Music streaming; the game has now changed

April 12, 2016


If you have a smart-phone or access to the internet, more than likely you’ve stumbled upon a music streaming service platform.


Either it being via website or an app, there’s plenty to choose from.


With each  different one having a pros and cons either it being an exclusive artist, music label or just the versatility of music accessible.


Let’s look at the major players of the streaming music services; Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, SoundCloud, and Tidal.


As of last week Soundcloud announced two premium packages, a Pro and a Pro Unlimited.


Each one having perks, what made Soundcloud work was the fact that you could upload music and benefit from the random algorithm it uses to shuffle songs in between what you want to hear.


 With the two premium features being added to the free package, each premium has a pro and a con.


On the Pro feature which is $4 a month or $35 a year, you have six hours of upload quota, while the Pro Unlimited feature is priced at $9 a month or $99 a year but the hours of upload is unlimited.


This is easily the most marketable for any up and coming artist that wants to get noticed, which is what made Sondcloud so great.


You got to experience new artist as they develop or start out…Remember Post Malone’s “White Iverson” that was on Soundcloud before anywhere else.  


Let’s take a look at Pandora, the one that’s been in the streets of internet streaming for a while now.


It’s stayed relatively simple and the same in internet radio. While others go in different ways to make it work, Pandora has kept it with the artist, genre, or song based radio and curating it along the way with a thumbs up or thumbs down that furthers the experience of radio.


Pandora is free by access on the web and app but has limitations. Which are advertisements and limited number of skips on a station, while they offer Pandora One eliminates the ads and the decreases the timeouts that occur while listening to Pandora.


Pandora one is affordable at $4.99 a month and $54.89 a year.


 Now this is where it gets tricky, all three of the next streaming services are the main competitors when it comes to the music streaming game.


Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal each one has characteristics that set them apart. 


Apple music, with one of the biggest pros is the fact that you can easily add music to your music app.


By simply just clicking on options add to my music.


This is huge, only because one of my biggest problems with Apple and third party apps that let you download or stream music but the biggest flaw is you can’t access them on the your apple music app.


That changes with Apple music, another pro is the radio.


Apple gave life back to radio with DJs from all over the world sharing new music with the world.


Apple music isn’t only on Apple products can be used on any Windows computer just as long as you have itunes.  


Along with how easily it to download new music, and the radio Apple utilized and signed artists to exclusive deals.


Such as Drake, Dj Khaled, Pharrel and Dr. Dre they each have their own show that is part of Apple music’s weekly programming.


Apple Music has two subscriptions $9.99 a month for an individual membership while they offer a family plan that’s priced at $14.99 a month.


You can also try the service for free for three months.  


Whereas Spotify and Tidal, they have their own set of pros that sets them apart for users liking. Spotify has a subscription that attracts the college student by only charging $4.99 a month compared to its $9.99 a month subscription. 


Spotify is relatively basic as it comes to features they have a radio as well but it’s not as great as Apples.


The one feature that is a hit is the fact that incorporated the website “genius.”


In case you don’t know what genius is, it explains in full detail annotations of your favorite song while you listen to it. Tidal on the other hand, is the home of the exclusives.


This year already they have dropped three exclusives from Beyonce’s song “Formation” to premiering and streaming Rihanna’s album “Anti” before anybody else and last but not least having Kanye West’s album, “The Life of Pablo” available two months before actually getting a worldwide release on to other streaming services.


But what made “The Life of Pablo” exclusive and ground breaking was the fact that the album was updated weekly. 


Tidal has much more to offer than just music; they stream live concerts from Jay-z to J.Cole, to music festivals.


They offer weekly journalist pieces on artists on the rise or how relevant an album is.


Tidal the most expensive music streaming device out on the internet streets, being priced at $9.99 for Tidal Premium and Tidal HiFi priced at $19.99 a month.


The Tidal HiFi subscription is for high fidelity sound, so it sounds better, although just discovered Tidal does offer a student discount, price did not say.


At the end of the day no matter what music streaming service is being used the reality is music and technology are at the highest peak possible.


The fact that you can easily upload your own music, easily find new artist to discover, save songs for future listening all with the access at your fingertips.


My generation is lucky to have technology; think about it we went from vinyl, to a track, to cassettes, to Cds, to digital, what a time to be alive.


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