Rahul is a music addict who loves listening to blues, pop rock, and alternative rock.
What Apps Are Like Spotify?
If you enjoy streaming music, chances are you have already heard of Spotify. While it’s the biggest music streaming service available right now, it is still to launch in many countries. India, for instance, recently got the service after being without it for a number of years.
On top of that, it’s not available for free. While there is a free version, it’s only there to push you towards purchasing the premium service. For starters, the free version doesn’t allow offline saves. Also, there are frequent commercials between songs, which can be infuriating.
With so many new music streaming services popping up in recent years, it’s about time you considered some paid and free Spotify alternatives. Take a look.
Alternatives to Spotify
- LiveXLive (Slacker)
- Apple Music
- YouTube Music
- Pandora Radio
- Amazon Prime Music
Read more about these entries below.
1. LiveXLive (Slacker)
Available on iOS, Android, and Roku, LiveXLive (formerly Slacker) allows you to create your own playlist according to the genre, artist, song or album. It learns your preference and comes up with similar suggestions you may like.
The free version has ads between songs with a skip limit of 6 per hour per station. Upgrading to the Plus version for $4 per month has perks like offline listening and unlimited skips.
The premium version comes at $10 a month and with some additional features on top of Plus version, like playing music on demand and creating your own playlist. There are also special live streams and other perks to having the premium version as well.
2. Apple Music
Going with Apple Music has certain perks you won’t get anywhere else. For starters, it has more exclusives than its competitors. Also, new music is made available faster than anywhere else.
For $9.99/£9.99 per month, you can stream a huge collection of 50 million songs from macOS, iOS, tvOS, watchOS, Windows or Android.
Spotify takes the cake for having a vast library of songs, but Apple Music isn’t too far behind. While the latter has amassed over 50 million subscribers in 3 years, the former is sitting at well over 80 million, so Apple is catching up fast.
I have tried Apple Music for three months and discovered that its music recommendations are top-notch, even toppling the likes of Spotify. Even if you are not considering switching right now, go for the trial version, which allows full access for up to three months.
3. YouTube Music
Google is getting serious about waging a war against well-established music streaming apps like Spotify, and they have come out all guns blazing. YouTube Music aims to be a separate entity from YouTube. The former is dedicated to all things music. Along with the usual music streaming, you’ll find additional stuff like parodies and cover songs. It’s probably the only service with more songs to offer than Spotify.
YouTube Music creates mixtapes based on your previous music preferences on YouTube. If you are a regular user of YouTube, they already know everything about your taste in music. Log in, decide if you want access to their premium service, and get started right away.
The premium service is $10 per month, which provides an ad-free experience coupled with offline listening. You’ll be able to play songs in the background, which isn’t facilitated in the free version.
If you don’t want to shell out anything, the free version is not too bad. It’s better than Spotify’s free service, which lacks a lot of basic features. YouTube Music, being a new service, is still rough around the edges. Give the free version a shot.
Found in 2007, SoundCloud boasts a collection of over 130 million songs, podcasts, remixes, and covers. It allows you to share your music with other users. Share your music, listen to brand-new artists before they get popular, give them your feedback, and be a part of a large community of musicaholics.
SoundCloud is a good alternative to Spotify if you’re looking for new music and mixtape raps. However, they need to improve their collection of original classical songs. Most of them are in form of covers, and rarely any of them ever turn out to be good.
However, if you're an artist who’s hoping to build a fanbase, you’re better off getting your songs on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify.
Deezer is available in 189 countries, covering almost every country on the planet. They are far ahead of their competitors in terms of having their services in more than a handful of countries.
Deezer’s three-tiered service gets you unlimited access to their catalog of over 35 million songs. They even have Taylor Swift who famously ditched Spotify in 2014 (she has since come back).
Their basic plan is available for $9.99 per month, which enables unlimited skips and higher quality music with offline saves. If you’re a college student, you can enjoy the premium version for just $4.99.
The final tier is for those who don’t compromise with quality. For $19.99 per month, you’ll get CD-quality streams on top of all the features of the premium version.
Once you have decided, getting started is rather simple. Sign up with all the basic information and payment details and then log in. You are good to go!
6. Pandora Radio
Let’s start with the cons first. It’s only available in the US right now. While they are working to bring their services to other parts of the world, there is no specific timeline on when it will happen.
Also, this service doesn’t offer songs above 192 kbps quality level. If you’re looking for higher quality music, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
With the drawbacks out of the way, let’s talk about their three-tiered subscription offer first. If you have used Slacker before, their plans will look familiar to you.
The free account is limited, allowing for only six skips per hour with frequent ads. Upgrading to Pandora Plus for $4.99 per month enables unlimited skipping, offline playback, and an ad-free experience.
For $9.99/month, you’ll get additional features like unlimited playback and creating your own customizable playback list on top of Plus benefits.
With over 40 million songs available on the platform, it’s a worthy contender for one of the better Spotify alternatives.
7. Amazon Prime Music
Apart from shopping discounts and benefits, subscribing to Amazon Prime has other underappreciated perks. For starters, you get access to Amazon Prime Video, which has tons of ever-expanding catalog of movies, TV shows, and stand-ups. The recently launched Amazon Prime Music, however, often slips under the radar of many Amazon Prime subscribers.
If you’re subscribed to Amazon Prime, you need not shell out anything extra to access their music streaming service. It’s not one of the best services around, but it’s improving all the time. With Amazon behind it, it will undoubtedly be a big player in near future.
The math is simple. If you’re already subscribed to Amazon Prime, using Amazon Prime Music is a no-brainer. However, it’s not worth spending $12.99 per month just for its music streaming service. There are better deals available at lower prices.
Available on Web, iOS, and Android; Saavn can be a good free or paid alternative to Spotify if you're an Indian. There are a few more Indian-exclusive music streaming service like Gaana and Wynk, but Saavn is head and shoulders above their competition.
Though this app has a lot of curated playlists, it falls short of the mark. You must sink some time in to create your playlists.
It gets worse if you like listening to classics. I couldn't find many playlists with older songs. While there is no dearth of current content, you’ll probably have to use the search bar if you want to listen to the classics.
The free version allows unlimited streaming with ads. Pro Lite, which costs Rs. 120 per month, is ad-free and allows up to 3GB of downloads. If you’re someone who likes storing their music offline, go for the Pro version. For Rs. 250 per month, you’ll have unlimited offline downloads along with other benefits of Lite.
Are you willing to shell out considerably more money to enjoy the best quality of music? If the answer is yes, you'll love what Tidal brings to the table.
While Tidal offers its standard services for $9.99 per month to compete with well-established giants like Spotify and Apple Music, their top-tier service is the main attraction for music enthusiasts. For $19.99 per month, CD-quality songs available in FLAC format. The sound quality here is unparalleled!
On top of the above standard plans, there is a family plan in place for both the tiers, which allows unlimited access for up to five people. Head on over to their website to find out more. If you want to know more about FLAC and how it’s different from MP3, CNET’s take on FLAC vs MP3 format is a riveting read.
Are you still undecided? Take a 30-day trial to find out if it’s worthy of your consideration.
Did I miss any good alternatives to Spotify? Let me know in the comments section!
© 2018 Rahul Pandey
Vinicius on August 25, 2020:
Do these Apps keep the song forever???
because, today I was trying to listen to a song, and I just noticed that it's not available anymore... and I... WHAT?? !!
so... I'm a Spotify user since 2015... now I'm looking for an alternative which don't remove my favourite songs!
Harry on August 23, 2020:
I use DRmare Music Converter for Spotify to download and use Spotify music offline.
Constance Marzell-Kyme from London, UK on June 09, 2020:
Really good topic for an article and definitely needs to be discussed more often!
There is another alternative I read about but can't remember the name. It was aimed at providing a more ethical alternative for musicians themselves. I wish I could find it...
alex on March 25, 2020:
I see no application that can replace spotify premium apk free because of its huge volume of music and reputation
Emily on October 09, 2019:
I use Allavosft to download music from Spotify, YouTube, Soundcloud etc