Which music app is premium free?

With the rise of music streaming, more and more people are listening to music through apps rather than purchasing individual songs or albums. Music streaming services come in two main varieties – premium or paid options like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited, and free ad-supported apps like Spotify Free, Pandora, and YouTube Music.

Premium services offer ad-free listening, higher audio quality, offline listening, and more features but require a monthly or annual subscription fee. Free streaming apps have ads and more limited features, but allow users to access expansive music catalogs at no cost.

This article will compare popular free and premium music streaming apps, analyzing the differences in features, audio quality, content libraries, pricing, and overall user experience. We’ll aim to help readers determine if paying for a premium music app is worth the cost over sticking with free streaming options.

Popular Premium Apps

When it comes to premium music streaming services, the top players are Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited. These platforms offer ad-free listening, high quality audio, and additional features not available through free tiers.

Spotify pioneered the music streaming subscription model. With over 172 million premium subscribers globally, it remains the market leader. Spotify Premium provides an ad-free experience, ability to download music for offline listening, unlimited skips, and high fidelity audio.

Apple Music has climbed to second place with over 78 million paid members. It seamlessly integrates with Apple devices and provides curated playlists, exclusive content, lossless audio, and spatial audio with Dolby Atmos.

YouTube Music leverages Google’s massive catalog of music videos and songs. The premium tier removes ads, enables background listening, and unlocks offline downloads. It offers high quality audio and unique live performances.

Amazon Music Unlimited provides 90 million songs ad-free, including latest releases. Subscribers can download for offline listening and access spatial audio. Unique offerings include HD audio and handpicked playlists curated by music experts.

Premium App Features

Premium music apps like Spotify Premium and YouTube Music Premium offer some coveted features that free users don’t get access to. Here are some of the main premium features:

No ads – Premium users can listen without any audio or visual advertisements interrupting their music listening experience (https://gadgetadvisor.com/mobile-apps/spotify-premium-apk/).

Unlimited skips – Paying users have unlimited song skips, while free users have a limited number of skips per hour (https://thedroidguru.com/download-spotify-premium-apk-8-5-7-999-mod-no-root/).

High quality audio – Premium subscriptions unlock the highest quality audio streams, like 320kbps on Spotify vs 160kbps for free users (https://theleaker.com/spotify-premium-apk-dl1/).

Offline listening – Downloading songs for offline playback when no internet connection is available is a premium-only feature.

Exclusive content – Premium members gain access to exclusive albums, playlists, podcasts and other content not available to free users.

Popular Free Apps

There are many popular free music apps available for Android and iOS devices. Some of the most popular options include:

Pandora is one of the most well-known free music apps. As stated by Android Authority, Pandora Radio allows users to create customized stations based on artists or songs they like. The app makes recommendations and tailors the playlist to the user’s tastes. Pandora has a large music library and is available for both Android and iOS.

Spotify also offers a free, ad-supported version of its popular music streaming app. As FreeYourMusic notes, Spotify Free provides access to Spotify’s full music catalog and playlists, but with limitations like shuffle-only play for albums and artist catalogs. The free version also has ads between songs.

SoundCloud is another top free option cited by Android Authority. It allows users to stream music and other audio content from a huge community of indie artists, podcasters, and audio creators. SoundCloud has a massive collection of music, but the free version has ads and limits listening time.

Free App Downsides

While free music streaming apps like Spotify and Pandora are very popular, they do come with some significant downsides that users should be aware of. According to blog.hocking.edu, some of the key disadvantages of using a free music streaming service include:

Abundant advertisements – Free versions of apps like Spotify insert ads frequently, which can ruin the listening experience.

Shuffle play only – Free users are typically limited to shuffle mode and can’t pick the exact songs they want to hear.

Skip limits – Free accounts on Spotify only allow users to skip tracks a certain number of times per hour.

Lower audio quality – Free streaming is usually capped at 160kbps, while premium services can offer 320kbps or lossless quality.

No offline listening – The ability to download songs for offline playback is reserved for paying subscribers.

According to freeyourmusic.com, the abundance of ads and annoying limitations are some of the biggest cons of using Spotify’s free service. The free tier is intentionally limited in order to upsell users to the paid premium service.

Free App Features

Free music apps like Spotify Free, Pandora, and Amazon Music Unlimited provide users with basic features and functionality. According to https://odhvi.anewlifein.com/html/976d198851.html, free music apps typically offer basic playlists, radio stations, and limited on-demand listening.

Playlists on free apps are often limited to pre-curated or algorithmically generated mixes based on artists, genres, or activities. Users have little control over song selection in free playlists. Free apps also provide radio stations that play music similar to selected artists, but users cannot pick exact songs to play.

Finally, most free music apps only allow limited on-demand song selection. Users may be restricted to a certain number of skips per hour or only able to pick songs from certain playlists. The ability to search and play any song at any time is generally reserved for premium subscribers.

Cost Comparison

When looking at premium music streaming services, monthly and annual pricing are key factors to consider. The major players in this space each offer competitive pricing tiers.

Spotify Premium is $9.99 per month for an individual plan or $15.99 per month for a family plan covering up to 6 accounts (source). There is also a discounted annual subscription available for $99 per year.

Apple Music individual subscriptions are $9.99 per month, while their family plan for up to 6 people is $14.99 per month (source).

Amazon Music Unlimited is priced at $7.99 per month for Prime members and $9.99 for non-Prime members. Their family plan is $14.99 per month (source).

YouTube Music Premium costs $9.99 per month for an individual plan or $14.99 per month for a family plan up to 5 members (source).

When looking at annual costs, Spotify Premium works out to $120 per year while Apple Music and YouTube Music cost $119.88 annually. Amazon Music Unlimited is $96 annually for Prime members and $119.88 for non-Prime.

Extra Perks

Many premium music apps like Spotify and Apple Music offer attractive deals like extended free trials and discounts for students in order to entice new users. For example, Spotify offers a 3 month free trial for new users instead of just 1 month according to https://newbiedeals.com/music-streaming-services/. Apple Music also provides a 6 month free trial for students when signing up with a university email address according to https://www.t3.com/news/best-music-subscription-deals.

Premium services like Spotify Premium and Apple Music also offer discounted family plans that allow up to 6 users to share one subscription for a lower monthly price. Spotify’s family plan costs $15.99/month in the US, which comes out to around $2.66 per person (https://www.bestbuy.com/site/streaming-media-subscriptions/music-streaming-subscriptions/pcmcat1599237773795.c?id=pcmcat1599237773795). These family plans can help each person save money compared to paying for an individual subscription.

Which Is Better?

When deciding between premium and free music apps, there are pros and cons to each option that are worth considering.

Premium music apps like Spotify Premium and Apple Music offer higher quality audio streaming up to 320kbps, offline listening for when you don’t have an internet connection, no ads interrupting your listening, and extra perks like exclusive releases and concerts. The major downside is the monthly subscription cost. Premium apps are best for audiophiles, frequent listeners who want uninterrupted music, and users who stream a lot on mobile and want offline listening.

Free music apps like the free tiers of Spotify and Pandora provide access to expansive music libraries and basic on-demand playback features. However, audio quality is capped at 160kbps, ads interrupt listening, and mobile app usage is restricted. Free music apps are ideal for more casual listeners, those trying out a service before committing, and users who listen primarily on desktop. The main pro is no subscription cost.

Overall, premium music apps provide a superior listening experience compared to their free counterparts, with higher quality audio, unrestricted access, and extra perks. But free services can be a great option for budget-conscious users or lighter listeners. The choice ultimately depends on listening habits and how much someone values the advanced features of premium music apps.


In summary, both premium and free music streaming apps have their advantages and disadvantages. Premium services like Spotify and Apple Music offer ad-free listening, offline downloads, and high quality audio. However, their monthly fees can add up over time.

Free services like Spotify Free, Pandora, and Amazon Music Unlimited allow you to stream music at no cost. But they have interruptive ads, shuffle-only playlists, and lower audio quality. Plus, they don’t offer full access to every song.

For most music listeners, a free service will suffice if you don’t mind ads or stream primarily through playlists. But audiophiles and heavy users will likely prefer a premium service for the enhanced features and more customizable experience. Evaluate your listening habits and budget to determine if the extra perks of a paid subscription are worth the monthly fee.

The bottom line is both options have strengths and weaknesses. Try out a few services to see which provides the best match for your needs. With so many music apps available today, you should be able to find one that fits your lifestyle.

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