The 12 best alternatives to Spotify to listen to music

With more than 191 million monthly active users, 87 of them subscribing to its payment service, the Swedish Spotify is the leading streaming music platform in Western countries (In China, QQMusic has 700 million users). But it is not the only one that distributes music content online, either free of charge or under subscription. We collect the best alternatives to Spotify, from the big platforms to the most minority ones.

Back in 1999, Napster was the first large P2P network for the exchange and distribution of MP3 music files. This audio coding format received its name 1995, but the first MP3 players, with only 32 MB of space, did not reach the market until 1998. One year after an Australian student bought the professional license of the MP3 system with a card of stolen credit and convert it into freeware.

Napster disappeared because of the legal problems of music authorship. However, along with the success of the iPod and later of smartphones , it marked the beginning of the system that has revolutionized the way of listening to music, to which Spotify joined in 2008. An online music distribution system divided between free services, Premium, freemium (you have to pay a fee to get added services), periodic subscription or payment per song. With the latest arrival of Amazon and YouTube to the streaming services scenario , it is increasingly difficult to choose the service to subscribe to.

What does Spotify offer?

The keys to the success of Spotify in the 65 countries where it is available are the free reproduction of 40 million songs on both computer and mobile devices. Although the free version includes ads and does not have total freedom of choice of songs. The large number of playlists, created by publishers or collaboratively by users, is an inexhaustible source of artist and music discovery for users, at least the most commercial ones.

Using Spotify Connect you can use the mobile app as a remote control to listen to Spotify music on speakers, televisions, game consoles, tablets or other computers. You just have to have the app installed on these devices, with the latest updated software version, and they are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

The Premium version offers for 9.99 € per month better sound quality, to be able to choose songs and download more than 3,000 to the device or 10,000 to the personal library, and avoid ads. It also has an incognito mode to listen to music without being taken into account by the personal algorithm for subsequent recommendations.

The most powerful alternatives to Spotify

Apple Music

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Unlimited streaming service subscription (9,95 € per month or 14,99 € family plan ) with access to 50 million songs and radio stations. It does not have a free version, but a three-month free trial. It is the most popular among iOS users because it allows its use on all Apple devices, including Apple Watch and HomePod. Also, access the personal library stored in iCloud in all of them.

In addition, it is compatible with 200 vehicle models through CarPlay, and the Siri voice assistant. There is also an Android version. But not a computer player, where you have to use it through iTunes.

Its users appreciate being able to create smart playlists and exclusive access to some songs and albums. It also has its own radio station (Beats1), music videos, concerts and programs such as Carpool Karaoke, in which the presenter James Corden sings with various artists in a car.

Google Play Music 

Like Spotify, the Google Play Music model is freemium. It has a free service with advertising and a payment service with added features for € 9.95 per month or € 14.99 for a family plan for up to six people. The subscription also includes access to YouTube Music.

Although the available music catalog is smaller than some of its rivals (40 million tracks), it differs from the rest in that it allows to store in the cloud up to 100,000 songs saved on the user’s computer and listen to them on any Android device (including Chromecast , Android Wear and Android Auto), iOS or on the web.

Recommend playlists according to mood, activity or location and music can be downloaded and listened to without an Internet connection.

Youtube music

The YouTube Music app for Android and iOS computers and mobile phones has the advantage of integrating live themes into your catalog that can not be found anywhere else. It uses Google’s artificial intelligence to find music that suits the user’s tastes and trends in its community and offers recommendations for playlists and radio stations for rainy days, listening in the office or recovering good humor.

The interface is very simple and elegant and integrates perfectly with the Google Home speaker. It emphasizes its intelligent search engine to find songs if we do not remember the title or the artist. The Premium version (€ 9.95) allows you to listen to music or watch videos without ads or connection, and with the screen of the device blocked. In contrast, in the free version we can not listen to music and use other apps at the same time.

Amazon Music Unlimited

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Do not confuse it with Amazon Prime Music, the free streaming service for Amazon Prime customers that allows you to listen to 40 hours of music per month without advertising to choose from a catalog of two million titles.

Amazon Music Unlimited is the response of Jeff Bezos to the services of Google, Apple and Spotify. Same price (reduced to € 99 per year for Prime users) and similar features: ad-free access to 50 million songs from more commercial artists, playlists, thematic stations, personalized suggestions and downloads in the smartphone version . The homepage summarizes the most popular news and content to be informed at a glance.

The differences, the integration with Alexa and its smart speakers Echo, which can help popularize it among segments of the population not so young that have enthusiastically welcomed these devices. With the added advantage of a reduced fee of € 3.99 if we only want to use it in the Amazon Echo.

Spotify alternatives to prestigious but less massive

Deezer

Deezer was born in France 2006 as an app to listen to online music , receive recommendations according to the musical tastes we have specified when registering, as well as communicate privately with the community. Available for iOS, Android and computers with Mac OS and Windows operating system. His library includes 53 million songs.

Flow functionality combines our favorite themes with selected recommendations based on the songs we have marked as favorites. They take pride in including not only mainstream music , helping emerging artists and organizing exclusive Deezer Sessions.

It is very interesting the app for Smart TV with Android TV system (version 5.0), which allows you to listen to the music and read the lyrics of the songs on TV to perform karaoke sessions at home.

Live the free version, with ads and in random mode, and the Premium for € 9.99 per month, € 14.99 in family rate and € 19.99 Hi-Fi subscription. We can try the subscription for three months for € 0.99.

Tidal

Rapper Jay-Z acquired the Norwegian company Aspiro in 2015 and re-launched Tidal as a subscription-based streaming music service more beneficial to the rights of artists. Among its shareholders are Beyoncé, Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Madonna.

The elements that differentiate it are a sound quality superior to the rest of services (Studio Master quality) and the exclusive content that its partners share on the platform. It integrates 59 million songs, 240,000 music videos, series and podcasts. It offers tickets for exclusive concerts for members.

The price of the Premium Hi-Fi service is € 19.99 per month or € 29.99 per family plan. Subscribers to Vodafone can benefit from a discount in the fee and even two years of free subscription.

Last.fmImage result for Last.fm

It works as a social network in which its users can share their favorite and most listened topics and meet people with their same musical tastes. The free version is complemented with a payment for € 3 a month to avoid ads, access discounts and more complete statistics.

Free alternatives to Spotify

MusicAll

Spanish app that allows access to the library of songs hosted on YouTube, so the catalog is very broad to be a free streaming service. As in Spotify, in MusicAll we can play songs without Internet connection, create playlists, get recommendations, discover the songs most listened to by other users and even browse in the profile of our friends. At the moment, it is only available for Android.

Setbeat

Available for Android, iOS and Windows computers, Setbeat lets us download songs for free in MP3 format in 320 Kbps quality from their own catalog and also from Deezer and Spotify.

SongFlip

The content of SongFlip is more limited because it only plays music without copyrights but many styles are represented and allows you to create playlists and classify content by style. Advertising is not too invasive and can be downloaded from Google Play and App Store.

Alternatives to Spotify more alternatives

Soundcloud

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Platform designed so that artists, professionals or amateurs, can upload and share their songs. Soundcloud is the best place to discover new talents outside the commercial circuit and listen to covers or remixes. His faithful community comments and talks with enthusiasm since 2008. The latest, allows you to share topics on Instagram Stories.

The free version is designed more for those who just want to play and save music. If we want more hours to upload our own songs, schedule the publications or highlight tracks, in addition to monetizing our creations, we must subscribe to unlimited Pro or Pro plans from € 5.25 or € 8.25 per month.

Available for web, iOS, Android, Sonos speakers, Chromecast and Xbox One.

Datmusic

Its interface is not the most attractive, although Datmusic is the preferred one for those looking for good sound quality without cost, since we can download the songs in 74, 128, 192 or 320 kbps. The catalog of themes available is similar to that of Spotify, but does not include recommendations, most listened to topics or news.