We all know that streaming music is an absolute game-changer in our everyday lives. If you’re old enough to remember having to lug a huge CD wallet around with you everywhere you went or having to purchase individual music file downloads for your iPod Classic, you can testify that streaming internet platforms have absolutely revolutionized the way we listen to music.
But which of the “Big 3” streaming music platforms is best? After all, we’re not made of money- it may not be possible to afford monthly subscriptions to all three major players. If you’re trying to decide which streaming music platform to subscribe to, here’s a guide detailing all the pros and cons of Pandora, Apple Music, and Spotify so you can select the service that best suits you.
Overview: Pioneers of the “music genome project,” Pandora has been creating custom radio stations based on listeners’ preferences and input from a sophisticated music DNA algorithm for over 20 years.
Pros: Great variety- listeners can modify their stations to play Crowd Favorites, Deep Cuts, or only songs by the specified artist. Also, at just $3.99 per month for the commercial-free Pandora Plus subscription, it’s a wallet-friendly choice!
Cons: Limited offline play for those listening for free or on Pandora Plus.
Overview: Spotify Platinum subscribers have the freedom to stream genre-based stations as well as listen to playlists created by other users, not to mention build downloadable playlists themselves!
Pros: Play just about any song instantly without having to purchase or download it- something you can’t do with Pandora!
Cons: Slightly inflexible search engine requires exact matches, meaning that if you misspell an artist or band’s name, you won’t get any results.
Overview: Formerly known as iTunes, Apple Music has evolved from a database of user-downloaded music files to a robust streaming giant.
Pros: Highly intuitive, user-friendly interface featuring curated playlists based on users’ individual music preferences.
Cons: At $9.99 per month for an individual subscription and no free option, Apple Music is by far the most costly streaming option.
Whether you choose to subscribe to one of the top three streaming music platforms or a combination of all three, keep in mind that Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify gift cards are an excellent gift for the music lover in your life this holiday season (not to mention something worth adding to your own wish list!)