Log On and Tune In! Check Out the Top Music Subscription Services

Published On June 21, 2013 | Tech Business

If you are a music and technology lover, you’re in luck. There’s no lack of options when it comes to online music subscription services. That said, there are some established names in the marketplace and some not-so-established names. The choice will likely depend on the specific features that you’re seeking, how much you’re willing to pay, what devices you own, and whether you want the ability to share what you’re listening to on social media. Though inherently similar, the major subscription services are all different when it comes to the details.

Here’s a wrap up of the most popular music subscription services.

Spotify – The Reigning King

Spotify has more than 24 million active users, six million of which are paying customers. These numbers make Spotify one of the giants of streaming music. The service also boasts more than 20 million songs, high-quality streaming and a convenient and easy web-based streaming platform that is compatible with both Mac and Window computers, iPhones, iPads and Android devices.

Users can access Spotify for free, though free users will have their service occasionally interrupted by advertisements. Subscription members pay just $4.99 a month for unlimited streaming without advertisements and $9.99 a month to have songs available across multiple devices. Spotify is also social and users can follow other subscribers to discover new artists.

Google Music All Access – The New Kid on the Block

There’s not a lot known about this new service, at least not yet. What is known points to Google having to overcome some teething problems before being able to make a dent in the music subscription service market place. For example, the service is not available on iPhone or iPad, users cannot follow other users or engage in social activities and the number of songs has been pegged as being in the “millions” without official numbers being mentioned. Based on initial impressions, one may have reason for pause.

In nearly every other regard, however, the service is remarkably similar to its competitors. Users will pay $9.99 a month and can listen to songs at up to 320kbps. Songs can also be listened to offline on Android devices; users simply “ping” the albums or songs that they like. The service also likely benefits from having an Internet giant supporting its infrastructure.

Rhapsody – The Seasoned Veteran

Rhapsody has been offering subscription services since the early 2000s, so it’s not surprising that the company offers a wide range of features. In fact, it matches nearly all of its competitors in one way or the other – either through competitive pricing, music selection, device compatibility or social integration. Everything that can be found in the streaming marketplace can be found at Rhapsody.

The service is available on Mac and Windows computers, as well as iPhones, iPads, Android, Windows mobile and BlackBerry devices. Rhapsody also promotes a social community, where users can follow other users and see what types of music they have been listening to. Since Rhapsody seems to be the gold standard for this market, subscribers can expect to pay $9.99 for this service. However, unlike its competitors, Rhapsody allows users to pay quarterly or yearly at a discount, if they choose.

Up and Comers?

These services may be the big names in the marketplace, but by no means are they the only names. Rdio, MOG and Pandora also offer streaming services, and Apple recently unveiled its own iRadio service, sort of like a streaming iTunes to be launched in the fall.

— By Robert Carrier



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