Downloading and saving music on your phone or computer is a thing of the past. Today, you can stream almost any music you want. Here are our top picks for free music streaming apps on Android and iPhone.
Spotify is one of the most extensive music streaming services in the world with over 30 million tracks in its library and over 83 million paying users. You can listen to ad-supported music for free on shuffle (which is similar to using a radio app). Finding and listening to tracks is also possible, but is limited in the free tier.
You can pay $9.99 a month ($14.99 for a family plan) and save music offline, create custom playlists, and get some more features.
Pandora is another internet radio-style app (just like most of the apps on our list). Enter the name of an artist, genre, or song and Pandora will create a station just for you. The more music you listen to and rate, the more Pandora understands your tastes and recommends music based on them. It’s a great way to discover new music.
Although Pandora is free, you’ll have to create an account to listen to music. The free plan is also ad-supported and lets you skip a limited number of songs per day.
The Pandora Plus Plan ($4.99 a month) lets you have four offline stations, unlimited skips and replays, high-quality audio, and no ads. The Premium Plan ($9.99 a month) gives you access to on-demand music and playlist creation in addition to all the features of the Plus Plan.
We discussed iHeart Radio in our piece on the best websites for streaming music where we mentioned that iHeart Radio is part of the iHeartMedia group and they run over 850 channels across the US.
With its mobile apps, you can listen to live radio, news, podcasts and even create your own radio station based on your musical preferences. You don’t need to create an account to listen to music, and there are no audio commercials that interrupt your music. But, you can only skip a limited number of songs per day.
Google’s recent changes to YouTube have turned its premium services into various tiers. YouTube Red has been replaced by YouTube Premium and YouTube Music, the latter designed just for music. If you’d like to know more about the changes, you can read all the juicy details here.
If nothing else, YouTube Music feels a lot like Spotify. You can search for songs, listen to playlists, and so on. They also have a great selection of music from independent artists. You also get the power of Google’s advanced search; you can search for lyrics or even describe the song to find it in YouTube Music.
YouTube Music is free to use and is supported by ads. Google also offers YouTube Music Premium for $9.99, which gets you background listening, offline access, and a few other features. If you enjoy YouTube’s exclusive content, then you can opt for YouTube Premium instead for $11.99, as it will include a subscription to YouTube Music as well.
SoundCloud offers a great way to enjoy and discover new music. You can find some of your favorite music there, but that’s not SoundCloud’s focus. SoundCloud lets independent artists upload and host their music. When you use SoundCloud for the first time, you might see a lot of random music. But, the more you use it, the more it will learn and recommend music based on what you already love.
SoundCloud has millions of tracks that you can listen to, but the lack of mainstream music can be a dealbreaker for some. If you prefer listening mostly to well-known artists, then you can give SoundCloud a pass, but we would still encourage you to give it a shot.
If you love listening to the radio on your smartphone, then you’ll love the TuneIn mobile app. With it, you can listen to the radio, sports updates, podcasts, and news, all on the go. Overall, there are close to 120,000 radio stations available on TuneIn. For music, you’re not limited to just what’s playing on the radio. Instead, you can search for artists or songs to bring up a list of all the radio stations that are playing your selection.
Listening to music or radio on TuneIn is free and ad-supported. If you hate ads, you can buy TuneIn Premium for $9.99 per month, which gets rid of ads and lets you listen to live NFL, MLB, and NHL games.
Slacker Radio is an Internet Radio service that lets you listen to online radio in a variety of genres. You can fine-tune the station you’re listening to to hear more music that you like or let Slacker Radio help you in discovering music.
The free version of Slack Radio is ad-supported which includes both picture ads and audio ads. The number of skips on the free plan is also limited.
If you upgrade to the Plus-plan ($3.99 a month), you get rid of ads, get better audio quality, and have unlimited skips. Slacker Radio also has a Premium Plan for $9.99 a month which offers offline music and on-demand music on top of all the features of the Plus Plan.
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