Imua 'Iolani

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Honolulu, Hawai'i

Comparing Music Streaming Services

May 4, 2019

     Whether it’s pop, rock, or the blues, the best music is free music. Spotify and Musi provide useful music options for free. In response to consumers wants, many different apps provide free music, but how far does free take you in each app? How do these apps convince a user to buy upgrades? Apple Music is a great option for those looking for a service that you pay. Other uncommon apps such as SoundCloud, iHeartRadio, and YouTube are also options for those looking for something specific in an app. All of these apps are great for streaming music, whether you pay or not.



First, there is the most popular, Spotify. According to How-To Geek, Spotify has over 83 million paying users. Even though Spotify offers a premium option, in Spotify free, you can create your own playlists and search up specific songs, however there are restrictions. With previously created playlists, you have a limited amount of skips and you are continuously bombarded with audio ads. According to How-To Geek, spotify premium is $9.99 a month or $14.99 a month for the family plan. Additional benefits with premium include the ability to save music to play offline, zero ads with unlimited skips, and having access to everything the app has to offer. For a free option, I highly recommend Spotify, but there are other apps that have even better features for free that are overshadowed by this popular app.



Musi is an app that should be used by everyone. Musi is free app which allows you to stream music, build playlists, and create music libraries. When you search for music on Musi, it searches YouTube’s music library and plays the video from YouTube rather than from the app’s personal music library. Musi’s ads are pop-up ads and can be closed with a quick click. The only negative thing about Musi is that you need WiFi (that is not restricting any YouTube videos) or data for the app to work, other than that, this app is spot-on! Musi is becoming a more popular app among millennials because of its easy-use.


Apple Music:

Apple Music, created by the famous trillion dollar business, Apple, has no free option. Instead, Apple offers a free three-month trial followed by a $10/month fee with the option of the $14.99/month family plan. You have access to the 40 million song library to choose from and the ability to listen offline. A feature unique to Apple Music is the  Connect tab, which allows artists to post lyrics, music, photos, videos, and texts on a feed for fans to see. If Apple were to create a free tier for users, Apple Music would surely overrule all of the other music apps.



SoundCloud is very similar to Musi when comparing the features of both apps. There are three tiers of SoundCloud, the free tier, SoundCloud Pro, and SoundCloud Pro Unlimited. With SoundCloud, an additional feature that other apps don’t provide is SoundCloud Go+. According to, SoundCloud Go+ is $4.99/month with SoundCloud Pro Unlimited or $9.99/month normally and allows you access to select DJ tools. Also, with SoundCloud Pro and Pro Unlimited, you can monetize unlimited track and distribute unlimited releases to all major music services as said by If you want access to DJ tools with the luxury of listening to music, SoundCloud is a great option.



iHeartRadio has become less popular among kids and teens because Spotify, SoundCloud, or Musi have taken the spotlight. iHeartRadio is known for the ability to listen to different radio stations and podcasts around the world. But, they also provide a music library where you can search for specific songs. Skips are disabled with iHeartRadio and when searching for a specific song, the app searches for other playlists that have the song you want and then plays the playlist instead of playing the song you searched for. Another downside of iHeartRadio is that it needs data or WiFi to play music.



Although YouTube is widely known for its variety of channels with videos that are available to anyone, YouTube has created its own music service where customers can pay $9.99 a month for ad-free music, “background listening,” and downloads for offline playback as said by How-To Geek. It would just be easier if you searched up music videos on YouTube for free instead of paying $9.99/month to do the same without ads.


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