Music streaming compared

If you like your music, you're spoiled for choice when it comes to music streaming services. How do they compare? Let us show you.
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Music streaming compared

More and more people are turning to streaming services to get their digital fix these days, and we’re not just talking about those evenings spent slumped on the sofa with Netflix.

Music streaming has boomed in the past few years, and in the UK alone we’re estimated to have streamed something close to 7.4 billion songs in the past 12 months – up 100% when compared to 2012.

But, what makes a great streaming service, and more importantly, how much do they all cost? Here’s a run down of our favourites, and what makes them so good.

DEEZER

Free desktop service with ads, premium service £9.99p/m

Deezer is hands down the most available music streamer out there, currently in a staggering 182 countries. It also boasts a huge library of 35 million tracks with more being added every day.

In terms of sound quality, it can stream the same as Spotify at 320kbps, which is great but not the finest out there. If you’re looking for mind-melting high-res audio, you need to check out Qobuz.

QOBUZ

From free, £19.99p/m for premium service

Although Qobuz’ 14 million track library isn’t as comprehensive as the likes of Deezer or Spotify’s, it does stream a lot of its content in 24-bit audio – which is studio quality sound to us normal folk.

However, at £19.99 per month, it’s twice as expensive as its more popular competitors, but if you’re after the best sound in town, look no further.

SPOTIFY

Free desktop service with ads, premium service £9.99p/m

Spotify is by far the most popular streaming service here in the UK, and for good reason. It has a huge library of music, including some artists and collections that aren’t available elsewhere.

Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd’s back catalogues both finally became available recently, but there are still a few big names missing including The Beatles, AC/DC and famously, Taylor Swift – haters gonna hate, we guess.

Saying that, there are still over 30 million tracks with around 20,000 added every day. The service is available in 58 countries at the moment, and will undoubtedly increase.

As an added bonus, thrifty students can enjoy a 50% discount.

RDIO

Free desktop service with a lower sound quality, premium service £9.99p/m

Rdio is by and large, very similar to Deezer and Spotify, but it doesn’t have the same loyal fan base. It’s the same price, but you won’t be able to enjoy 320kbsp sound quality until you pay for the monthly subscription – also at £9.99 per month.

The difference with Rdio is that it can be used as an automatic discovery tool. If, for example, you’re listening to Ed Sheeran, you can then launch an artist radio station, in which Rdio will play through artists it thinks are similar to Ed.

The service has around 30 million tracks and is currently available in 61 countries.

VERDICT

There’s no topping Spotify’s already established popularity. It arrived on the streaming scene early, and although it can’t compete in sound quality, the interface is well designed and the overall service is easy to use.

To find out how to make the most of Spotify, check out our top tips here.

If you want to know anything else about streaming services, or think we’ve missed something, drop us a comment below.

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