We have seen which are the best free apps for listening to music at home. And if you want to see what the paid versions are, you’ll notice that the best are, with little difference, always the same. The difference in where the apps rank is in the options that the distributor offers if you choose to subscribe to the paid version. If I choose a subscription of 10 € / month at Deezer, which service would I have more compared to the paid offer of Spotify? Or from Amazon Prime, see Tidal? What are the specificities of paid offers, and which one is right for me? The answer here, in the top 6 best paid music streaming apps!
The French application created in 2007 is one of the pioneers of music streaming, a must of which even the free version is advantageous: it allows you to listen to music from an extremely extensive catalog, organize your music into playlists, and share it. As for the premium version, in addition to the fact that it gets rid of advertising for good – which can get seriously annoying, it also gives you access to a better audio quality, and the ability to download your favorite tracks to listen to them offline. The subscription will cost you 9.99 € / month.
The other industry leader has exactly the same business model: the paid offer is 9.99 € per month, and you get rid of advertising, improve audio quality, and allows you to download your music and listen to it unlimitedly – the free version limits the number of times you are allowed to skip the song while listening.
The difference between Deezer and Spotify is therefore blurry, so for more information, I refer you to my article on free applications, which will hopefully help you – I will add here that Spotify has a less extensive music catalog than Deezer, but 5 times more users, paying or not. And last difference: the multi-account subscription, which allows you to link several accounts to the same subscription, is € 4.99 for Deezer, and € 14.99 for Spotify.
Qobuz stands out from the first two by offering no free subscription. The first prize starts at 9.99 € / mes: the latter offers unlimited access to the available musical catalog – 28,000 songs, a little less than Spotify -, and a excellent audio quality. Just like the two previous applications therefore. But the difference lies in the offer at 20 € / month which injects into the streaming landscape the possibility of a CD quality thanks to the FLAC format (unlike MP3, it does not lose information during digitization).
The choice of Qobus is clearly qualitative rather than quantitative, and this is just as noticeable in the design of the application, clearly more ergonomic than the competition. The high-end service also includes an ezine: comparative listening, interviews, portraits of artists and music news. With only 350,000 users, the site suffers from competition, but the takeover of the company suggests that Qobuz’s particularities remain attractive, and that the high-end offer still finds its audience. Hope it lasts!
4. Apple Music
The apple brand has, like Qobuz, based its strategy on a 100% paid offer, i.e. 9.99 € / month for an individual account, and € 14.99 / month for the “family” subscription, which allows six individuals to use the same account. The app is a holdover from Beats Music – Dr Dre’s company, who hired Trent Reznor, founder of Nine Inch Nails to interface… only big names! However, after the takeover by Apple, the music streaming application lost in style and readability. Apple Music has many qualities, however: access to your personal songs, well-balanced playlist proposals in the “for you” section which, for sure, will make you discover new interesting artists, excellent sound quality (the codec Apple is unique and above mp3). And a little bonus: an old-fashioned radio with a DJ trying to share his discoveries… all in English of course.
But the app still suffers from some ergonomic concerns : difficult to access the album of an artist that you liked, for example, you have to go through a contextual menu that is not easy to find; and the navigation is not really intuitive.
In short, some improvements are missing at the margin, but given the exceptional growth in the number of subscribers, Apple Music is coming directly compete with Spotify and Deezer which, for the moment remain leaders, but begin to feel the breath of the competition in the back.
5. Google Play Music
The juggernaut of the Web obviously had a say in music streaming, and indeed the Mountain View firm has a few arguments to make: a repertoire equivalent to the leaders – 35 million tracks -, a perfectly balanced application, access to the Google Cloud, and access to the YouTube directory. So you will have access to your tracks stored in the Cloud, and you will have access to the paid services of Youtube Red.
For the prices, Google Play has not really done in the originality: 9.99 € / month and 14.99 € for the family subscription, which includes 6 people. The audio quality of streaming is equivalent to that offered by market leaders, so rather low, but what particularly pleased me: the presence of Podcasts, and a very fluid application. For all those who have a Google account and who store their music in the Cloud, having Google Play Music will allow you to increase your storage capacity, and to have access to your songs easily through the app, without data connection, a weighty argument!
Fans of Kanye West and / or Jay-Z, you have already heard the name of this music streaming platform, which tries to thwart the business model of Spotify and Deezer by offering a mandatory paid subscription. The artists are themselves investors in Tidal, they receive better remuneration in this regard, and in return undertake to offer exclusive content and videos – the excluded are often temporary, as the albums of Kanye West and Beyoncé which were released elsewhere after an early release on Tidal have clearly demonstrated.
Tidal’s arguments: high quality sound, better remuneration for artists and exclusive content. Even if they have yet to convince average music lovers, these arguments may bring fans of the Rock-a-Fella label clique (Rihanna, Madonna, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and even Daft) back to their cause. Punk…), the application will offer a few songs in advance, and give the satisfaction of supporting the music that we love.
7. TuneIn Radio
To finish, two applications, minor compared to the giants mentioned above, but which respond well to a need – niche certainly, but always welcome:
TuneIn Radio allows you, as the name suggests, to listen to the radio, but all the radios of the world! Over 100,000 stations. If you have changed country, or you are addicted to a foreign program, the application will satisfy you. It is free, and its paid offer allows you to get rid of advertising, and gives you the power to record extracts, all for 3.99 €.
And finally, Bandcamp : this is the application of a website specialized in Indie music, whose application allows you to listen to and download the albums you have purchased. It is therefore about streaming music, but not unlimited listening: rather a cloud made of albums that you have discovered. Having a particular affinity and sympathy for independent artists, I had to cite this application.
All these music streaming applications will allow you to achieve an extraordinary catalog of music, a record – especially for a legal system! Take advantage of playlists made to discover new talents, enjoy your favorite tracks wherever you are: at home, on the road, traveling, at work, at the restaurant or playing sports.
Good listening to all!