Spotify is a music streaming service that allows you to listen to millions of songs for free with advertisements or paid monthly subscription. However, there are some lesser-known features and functionalities of the service that not all users may know.
I like Spotify for its multi-device compatibility. In other words, you can access it from an iPhone, smart TV, Windows desktop, Linux device, Mac, or Android. Signing up is easy too; you can use your email or Facebook account.
Joining with a Facebook account lets your friends know what you’re listening to, and you can share your favorite music with them, too. Creating a playlist is also easy.
However, Spotify has some downsides, including low audio quality and ads for free users, a high monthly subscription cost, and a lack of lyrics functionality. Also, only artists can upload tracks to Spotify, and their reward system isn’t as generous compared to the competitors’.
These limitations are enough reason to scout for better Spotify alternatives. And if that’s your goal, we’ve got you covered in this guide.
SoundCloud is our first Spotify alternative on this list.
It is a music and podcast streaming platform that lets you easily upload and share your creations with the world. It’s a great place to discover new music, follow your favorite artists, and connect with other musicians through tracks, playlists, and comments.
The application is available on Windows, Android, iOS, MacOS, Xbox One, Chromecast, Sonos, and Web.
The music community has created a playground for creativity and expression with the developer platform. If you’re looking to discover new artists and songs that aren’t necessarily mainstream, SoundCloud is where you should go. This can be a great option for beginners who want to share and promote their music.
Therefore, unlike Spotify, which focuses on fully-fledged artists, SoundCloud is a platform where startup artists can upload their podcasts, video, and audio music to take their career to a new level.
SoundCloud is a great place to discover new music, follow your favorite artists, and connect with other musicians through tracks, playlists, and comments.
The software gives you a free basic plan with limited services and a Premium Plan that costs $9.33 per month.
Find out what are some of the best alternatives to SoundCloud in the market.
TIDAL is an online music and video streaming service. It provides DRM-protected content from record labels such as Sony, EMI, Universal Music Group, and other high-profile content partners. TIDAL is available in more than 52 countries, servicing approximately 34 million music fans.
TIDAL members enjoy access to CD-quality, high-fidelity music on any device.
The software offers a vast and eclectic selection of over 25 million tracks, 85,000 music videos, and 200,000 high-quality editorial articles from the world’s best journalists.
It lets you stream music from a Mac or PC to an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.
The service lets music fans listen to their favorite songs, podcasts, and videos in a stunning high-fidelity format. You can also download music from the service’s catalog to your Mac or PC. TIDAL has a larger music catalog and pays artists more per stream compared to Spotify.
The great thing about TIDAL is that it offers high-resolution music, which has been recorded and encoded into a high-quality format such as FLAC or ALAC. This allows audiophiles to enjoy their music with the highest possible sound quality.
TIDAL offers a free trial and paid subscriptions such as the HiFi plan, which costs $9.99/month, and the Family HIFI Plus, which costs $29.99/month.
Explore the best alternatives to Tidal.
Deezer provides internet streaming music and audio content from Spotify, Deezer, Google Play, and other services.
This tool is available for Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android.
You can create a profile to follow friends who also use the software to share recommendations.
Additionally, you can create a playlist to follow, share, and edit with friends. The user interface is customizable, with several different skins available for download, or users can create their whole custom look and feel.
I also came to learn that you can edit MP3 tags of the songs on mobile devices as well as on the desktop. You can also download your playlists to mobile devices for listening when not connected to the internet.
Deezer is a freemium service in which basic features are free with advertisements or for a low monthly fee without ads.
In contrast to Spotify, this software also allows you to easily import your favorite playlist library from another music play service.
Deezer offers you free music, but you can also choose Deezer Premium at $2.99 per month.
Want to explore alternative platforms to Deezer, check this out.
4. Amazon Music
Amazon Music is a streaming service that gives you access to over thirty million songs. It comes free with your paid Prime membership or as an individual, stand-alone music app for $7.99 per month.
You can share the subscription between six family members and download the full library on up to ten different devices. If you already have Prime, you might as well sign up and give it a try.
The service offers libraries of classical, international, and American music. You cannot choose specific songs or albums. You can stream virtually anything you can think of, from country to hip-hop to British rock. They are constantly adding new tracks and artists.
In terms of audio quality for premium plans, Amazon Music beats Spotify, as Amazon Music’s streaming service includes CD quality and some tracks are available in Ultra HD.
5. Apple Music
Apple’s music streaming service is called Apple Music. For a monthly fee, you can listen to ad-free music with their choice of Beats 1 radio station, curated playlists, and on-demand streaming for most songs ever recorded.
Apple Music also includes access to videos that are not found in the iTunes Store or App Store. These can be streamed via iPad or Apple TV.
However, you will need an Apple ID and Internet connection before they can subscribe to this service or begin using it even if you have an iPhone or Mac.
It is $2.99 per month for individuals and $4.99 per month for families of up to six people who live in the same country.
The new streaming service uses iCloud to let you sync all of the music and playlists from your iTunes library across all of your devices, which is a remarkable feature that Spotify doesn’t have.
You may have already heard about the popular digital distribution platform Bandcamp that allows artists to sell digital and physical music without dealing with a record label or other types of distributors. Bandcamp has started featuring non-musical content including comics, zines, books, and movies.
Bandcamp has become the go-to place to discover new music and other types of art, so it’s no surprise that people were eager to get their art onto Bandcamp and half of the work done for them.
If you upload your music on Bandcamp, they guarantee to give you an average of 87% of the profits that your music makes, which is generous. You can also choose to pay a monthly fee to have their “Pro” service and be able to offer your fans discounts.
Unlike Spotify, Bandcamp pays artists more and allows any user to submit tracks to their platform.
Bandcamp has other features “Bandcamp weekly” and “The Community.” They’re still focused on music, but they show new releases every week and show new albums in Bandcamp’s “New” section.
Bandcamp is free to use for anyone, but the only way to get your art featured is to get more followers to your profile.
Also Read: Best Garageband Alternatives For Windows
JioSaavn is an online streaming application that was launched in 2007 by the trio of Vinodh Bhat, Paramdeep Singh, and Rishi Malhotra.
The software is available on both Android and iOS platforms. It currently has a user base of more than 40 million users worldwide.
It comes with a vast database and provides around five million songs and 20,000 hours of audio content to users.
The best part about JioSaavn is that it provides you with the option of selecting the specific songs you want to hear.
Most of the other streaming services provide you with albums, artists, or genre-specific lists, which may not feature your chosen song.
Compared to Spotify, the application is effortless to use and has a more user-friendly interface.
JioSaavn Pro is a paid membership service offered by Saavn.com in which subscribers can download songs and listen to them offline.
Its Pro Service costs $38.99 per year and $4.99 per month. There’s a seven-day free trial, too.
Funkwhale is a community-based platform that allows you to listen and share audio and music within an open, decentralized network.
Funkwhale comprises several independent pods that communicate using free, open source, and standard technology. The network isn’t tied to an entity or corporation, giving you choice and independence.
The web interface is fully customizable and uses the Material Design guidelines as a reference. The user can define his own style by using the built-in theme editor or importing/exporting themes created by other users. This makes it one of the best Spotify alternatives if you’re looking for more customizable software.
The server can be integrated with different cloud providers, so it can store users’ libraries on their own cloud accounts or using some popular public ones, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
The server supports all major music formats and codecs, with the possibility to add more via plug-ins. It can transcode them on the fly when needed.
Funkwhale can be used with many client apps, from the official Android app to third-party ones. The web interface is also accessible from any web browser.
Jamendo Music is a website that features music released under Creative Commons licenses. It has a catalog of over 250,000 tracks and more than 9,000 artists.
Jamendo provides free access to its music via an online jukebox and through downloads in MP3 and Ogg formats. The platform offers free accounts which allow you to upload your own songs (or remixes of other artists’ songs) and download others’ songs (paid account holders only).
The website also has a social network that allows you to create profiles, make friends, share playlists, and communicate via private messages.
What gives Jamendo an edge over Spotify is that its music is copyright-free, and is legal to stream and download.
Jamendo Music is available in twenty-four languages. Additionally, artists and users may select a language preference, and songs and metadata will be available in the selected language.
The Software also has a paid plan of $49 per month, which offers you unlimited tracks for commercial use.
Ampache is a web-based audio/video streaming app and file manager that can manage and stream your music collection, including playlists. It comes with a simple-to-use web interface and can be accessed anywhere as long as you have an internet connection.
Ampache accepts MP3, Ogg Vorbis, and FLAC files for upload and converts them to the appropriate jpg on the fly. After uploading your music collection, you can create playlists, delete songs, and share playlists with friends and other Ampache users.
The platform can be accessed through a simple web browser. Additionally, the software has a feature that can be used to sort music according to artists, album name, year, etc.
You can also browse music by genre or type. Users are allowed to create an account free of charge.
What makes this platform one of the best Spotify alternatives to consider is the fact that it is free and open source software for music streaming.
The software is also based on the Laravel framework since that is one of the most popular frameworks to create dynamic web applications.
LiveXLive is a live streaming video platform that focuses on music events. LiveXLive allows you to watch free live-streaming concert content within the app. You can also purchase subscriptions to watch premium live-streamed events, as well as stream content on-demand.
The platform is currently available as a mobile application. In addition to streaming music events, there is also video content from film festivals and other sporting events, which is something that Spotify can’t do.
LiveXLive is one of several companies that are “taking advantage of new technology to provide ‘over the top’ direct subscription services” in place of traditional television programming.
It offers both free ad-supported content and premium subscriptions, which remove ads and allow for access to additional devices.
When it comes to music streaming, LiveXLive lets you stream high-quality audio, which you can also download and listen to offline once you have a paid subscription.
It has two paid plans. One is the plus plan for $3.99 per month, and the premium plan for $9.99 per month.
Pandora is a music streaming service that became available to the public in 2005. With Pandora, you can create encyclopedic musical stations (or “stations”) based on an artist or song they like.
An active account is required for this service, which enables you to build a music library by adding tracks they like and removing those they don’t.
As you add more music to your account, the service creates new “stations” using songs similar to, but not necessarily related to previous tracks.
One aspect that makes it different from other streaming music services is its use of the Music Genome Project’s technology, which compiles various musical attributes into one song list. Well, that doesn’t mean Pandora doesn’t have its algorithm, but the Music Genome Project is supposed to make up a majority of its library.
The Pandora Collection arranges your recently played playlists and stations in a neat and beautiful way. You can also filter My Collection by artists, songs, albums, podcasts, stations, and more, making Pandora easier to navigate than Spotify.
With Pandora’s free version, I can search and play anything I want, enjoy personalized stations, listen to favorite podcasts, and have unlimited skips. Pandora Plus costs $4.99 a month and offers offline listening.
On the other hand, Pandora Premium costs $9.99 a month and allows unlimited offline listening along with making and sharing playlists.
Check this out for more Pandora-like services.
This music app lets you play, share, and monetize music. The platform has over 15 million radio shows, podcasts, and DJ mixes from passionate creators.
I like the categories feature on Mixcloud that makes navigation a breeze. You can discover your best music shows quicker by selecting a specific category, from Ambient, Beats, Bass, Deep House, Funk, Indie, Rap, Jazz, Pop, Trance, and more. And when you click on a category, you’ll see a list of songs in that category, showing the number of plays, reposts, favorites, and more.
Interestingly, songs aren’t the only thing available on this app. They also have categories of talk shows in various fields, such as Education, News, Politics, Technology, Lifestyle, Science, and more.
Creators can upload an unlimited number of shows on this app and make money from it. The Pro Version goes for $15 a month and allows you to broadcast live. You can also join live streams from other users on the app and chat while watching, a feature that isn’t on Spotify.
There’s a free trial for 30 days, as well.
Subsonic is an open source and free app that lets you access music trouble-free. It lets you listen to your favorite music or share it with friends.
You can also stream to multiple players simultaneously, for instance, one player in your kitchen and another in your living room.
Subsonic handles massive music collections (hundreds of GBs). While it’s designed to handle MP3 streaming, it still works for most video and audio formats that can stream over HTTP, such as OGG and AAC.
You can choose this Spotify alternative since it is designed to be simple to install and operate, and it’s extremely lightweight and efficient.
It runs as a background service and only uses a negligible amount of CPU and memory resources – typically less than 5% of one CPU core and 60MB of memory.
Subsonic is platform-independent and runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
They also offer you some extra features like no ads and many more on their Premium Plan for $1 per month. I find this price way cheaper compared to Spotify’s.
15. YouTube Music
YouTube Music is a music app for Android and iOS that specializes in providing you with access to streaming music from many different genres. This includes artists from every genre imaginable, ranging from classical music to hip hop.
It’s free to download on both platforms but comes with some limitations compared to the Premium Version of the app, which costs $14.99 per month.
YouTube Music takes content from YouTube videos and allows you to play them as if they were regular songs on your device. There are several ways to search for new tunes, including via your phone’s built-in microphone (audio recognition).
While it does have a tablet interface available for larger screens, you will find the mobile interface perfectly sized to fit on your device.
What gives it an edge over Spotify is that YouTube Music Free allows you to skip ads, unlike Spotify’s free version.
YouTube Music awards musicians with additional revenue, even if the music is given away for free. This includes musicians who upload music to YouTube and earn revenue from advertisements that run on their videos.
By hosting their songs on YouTube Music, they are entitled to a share of the revenue. This presents an exciting new opportunity for musicians to earn money while people listen to and enjoy their songs.
In my opinion, SoundCloud is the best Spotify alternative. You can upload as many songs as you want, and there is no limit on streaming. It’s most suitable for upcoming artists and easily connects them with a large number of listeners.
What I also like about SoundCloud is the fact that it offers users more than one way of listening to music. You can either stream songs or you can choose to download them for offline listening.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.