How can I purchase music on Android?

Purchasing music on an Android device has become a popular way for consumers to access new and old music on-the-go. The rise of streaming music services like Spotify and YouTube Music along with more traditional download stores like Google Play Music and Amazon Music have transformed the way people discover and consume music.

On Android devices specifically, users have a variety of options to purchase music, depending on their preferences. For example, those wanting to own digital downloads of albums and songs can use the Google Play Store. Those interested mainly in streaming services can choose Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora or others. Some prefer Bandcamp for directly supporting artists. There are many choices for every consumer need.

Google Play Music

Google Play Music comes pre-installed on most Android devices, making it easily accessible for Android users. It offers both a subscription-based service with access to millions of songs for $9.99 per month, as well as the ability to purchase individual albums and tracks.

In 2018, it was reported that Google Play Music has a 6% market share and will eventually be replaced by YouTube Music. The key benefit of Google Play Music is that you can access both your purchased music library and stream new songs from YouTube Music after linking your accounts.

Amazon Music

Amazon Music is available as an app for download on the Google Play Store. Users have a few options for accessing music through Amazon Music:

  • Amazon Music Unlimited: a premium subscription service with over 100 million songs for $7.99/month.
  • Amazon Prime Music: a selection of over 2 million songs included with an Amazon Prime membership.
  • Individual Music Purchases: users can also buy individual albums and songs to download through Amazon Music.

A key benefit of Amazon Music is its deep integration with Alexa voice assistant and Amazon Echo devices. Users can easily control music playback hands-free on Echo devices in their home. According to recent data, Amazon Music has a 2023 market share of 8.2%, making it one of the top music streaming platforms.

YouTube Music

One of the major options for purchasing and streaming music on Android is YouTube Music. The YouTube Music app is the official music app from YouTube. It allows both streaming and downloading of music. There is an ad-supported free version as well as a paid YouTube Premium option.

YouTube Music ties into your existing YouTube account, allowing access to all the music content hosted on YouTube. This includes official songs, albums, playlists, and music videos. It also includes remixes, covers, and other user-generated content. By default, streaming is done through an adaptive bitrate codec, but downloading allows playback anytime offline.

As YouTube Music leverages YouTube’s massive existing music content, the song catalog is quite extensive. It rivals other major streaming services. However, some users feel the music discovery and curation options lag behind dedicated music services.

Overall, for Android users already integrated into Google’s ecosystem, YouTube Music can be a convenient option to purchase, download and stream music. The integration with YouTube content and reasonable pricing through YouTube Premium make it very accessible.


Spotify is a popular music streaming app with both free ad-supported and premium paid tiers ( As of 2023, Spotify has over 220 million subscribers.

With Spotify’s free tier, you can stream music on demand with advertisements. The premium service at $9.99 per month removes ads and allows downloading songs, albums, and playlists for offline listening. Offline content syncs across mobile and desktop apps.

Downloading for offline use can save mobile data and allow listening without an internet connection. To enable this, tap the download button next to any song, album or playlist in the Spotify app. There is no limit on the number tracks that can be downloaded.


Pandora is an internet radio app that allows users to stream music and create custom radio stations based on their favorite artists or songs. According to Business of Apps, Pandora has over 46 million monthly active users in the United States as of Q3 2023.

With Pandora, free users can listen to any station but have limited skips and replays. They must listen to audio or visual ads between songs. Pandora has two paid subscription plans as well. Pandora Premium removes advertising and offers unlimited skips, replays, and offline listening for $4.99 per month. Pandora Plus offers an ad-free experience but limited skips and no offline listening for $4.99 per month as well.


SoundCloud is an audio streaming platform that allows users to upload and share their original music as well as stream music from other users and some major record labels and artists. According to Business of Apps, SoundCloud reached over 175 million monthly listeners in 2023. The platform has over 76 million registered users with over 30 million creators uploading over 1 million tracks per day, making it a great place to share and find emerging artists.

One of the key features of SoundCloud is the ability for anyone to upload and share original audio content like music, podcasts, interviews, and more. Users can follow other creators, repost content, and like tracks. For budding musicians, it provides a way to build an audience and get their music heard without the need for expensive recording and distribution deals.

In addition to user-generated content, SoundCloud offers a catalog of music from major artists and labels available through SoundCloud Go+, its premium subscription streaming service. This gives users access to more established and well-known music. Overall, SoundCloud is a popular option for android users looking to both share their own original music as well stream new and trending content from rising talent.


Bandcamp is a popular platform for independent artists to sell and distribute their music directly to fans. With Bandcamp’s Android app, you can easily purchase and download music from a wide selection of indie artists.

One of the key benefits of Bandcamp is the ability to directly support artists by buying their music. When you make a purchase, a large percentage of the proceeds go directly to the artist. This makes it an appealing platform for indie musicians looking to self-release their work.

The Bandcamp app grants access to a massive catalog of music spanning many different genres like rock, electronic, hip-hop, metal, etc. Compared to mainstream music platforms, you’ll find a lot more diversity and underground/up-and-coming acts on Bandcamp. It’s a great place to discover fresh new music.

After purchasing an album or track, you can download it directly in MP3 format up to 320kbps. This allows you to listen offline and import the music into your Android device’s library. Overall, Bandcamp is a go-to for purchasing and downloading great indie music on Android.

Downloading MP3s

One way to get MP3 music files onto your Android device is by purchasing and downloading individual MP3s from online stores like Amazon MP3. You can browse their catalog of songs and albums, purchase just the specific tracks you want, and download them to your computer.

Once you have MP3 files downloaded to your computer, you can then transfer them to your Android device’s internal storage or SD card. You can do this by connecting your Android phone or tablet to your computer with a USB cable and using your computer’s file explorer to drag and drop the MP3 files into the music folder on your device storage. This allows you to directly load music files onto your Android without needing any additional apps.

The benefit of purchasing MP3s is you get only the songs you want, and you own them to keep, rather than relying on a subscription streaming service. However, purchasing individual tracks or albums can get expensive compared to a streaming subscription. This method is best for getting specific tracks you want to own and keep long term on your Android device.

Google Play Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, and Bandcamp are the main options for purchasing music on Android devices. Each service has its own strengths and weaknesses in terms of content libraries, pricing models, and user experiences.

For those looking for an all-you-can-eat subscription model with a huge catalog, Spotify and YouTube Music are great choices. Amazon Music is also strong for Prime members. Those wanting to purchase individual albums or songs should look to Google Play Music or Amazon MP3. And for independent music discovery, Bandcamp can’t be beat.

Downloading MP3s to store locally is also an option, though less convenient than streaming. Overall, Android users have a wealth of choices for acquiring music digitally, each with their own pros and cons.


Purchasing music on Android devices can be done through several digital music services, each with their own strengths. Streaming services like Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, and Pandora allow unlimited streaming access to huge catalogs. Other options like Google Play Music, Amazon MP3, and Bandcamp are better for purchasing individual albums or songs. Downloading MP3s to store locally is also an option. With this array of choices, Android users can find the right music purchasing option for their needs and preferences.

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