Ditch the Sponsors with The Best Ad-Free Music Streaming Service
Music streaming services are highly in demand. As listeners purchase fewer physical recordings, a plethora of online libraries continue to grow their collection of tunes that users can listen to with a click of a button.
Sifting through these services can become quite a hassle if you have a specific need you are looking to have fulfilled such as unlimited ad-free listening, a wide variety of radio stations, and music discovery. In this day and age, millennials want a non-stop listening experience whether they are exploring London, cruising in their car, or simply cleaning their apartment. These digital track providers are racing one another for the top spot as the best ad-free music service.
1. Amazon Music Unlimited
Originally, Amazon created Amazon Prime Music as an added benefit for Prime users to listen to a few million ad-free tunes. Realizing that variety is key with music connoisseurs, Amazon unveiled Amazon Music Unlimited a service that offers over 40 million songs.
There are three plans a subscriber is able to choose from-Echo Plan, Individual Plan, and Family Plan. The Echo Plan is the least expensive plan at $3.99/month, allowing the subscriber to listen on a single Echo, Echo Dot, or Amazon Top. The most popular is the Individual Plan retailing for $7.99 a month or $79 a year for prime members and $9.99 for non-prime members. In Individual Plan holder is able to enjoy music on any smartphone, tablet, PC/Mac, tablet, Fire TV, and Amazon Echo device. Lastly, a Family Plan is a great value at $14.99/month or $149/year. The Family Plan allows up to 6 family members/devices to play music simultaneously. Users enjoy the simply-to-use layout, along with downloading music for offline use.
A downside of Amazon Music Unlimited is that it lacks personality. Often users feel as though the recommended music is not geared directly towards their unique taste.
Overall, this plan beats most of the others by the price point provided. If you are a casual music listener who is interested in a Prime account or already is a Prime member, Amazon Music Unlimited offers ad-free music at a lower price than the rest. Start your Free Trial here!
2. Apple Music
Apple Music, while great in its effort, has always been a bit awkward and buggy to use. It is available on iOS, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac, PC, and Android products. While Apple Music does not offer a free service, it does offer a 3-month free trial. Like rival streaming services, it offers over 30 million tunes to scroll through. Saved music can be streamed offline as well.
Users are able to sync their iTunes and Apple Music libraries together, eliminating having to go between the two. There’s an individual plan that costs $9.99 while the family plan is $14.99, allowing up to 6 people to stream at once. It’s also available in around 113 countries.
Radio stations provided supposedly loop frequently and don’t offer a good variety of music.
Apple Music is great for someone on-the-go, in sync with Apple products, and doesn’t mind a few glitches.
3. Pandora Internet Radio
Pandora Internet Radio offers an ad-supported free plan along with a commercial free plan called Pandora One that costs $4.99 a month. While users have access to customized radio stations, there’s a limit on the number of times they can skip tracks. It’s compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and PC devices.
The thumbs up and down feature provides relevant music discovery based on the songs a user enjoys hearing.
This service does not provide specific songs on-demand. Users are also unable to rewind or repeat a song. The catalog is much more limited than other subscription services.
Pandora One is a great, low-cost option for listeners who like to the radio-station feel of this service while remaining ad-free.
Slacker Radio offers three subscription plans. With the free plan, you get 128Kbps audio, and are able to skip up to six songs per hour, but you must put up with ads. The Radio Plus plan is 3.99/month and removes the ads along with the skip limitations. You also will get a bit rate of 320Kbps and are able to listen to saved radios offline. Lastly, there’s the $9.99/month Slacker Premium that builds on the Plus plan by letting you create playlists and save music for offline use. Slacker can be played on
iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and PC devices.
A drawback is the fact that is does lack songs and albums from certain artists such as Prince and Kayne West.
Slacker Radio is a high quality radio streaming service that is well worth it’s price. The Radio Plus is the perfect subscription for individuals who enjoy a quality listening experience with each song.
Spotify has a free option along with an ad-free Spotify Premium, a $10 per month subscription. It is estimated to have over 30 million paying users each month.
Premium users are able to listen to any song whenever and wherever they want.
There are plenty of personalized playlists such as Fresh Finds, Discover Weekly, and My Weekly Songs. Users are able to connect via a Facebook account which allows them to see what their friends are listening to. It is available on iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Mac, and Windows desktop apps.
The interface is easy-to-use and rarely freezes. Spotify also offers a running feature that matches your music to the speed that you are going.
Because the royalty rates are low, major artists such as Taylor Swift, Adele, and Price have pulled all their songs from the service completely and switched to other platforms.
Spotify Premium is a great overall subscription service for individuals who do not mind filling their Taylor Swift and Adele needs on another platform. Since the app rarely crashes, it provides a worry-free, on-demand listening experience.
Tidal offers two types of ad-free plans-Tidal Premium for $9.99/month and Tidal HiFi for $19.99/month. This service provides both music and videos on-demand, including offline playback. It is available on iOS, Android, PC apps, and Web browsers.
Tidal offers exclusive content that cannot be provided elsewhere from major artists.
Unlike Spotify, Tidal is considered artist friendly and makes sure they are compensation properly. Tidal’s audio quality is the best of the streaming services.
The layout isn’t as user-friendly and the cost is expensive compared to other services.
If you can afford the pretty penny that it costs to subscribe to Tidal, it will definitely be worth it. The layout may take a bit of time to get used to, but the listening experience provided will out way that small set back by far.
7. Google Play
With Google Play Music, you are able to listen to your favorite tunes and store your music. Google offers a one-time 30 day free trial to the ad-free subscription plan version. The free version does have ads as well as a skip limit of up to 6 songs per hour. This is available on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and PC devices.
The service is integrated with YouTube Red allowing users to watch and listen to videos. By allowing Google to track your move, they can provide music playlists for specific places such as your gym, office, or home. It’s available for $9.99 a month for an individual plan and $14.99 for up to 6 people.
Some people are not big fans of the layout and find it a little tricky to use.
Overall, this service is great for individuals interested in the YouTube Red feature.
Last.fm is a streaming service that is free for all listeners. This platform is known for its superior ability to find music based on the last song you’ve listened to. It taps into additional desktop and mobile applications to learn which songs you like and suggest related matches. It available on all devices, utilizing Spotify and Youtube to stream music.
It does fall a bit flat compared to the others. While it has tried to revamp it’s look, users often find the layout too complicated and glitchy.
This service is great for those interested in an ad-free service with no cost and do not mind a free glitches. Overall, Last.fm is great for those a platform that recommends eerily relevant music suggestions.
9. Sony Music
Sony Music is an ad-free music streaming service that offers unlimited skips and a catalog of over 40 million songs. The two subscriptions available to users are a Access Plan at $5/month and a Premium Plan for $10/month. Luckily, Song Music gives all new listeners a free 30-day trial to test out their service. Getting into the plans, the Access Plan allows you to listen on a PlayStation 4 or 3, PC, and Mac while the Premium Plan adds support to iOS and Androids.
While the catalog is similar to Spotify, the application takes longer to load each time you open it. This can become a problem for individuals looking for quick and simple access to their tunes. Users also say that they feel that the layout can be confusing compared to other similar streaming services.
Sony Music Unlimited is a great service to try if you’re interested in a music library similar to Spotify’s for half the cost, yet keep in mind it may take longer to load songs.
10. Groove Music – Microsoft
Groove Music allows the user to integrate their library to their OneDrive for free. For $9.99/month, a Groove Music Pass gives users the ability to listened to all the music in Microsoft’s catalog and playback on many types of devices. Groove Music is available on Xbox, Windows 10, iOS, and Android. It is very similar to Spotify in catalog choices.
A drawback to this service is that it cannot be played on Roku, ChromeCast, and Echo. This is mainly an issue if you prefer listening to music via third-party devices or through your television.
Overall, Groove Music is good for individuals looking to save music to their OneDrive and be able to listen offline on supporting devices at a similar price to other services.
Amazon Music Unlimited is the best overall bang-for-your-buck, ad-free streaming service. While some artists are unavailable on Amazon Music Unlimited but available on other streaming services, the platform is reliable, worry-free, and easy to use. Unlike other services such as Groove Muisc and Sony Music, the listener is able to playback songs on a plethora of devices without additional fees.