Breaking down the best music streaming services

Whether you want pop, classical, quality audio or freebies, there are options

Breaking down the best music streaming services
Breaking down the best music streaming services

SAN ANTONIO – When it comes to how people access their tunes, streaming is king.

Streaming music has surpassed digital downloads, CDs and vinyl records to now grab 80% of the music market.

This means the audience has a lot of options.

“In recent years, a lot of companies have entered the music streaming space, so it can be hard for consumers to pick which one is best for them,” said Thomas Germain, tech editor for Consumer Reports.

Most offer a wide selection of music for about $10 a month for a single account or more for a family account. These services can be used on most devices, including smart speakers.

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Some of the most popular streaming services include Apple Music and Spotify.

“Apple Music is nice if you have a lot of Apple products because it plays with the ecosystem really well," Germain said. “Spotify has really been investing in podcasts a lot over the past couple of years. One of the nice features that they have now is you can listen to podcasts and other kinds of audio directly within the same app, which can be really convenient.”

Audiophiles who are particular about the quality of their music’s sound have options like Tidal and Amazon Music HD, which cost a little more. Tidal’s high resolution audio tier costs $20 a month. Amazon Music HD runs $15 a month and $13 for Prime members. Keep in mind, higher quality audio uses more data.

If classical is more your jam, there are options such as Idagio and Primephonic, which are tailored for classical music and let you sort by composer, performer, instrument and more.

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To help you decide, most services offer a free trial period.

And, if you don’t want to pay anything for your streaming music service, many such as YouTube Music, Spotify and Pandora offer free versions with ads.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.