While Spotify is a well-known streaming music platform, some of its established competitors offer many of the same features as Spotify, some even better.
- 1 Pocket Casts: The Best Way to Listen to Podcasts
- 2 Apple Music – Best for Apple users
- 3 Amazon Music Unlimited: Best for Amazon Customers
- 4 YouTube Music: Best for Uploading Your Own Collection
- 5 Bandcamp: Best for discovering new artists
- 6 SoundCloud: Best for mixing music
- 7 Deezer: Best recommendation
- 8 Tidal: Best for Hi-Fi Music
- 9 Pandora: Best for radio and discovering new songs
- 10 LiveXLive: Best Knows User Preferences
- Sync across multiple devices.
- Highly customizable.
- Tons of extra special features.
- Some unintuitive interface design choices.
If you're a fan of podcasts, you'll love Pocket Casts, a full-featured and easy-to-use podcasting app. Add your favorite podcasts to Pocket Casts and easily download or stream as they play.
A wealth of settings and options, including the ability to sync your listening experience across multiple devices, make Pocket Casts our Editors' Choice for podcast catchers and players on the iPhone.
- Perfect integration with all Apple devices.
- Spatial audio support.
- Live broadcast option.
- No free plan option.
- Some limitations for offline listening.
Apple Music is the first choice for Apple devices. While there is no free plan, there is a trial period, thousands of playlists with over 90 million songs, and podcasts. Spatial audio capabilities combined with Apple hardware make music the perfect experience. It is the best alternative to Spotify and certainly its biggest competitor.
- Free trial.
- Spatial audio.
- Some Ultra HD quality tracks.
- There are not as many tracks as the competition.
Amazon Music Unlimited True to its name, unlimited offline access to 75 million songs and millions of podcast episodes. Tracks in Ultra HD quality are also available in the results, making searching easy. Amazon Prime members get discounted subscriptions. If you're already part of the ecosystem, especially the excellent integration with Echo devices, this is a tempting option.
YouTube Music offers a free trial, and its smart algorithms ensure playlist recommendations are right for your taste. Its app is easy to use, and users can even upload up to 100,000 tracks themselves, keeping everything in one place.
- New music never heard before.
- Help support independent artists.
- The interface could be cleaner.
Bandcamp focuses on indie games. You won't find big names here, so it's best paired with other services. However, it offers some lesser-known names and is completely free to view. Its interface looks pleasant, but it's not as simple as the others.
- Millions of songs and podcasts.
- You can create your own mixes.
- There is no free plan.
SoundCloud offers many of the best in the world. It has over 265 million songs and podcasts, including some up-and-coming indie artists, as well as big names from there. Subscribe to the Go+ plan to copy multiple tracks to each other, perform like your own DJ and create mixes. It also has more general features like unlimited downloads, high-quality audio, and smart recommendations.
- The Deezer flow algorithm is great.
- Available in hundreds of countries.
- Easy to use.
- Podcasts are limited.
- Not as high-fidelity as some
Deezer has many options, but the most intriguing is the service's intelligent algorithmic system. Sometimes called Deezer Flow, it's a mix of favorites and new tracks in a way you're likely to love. It works better than some competitors, and it's also reasonably priced. Hi-Fi music is available, not as high-end, but Hi-Fi is available, and it has 73 million songs.
- Extensive audio library.
- High-fidelity audio is standard.
- More expensive when subscribing through the App Store.
- Potential CarPlay issue.
Tidal is one of the best streaming services for high-fidelity music, offering over 80 million tracks, and its basic HiFi plan offers music at up to 1,411kbps quality. For a little more money, you can get up to 9,216kbps. Elsewhere, it has everything you need for a music streaming service, including offline capabilities, easy-to-use apps, and plenty of options. The only downside is that its CarPlay app is flawed and costs more if you subscribe directly through the App Store.
- Simple to use.
- Extensive podcast options.
- There are some issues with buffering.
Pandora is one of the oldest and best-known names in the streaming music category, and it's still going from strength to strength thanks to its wider non-musical selection, including plenty of podcasts and comedy. It has a clever algorithm that is set by thumb up or down, and has an extensive search function to back it up. While it's not as stable as Spotify, it's rarely a problem.
- Buy tickets for live or streaming concerts
- Informative DJ
- Podcasts and more
- no high-res audio
- missing lyrics
LiveXLive (formerly Slacker) is available for iOS, Android and Roku, allowing you to create your own playlists based on genre, artist, song or album. It learns your preferences and makes similar suggestions that you might like.
The free version has ads between songs and skips 6 songs per hour per stop. Upgrading to the Plus version for $4 per month has perks like offline listening and unlimited skips.
The Premium version is $10 per month, with some extras on top of the Plus version, like on-demand music and creating your own playlists. Having the premium version also has special live streaming and other perks.