Best music streaming service: Apple Music, Spotify, Rdio and TIDAL explained

As Apple Music launches we take a look at the music streaming sites vying for your custom

comments (1)
Apple Music, Spotify, Rdio or TIDAL: Where to stream your favourite tunes

Apple Music and Beats 1, Spotify killer?

Apple's new music streaming service, Apple Music, has finally launched. The digital giant is famed for its dominance of markets but is unusually late to this particular party with staunch competition from a number of already established sites. So as Apple’s substantial advertising campaign begins to roll out we take a look at some of the different music streaming options available.

Service: Apple Music
The low down: Launching in 100 countries his June Apple Music was built by the team behind the Beats Music service. It combines a streaming service with 24 hour radio called Beats 1 which is headed up by former BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. Apple Music also includes a social media element, Connect, where artists will be able to post music, videos and photos for fans that follow them. Like they already do on twitter, instagram etc.
Down side: Lack of user presence. Potential Apple world dominance.
Price options: Everyone who upgrades to iOS 8.4 will get Apple Music free for three months; after that it’s £10 a month.

Service: Spotify
The low down: The heavyweight streaming site Spotify launched in 2008 and now has 75 million users and 20 million paying subscribers. The site offers streaming, music suggestions and tailored playlists themed by mood or genre. Want a playlist designed to accompany your morning coffee or Gangsta workout? Spotify has your back. The site is easily integrated with existing Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can access friends and followers music.
Down side: No Taylor Swift available.
Price options: Free ad-supported service; £10 a month for an ad-free service also available offline.

Service: TIDAL
The low down: TIDAL styles itself as the first artist-owned streaming service. Originally launched by Aspiro in 2014 it was acquired by Project Panther Ltd, Jay Z’s company, in 2015. Relaunched in March the the company also names Kayne West, Jack White, Madonna, Chris Martin and Calvin Harris as owners. TIDAL offers 25 million tracks and 75,00 music videos in 31 countries. Members get access to exclusive music, videos, tickets, merchandise and experiences. So far exclusive content has included Rihanna's new single ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ and a live stream of Jack White’s last concert.
Down side: Free trial only lasts seven days
Price options: £10 a month; £20 a month with high fidelity lossless audio.

Service: Rdio
The low down: Founded by the co-creator of Skype in 2010 Rdio boasts a catalogue of 32 million songs. Available in 85 countries it offers endless stations based on artists, genres, and moods including You FM, your own personalised station. Rdio wasn’t too gracious about Apple setting up as a competitor, re-using a sarcastic ad published by Apple about IBM in the eighties.
Down side: How do you pronounce it?
Price options: Free ad-supported service; £10 for an ad free service

Whoever you go with, we've come a long way since more innocent times …


1. Leandra20 Aug 2016, 1:10pm Report

I love your article but alot of people also use youtube which you havent mentioned since its free. Another free site I use to stream music is tunesnapper which streams the audio from youtube and theres also a record button on it to download tracks to your computer / phone / tablet. I like the way you can create playlists and share it with your friends on social media. Since its free its worth checking out

Post a comment
RSS feed of these comments