options. This regional availability constraint can be a disadvantage for international users.
There are few people who don’t like music, but finding a suitable platform is crucial if you want to enjoy your favorite music seamlessly. While Apple Music is undoubtedly a reputable platform, it’s important to consider its drawbacks. That’s why it’s essential to explore Apple Music alternatives.
This article discusses some of the best streaming services, including both paid options and free alternatives. Hopefully, this information helps you make an informed decision about which platform to choose. Sometimes, you don’t have to pay for a subscription, as there are free options available that offer excellent features mentioned above.
If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment to let me know. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.
FAQs on Alternatives to Apple Music
What are some best Apple Music alternatives?
What music app is like Apple Music but free?
One music app that is similar to Apple Music but offers a free tier is Spotify. Spotify provides a vast music library, personalized playlists, and recommendations, just like Apple Music.
While it also offers a premium subscription with additional features, you can access Spotify’s music catalog for free with some limitations, such as occasional ads and limited skips.
The free version of Spotify is a popular choice for those who want to enjoy music without a paid subscription.
What is the specialty of SoundCloud?
The specialty of SoundCloud is that it offers a free version where many songs can be enjoyed. Also, people love it as a social media platform.
Is Tidal better than Spotify?
Tidal and Spotify are reasonable; it usually depends on your needs. Spotify is good for great music, but I prefer Tidal for enjoying MQA hi-res tracks.