In a way, it’s kind of hard to think back to what life was like before streaming services. It takes a bit of work to actualize the ways we consumed Music, TV and Movies in the past – and by past we’re talking maybe seven or eight years ago in 2010, 2011.It’s mind-boggling to think we had to carry around an iPod or an MP3/CD/Flash drive to listen to a specifically curated, stored library of music. Or that we had to physically buy CD’s, or go to iTunes to buy an album, and then download it to your library and then your device.
Don’t get me wrong though, there was a very enchanting aura of these because there was a sort of innocent freedom looming over us that we may not have even understood at the time. Truth be told, before the politics of streaming wars complicated releases and effectively compromised content, things were just that much more enjoyable.
Then a discernible change came in 2015 when Apple announced streaming service Apple Music that launched in more than 100 countries. Then followed Tidal shortly after, and Spotify soon began boasting impressive subscription numbers – so impressive in fact that now the Swedish company has revealed it has 70 million subscribers. Today, almost everyone has a streaming service, whether it be one of the big three or the myriad of other contenders. And though endless access to music and content is more than convenient, at times it can be frustrating. Between exclusive releases, highly curated special content and premium gimmicks, it’s difficult to make a commitment to any one of these platforms nowadays. After all, what’s the real difference between them anyway?
So in an effort for you to find your best option, we’ve put together a point form list that explains each platform’s price and special services. Vote for your favorite below!
- Freemium structure offers limited streaming features and capitalizes on advertisements
- $9.99 paid subscription gives you unlimited streaming accesses, no ads and increased user function
- The only platform of the three that offers free, limited services of some sort
- 30 million songs and 2 billion playlists available in over 61 markets
- Discover Weekly playlist creates a new 30 track playlist of songs tailored to your specific interests
- Sponsored playlists like Rap Caviar and more
- 70 million paid subscribers and around 140 million active users
- Personalized playlist curation, and sponsored playlists for both tiers of use
- Spotify also makes money from the selling rights and streaming of new artists who promote their work through the platform
- Uses algorithms like Collaborative Filtering which analyzes user behaviour, Natural Language Processing & and raw audio breakdowns to tailor a unique experience for every user
- $9.99 “Premium.”
- $19.99 “HiFi” service with better sound quality.
- $4.99 Student “Premium.”
- $9.99 Student “HiFi.”
- $14.99 Family “Premium.”
- $29.99 Family “HiFi.”
- Military Discounted “Premium” & “HiFi.”
- Original movies & shows such as Cardi B’s I’m Here Muthafu*kas, Jaden Smith’s Icon Living, Rae Sremmurd’s Sremm Holiday, Selena’s last broadcasted concert and Future’s Like I Never Felt
- Home to original shows like Irv Gotti’s Tales which turns popular songs into short films
- Works well with a myriad of Network players including Sonos, Squeezbox & more.
- Rare, archival content like Daft Punk’s Electroma Film
- Exclusive album releases in competition with Apple Music such as Beyonce’s Lemonade, Rihanna’s Anti and Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo
- Playlist curation based on genres and the newest tracks in each category
- 20 famous musicians, like Rihanna, Jason Aldean, Beyoncé, Kanye West and more, function as co-owners of the platform.
- In 2017 alone, TIDAL has hosted nearly 40 livestreams, gave away more than 350,000 tickets, hosted 70+ events and released 335 original videos
- Last year alone, Tidal released 40+ exclusive albums & 300+ original video content
- Recently announced Apple & Android TV Apps.
- $9.99 a month
- $4.99 Student discount
- $14.99 per for six streaming slots intended for family use
- According to a report from Techcrunch, Apple Music recently, and very quietly, added a $99 yearly subscription offer
- Has more than 40 million songs, with the added boost of iTunes Library which is around 45 million songs. You can also import your personal iTunes library directly into Apple Music
- Apple Music is home to Beats One Radio featuring cult favourites like Zane Lowe’s Radio Show, Frank Ocean’s Blonded Radio, Ebro Darden and more
- Fledgling original content and video streaming platforms in the works with several newly acquired series including a drama dubbed See delivered by the makers of Peaky Blinders
- Apple Music has some extremely interesting partnerships. For example, they have an ongoing collaboration with Drake (OVO Sound Radio), as well as Pharrell with his “OTHERtone” Radio show that provides mindful interviews with artists & creators
- Certain artists exclusively release their content to Apple Music before any other streaming service. Past examples are Snoop Dogg’s Coolaid and YG’s Still Brazy and more recently Vic Mensa’s “We Could Be Free” music video
- Playlist curation based on your interests and regularly played music
- Last September, Apple Music was estimated to have over 30 Million subscribers
- Operates & profits from strictly a subscription-based model.