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Did you know that over half of American adults listen to music every day? Music is one of the oldest forms of entertainment and continues to be one of the most popular to this day.
Though listening to music has remained constant through the years, our method of enjoying it has evolved. From live performance to vinyl records to portable devices to streaming services, music has never been more readily available than it is today.
With all of the music services available, is there the best way to listen to music? Does one stand out above the rest?
To help you answer this question, we’ve compiled a list of 7 of the most popular methods of enjoying music.
Keep reading to learn more!
With over 50 million songs available to its nearly 300 million users around the world, there’s no question that Spotify is a titan of the music industry.
Gone are the days when you would purchase a song for your iTunes library or spend hours researching how to download music for free. Instead, you just download a music streaming app and you have virtually every song in the world at your fingertips.
Spotify comes with billions of premade playlists for every mood or situation. The best part is, this endless amount of music and podcasts can be accessed for free, with an ad in between every song or two. Or, for about $10 per month, you can get Spotify Premium and skip the ads, as well as unlock higher quality sound.
2. Apple Music
Any music lover will have fond memories of iTunes, and though it was discontinued in 2019, Apple didn’t waste time filling the void left behind. Apple Music was introduced as its replacement, and though it is subscription only with no free tier, it boasts a library similar to Spotify in depth.
As far as extra features, Apple Music falls short of options like Spotify and Pandora. However, it’s a great option for those who own a lot of Apple tech, as it can be used with Siri and Apple Watch, as well as iPads, MacBooks, etc.
YouTube is a bit of a jack of all trades when it comes to content. You can find everything from cooking tutorials to news to makeup reviews. And among this sea of videos is tons and tons of music.
Now, you will have to deal with ads, but simply type the song you want to hear into the search bar and you’ll find music videos, covers, lyrics videos, live concerts – any form of the song you could ever want.
The predecessor to Spotify, Pandora is another online streaming service. Pandora got its start way back in 2000 and was the originator of the Music Genome Project, making it unique for its time.
Basically, Pandora takes your musical tastes and gives you tailored radio stations with songs that it thinks you’ll like. You can listen for free if you don’t mind ads, or you can pay about $10 per month for the ad-free version.
SoundCloud is unique from other streaming services in that it was created as a platform for up and coming artists to build their careers. As such, SoundCloud isn’t the ideal place to listen to today’s most popular artists and songs. But with almost 200 million tracks available, SoundCloud has a lot to offer.
And with SoundCloud Go+, the platform’s subscription service, you’ll gain access to ad-free listening and the ability to save songs to your library, enabling offline listening.
If your car was purchased in the last few years, you likely have the option of listening to SiriusXM while driving. You may have even been offered a free trial with your vehicle.
Like Apple Music, SiriusXM doesn’t have a free tier, but it does come with a few perks. It’s set up like a traditional radio, where you have stations covering a wide variety of content, such as comedy, news, and, of course, music.
Think of SiriusXM as a combination of live radio and streaming services. If you have SiriusXM in your car, you can also get it on your phone or other devices in the form of the app.
Similar to SoundCloud, Bandcamp was made with the artist in mind. Independent artists can upload their music to the site with the option of offering it for free or for paid download. Artists also often offer physical copies of their music for purchase and can even sell merch.
If you’re looking for a service that connects you to artists more than any other, Bandcamp is for you. Bandcamp is free to use, but the cost of the music itself comes down to the individual artists’ discretion.
The Best Way to Listen to Music Comes Down to Personal Preference
Any of these services will provide you with endless hours of musical enjoyment, so the best way to listen to music comes down to personal preference. And there’s no reason you can’t use more than one!
If you’re in the mood to put on your favorite song and let the app do the rest of the work for you with the songs that follow, Spotify or Pandora will give you what you’re looking for. But if you’re in search of a new band or artist that’s a bit more underground, you might want to try Bandcamp or SoundCloud instead.
For a true music enthusiast, the best way to find new tunes is to try as many apps and services as you can! If you want a little help in your quest to find your new favorite song, check out our blog for recommendations and reviews on artists and albums you may not have heard of before!