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With the days of CDs and cassettes long gone, everyone’s keeping an eye out for the best music streaming services on the market. There’s no shortage of streaming platforms for your smartphone or your smart speaker.

What you probably want to know is: what’s the best for my personal needs, my interests, and (most importantly) my wallet?

Stick around, ’cause I’m about to tell you.

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1. Sirius XM is the best music streaming service for sports and live radio.

Essential – $8/month

Premier – $13/month

Sirius XM definitely seems like it’s a good fit for people who like talk radio and sports more than music. But, if you find yourself listening to the same 10 songs over and over on local radio and want to let a professional DJ spin some hits, SiriusXM’s online subscription might be for you. The Essential package gives you 24/7 commercial-free music channels, and exclusive talk shows. For just $5 more, the Premier tier adds in Pandora-powered “Personalized Stations” as well as play-by-play sports channels.

Best for: Sports fans and old-school radio listeners.


2. Apple Music is ideal for Verizon Unlimited phone plans.

Student – $4.99/month

Individual – $9.99/month

Family – $14.99/month

Apple Music is in the top most popular music streaming services. It’s loaded with a whopping 60 million songs. Apple Music also has unique compatibility with Siri, so you can search for specific songs even if you only remember a few lyrics. And, you can get Apple Music even without an iPhone. Apple Watch users will be happy to hear that they can sync up to 2 GB of content onto their device. Your mobile provider can also make a huge difference, as certain Verizon Unlimited plans get you Apple Music free of charge.

Best for: Apple users and Verizon subscribers.


3. Amazon Music Unlimited is the cheapest music streaming service for Prime members.

Prime Music – Free with Prime

Prime Music Unlimited – $7.99/month or $79/year with Prime ($9.99/month without Prime)

If you’re looking for a simple streaming option, you might prefer Amazon’s music offerings. If you’re already subscribed to Amazon Prime, you also get Prime Music with your Prime subscription, so you get instant access to 2 million songs.

But, if you’re more into the deep cuts or just feel like you want more options, Amazon Prime Music Unlimited is an upgrade. It’s compatible with your Alexa device and streams 50 million songs ad free with offline listening.

Best for: Alexa users and Prime members.


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4. Listen to ad-free music with SoundCloud Go.

SoundCloud Go – $4.99/month

SoundCloud Go+ – $9.99/month

Maybe you’re looking for some new sounds a bit outside of the mainstream? SoundCloud features user-uploaded content, meaning you could accidentally discover the next great superstar’s garage demo. SoundCloud Go is ad free and provides unlimited offline listening, while SoundCloud Go+ gives you higher audio quality and exclusive premium tracks.

Best for: Record executives and anyone tired of mainstream music.



5. Spotify Premium is the best streaming music service for students and podcast fans.

Individual – $9.99/month

Family – $14.99/month

Student – $4.99/month

Spotify is a favorite for many music lovers. Spotify Premium is $9.99 per month, with a Family Deal for up to six users for $14.99 a month. Both tiers give you millions of ad-free songs and exclusive podcasts. Spotify also offers an amazing deal for students, considering that for half price they can access Spotify Premium, ad-supported Hulu, and even Showtime. But, good luck trying to focus on studying with all those shows available.

Best for: Students and podcast listeners.


6. Pandora Plus levels up one of the best free streaming music sites.

Pandora Plus – $4.99/month or $54.89/year

Pandora Premium – $9.99/month or $109.89/year

Pandora Premium Family – $14.99/month or $164.89/year

When it launched, Pandora was so easy: plug in a song or artist, hear some similar music, and listen to the occasional advertisement. Simpler times. Nowadays, the service has many more options. The basic plan, Pandora Plus, gives you unlimited skips, some offline compatibility, and ad-free stations catered to your interests. But for an extra $5, ($9.99) you can always upgrade to Pandora Premium for shareable playlists and unlimited offline.

Best for: Anyone tired of hearing ads and people looking for new artists.


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7. Google Play Music brings ad-free music and YouTube.

Unlimited – $9.99/month

Family – $14.99/month

It’s tough not to compare Google Play Unlimited to Spotify Premium. After all, both offer ad-free on-demand content, offline listening, and podcasts for $9.99 a month. But, while Spotify has been more focused on its original podcasts as of late, Google Play Music Unlimited also gives you access to YouTube Music Premium, where you get ad-free music content downloadable from YouTube such as live shows, music videos, and unique remixes.

Best for: Remix aficionados and fans of live music.


8. Get HD music streaming with Tidal.

Premium – $9.99/month

HiFi – $19.99/month

Family Premium – $14.99/month

Family HiFi – $29.99/month

Tidal is best known for being owned by artists such as Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, and Jack White. It has one major focus that sets it apart from the other top music streaming services: high-quality audio. Their HiFi membership lets you listen to Tidal Masters, which are extremely high-quality versions of albums you can get through the app. If you’ve got a pair of Beats headphones and feel like teleporting yourself into the studio, HiFi is definitely for you.

Best for: Audiophiles and anyone with a great pair of speakers.


9. Get streaming radio stations with iHeartRadio Plus.

A digital cell phone with the iHeart Radio music app displayed and the company logo beside it.

iHeartRadio Plus – $4.99/month (Android), $5.99/month (iOS)

iHeartRadio All Access – $9.99/month (Android), $12.99/month (iOS)

iHeartRadio’s paid options get a bit confusing, because for some reason Apple users pay more on both tiers. I guess the owner has some beef with Apple? Basically, iHeartRadio Plus gets you live radio, unlimited skips, playlist compatibility, and the ability to replay songs you heard on the radio. But if you’re looking to add more options, All Access adds offline listening and unlimited playlist creation.

Best for: Android users and live radio fanatics.


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9 Best Music Streaming Services