9 Spotify alternatives for music in 2022

Spotify-Alternatives-2022

If you use Spotify like over 400 million people around the world, you might have found yourself without access to your favorite playlists and podcasts yesterday during an outage for the service that lasted a little over an hour. While Spotify has successfully propelled its brand to become the leader in music streaming, there are other services out there—some with libraries that are just as extensive, others with standout features. And now might be as good a time as any to explore your options.

Best music streaming services like Spotify

Apple Music

YouTube Music

Tidal

Pandora

Amazon Music Unlimited

Deezer

Qobuz

Bandcamp

Soundcloud

Apple Music 

Most comprehensive content

 

  
Price – 9.99 USD/month or 99 USD/year for individuals 
– 14.99 USD/month for families (up to six users)
– 4.99 USD/month for college students
– 4.99 USD/month for voice plan
Free trial  1 month
Quality Apple Music Lossless (24-bit/48 kHz) and Hi-Res Lossless 
Platforms supportediOS devices, desktop apps for Mac and PC, smart speakers 

 

Apple Music has a catalog of over 90 million songs, three live radio stations and over 30,000 curated playlists. The platform also has TV shows, films, and music videos, making it an all-in-one entertainment hub. 

Unlike Spotify, Apple Music doesn’t offer a free tier, and in turn there are no ads. An Apple executive has said that introducing a free tier would go against the company’s fundamental values on privacy. 

Apple Music is available on all Apple devices and is integrated on all MacBooks. In 2021, the company introduced Apple Music Voice Plan, which allows users to control the platform solely with Siri.

YouTube Music 

Best for a personalized experience

  
Price – 9.99 USD/month or 99.99 USD/year for individuals
– 14.99 USD/month for families (up to 5 members)
– 4.99 USD/month for students
Free trial 1 month 
Quality – 48 kbps
– 128 kbps
– 256 kbps
Platforms supportediOS, Android, desktop

 

YouTube Music has come a long way since it first launched back in 2015, solidifying its positioning as a worthy competitor to streaming giants like Apple Music and Spotify with its own unique features.

One case in point—albeit slightly creepy—is the service’s ability to recommend a suitable playlist based on its detection of your location and the time of day, whether it’s gym music or songs for your commute. It also has a lyrics-search functionality, which allows you to find a song based on snippets of lyrics.

Given its association with YouTube, the service also offers official music videos, as well as karaoke tracks, and videos created by users. 

Tidal

Best for high-quality sound

  
Price – 9.99 USD/month for HiFi
– 19.99 USD/month for HiFi Plus
– 14.99 USD/month for Family HiFi (up to six users)
– 29.99 USD/month for Family HiFi Plus (up to six users)
– 4.99 USD/month for Student HiFi
– 5.99 USD/month for Military HiFi
Free trial 30-day free trial 
Quality Up to 24 bit / 352kHz for Master Quality audio
Platforms supportediOS, Android, and desktop

 

Tidal prides itself for being a quality-first streaming platform. Unlike Spotify and Apple Music, Tidal offers four types of audio streaming quality at CD-quality sound. 

The platform’s highest audio quality, Master Quality audio, lets you stream at an impressive 384kHZ sampling rate. By comparison, Spotify supports AAC files that range from 24kbps to 320bbps. 

Beyond music quality, Tidal champions for direct-to-artist payments and is said to be paying more than what YouTube Music or Apple Music are paying artists. The platform has also received support from music heavyweights like Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Taylor Swift. 

Tidal also has a ton of exclusive content that music fans will love, with Tidal X offering access to live shows, meet and greets, live streams, and more.

Pandora

Best algorithm for endless streams

Price– Free with ads
– 4.99 USD/month for Pandora Plus (some ads)
– 9.99 USD/month for Pandora Premium (ad free)
– Other plans available for family, student, and military users
Free trial 30 days for Pandora Plus, 60 days for Pandora Premium
Quality– Low: 32 kbps AAC+
– Standard: 64 kbps AAC+
– High: 192 kbps mp3
Platforms supportediOS, Android, Apple Watch, smart speakers

 

For many of us, Pandora was the first major music streaming service we became aware of, known especially for its song-recommending algorithm. In fact, the algorithm is still the service’s greatest strength. With an ad-free, Premium subscription, you can sit back and enjoy (as well as discover) music that’s right up your alley or based on the genre of your choice.

That said, with a free subscription, the experience is much less enjoyable, as it requires you to tap your device screen to view ads. The mid-tier Pandora Plus removes ads if you’re letting the service choose songs for you, but ads come in if you want to search for specific songs.

While Pandora now falls short in its features compared with other services that have sprung up in more recent years, the service stands out with its album commentary—in which singers talk about how an album was made—and artist tour info.

Amazon Music Unlimited 

Best if you’re already a Prime member

  
Price – 7.99 USD/month or 79 USD/year for Amazon Prime members
– 9.99 USD/month for non-Prime members
– 3.99 USD/month for Amazon Echo or Fire TV
Free trial 90 days with an eligible Amazon purchase
QualityHD and Ultra HD included
Platforms supportediOS, Android, desktop, Amazon Echo, Fire TV

 

Amazon Music Unlimited is a premium version of Amazon Music Prime. The latter is included with a Prime membership at no additional cost and is a relatively no-frills streaming service offering two million songs. With Amazon Music Unlimited, you get all of the great features and functionality of Amazon Music Prime, but a much larger song library—75 million tracks—with higher-quality sound, as well as playlists and stations. 

If you’re already a Prime member, Amazon Music Unlimited is a great choice due to its lower price point. Amazon Music Prime would be free for members with no ads. There is another version, Amazon Music Free, which is free to anyone but with ads.

Deezer 

Best for original content

  
Price – Free with ads
– 9.99 USD/month or 89.91 USD/year for Deezer Premium
– 14.99 USD/month for Deezer Family (up to six users)
– 14.99 USD/month for Deezer HiFi
– 4.99 USD/month for Deezer Student
Free trial 1 month
Quality – 64 kbit/s (Basic)
– 128 kbit/s (Standard)
– 320 kbit/s (High Quality)
– 1,141 kbit/s (High Fidelity)
Platforms supportediOS, Android, desktop, smart speakers 

 

Like Tidal, Deezer too, offers CD-quality audio. What sets the French music streaming company apart from competitors is that it offers a good set of original content, live radio, and videos. Another great feature is that you’re able to transfer your entire music library from one music streaming service to Deezer so you won’t have to create new playlists. 

Recently, Deezer bumped its music catalog from 70 million to 90 million tracks. Price-wise, the service is in line with other platforms. Deezer’s free plan is designed primarily for mobile devices so if you’re the type to listen to music largely on your computer, you might want to avoid this one. 

Qobuz

Best for purchasing downloads

Price -10.83 USD/month for Studio Premier
-15 USD/month for Studio Sublime
-17.99 USD/month for Qobuz Family (up to six accounts)
Free trial 1 month
Quality-1,411 kbps (High Fidelity)
-9,216 kbps (High Resolution)
Platforms supportediOS, Android, desktop, smart speakers

 

Much like Tidal, Qobuz is a streaming platform that prides itself more on providing quality audio. Audiophiles will appreciate that Qobuz offers a high-resolution format of up to 9,216 kbps, allowing users to listen to songs the way it was intended by the artist on CD or even vinyl. However, not all songs are available in the highest quality. 

That being said, Qobuz is slightly more expensive than other platforms on the list. What’s great about it though is that it is currently the only platform that allows you to purchase and download high-resolution songs and albums. In this way, you’re directly supporting the artists you love. Its app’s interface is also visually appealing and easy to navigate.

Bandcamp

Best for empowering artists 

Price-Free
-Some tracks/albums are paid but prices vary
Free trial N/A
Quality-Lossy formats: MP3 (LAME, 320k or V0), AAC, and Ogg Vorbis
-Lossless formats: FLAC, ALAC, WAV, and AIFF
Platforms supportedDesktop (via browser), dedicated Android and iOS apps.

 

Bandcamp has made a name for itself as the “anti-Spotify” by embracing an artist-first approach. Its co-founder Ethan Diamond says the company was founded on the premise of letting audiences get as close as possible to handing artists money if they love a piece of music.

The company aims to allow independent artists to handle their intellectual property, taking only a 10% cut for purchases of physical items (CD, vinyl, merchandise), and between 10% to 15% for digital purchases. With many artists losing the ability to tour during Covid, the service has provided a far more economically enticing option for making money over Spotify.

Soundcloud

Best for discovering and creating

  
Price -Free with ads
-4.99 USD/month for SoundCloud Go
-9.99 USD/month for SoundCloud Go+
Free trial -7 days for SoundCloud Go
-30 days for SoundCloud Go+
Quality-128 kbit/s MP3 and 64 kbit/s Opus for standard streaming
-256 kbit/s for high-quality streaming
Platforms supportedAndroid, iOS, Chromecast, Windows, desktop via browser

 

Since its inception, SoundCloud has gained a name for itself as the platform that launched such artists as Billie Eilish, Lorde, Chance the Rapper, and Post Malone. Its popularity among budding artists has to do with the ability of users to upload their own songs and podcasts, as well as listen to and discover music.

In terms of features, SoundCloud takes a page from social media sites and lets you find music using hashtags and leave comments for songs. Interestingly, SoundCloud is the birthplace of a whole new sub-genre of rap titled “SoundCloud Rap.”

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