What is The Best Music Streaming Service?

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Today, internet music streaming sites offer the best music streaming service.

Whether using apps or sites, people have flocked to them, taking a large part of the AM/FM radio audience away. With greater options and almost any style a click away, broadcast radio just cannot compete. I’m sure most readers have one or two services they use a lot, but which are the best?

Of course, a question like that requires some standards.

There are free sites and pay sites, but most offer both plans. All music streaming sites have high quality digital audio, but some have much better sound quality and stream rates. Some also have bigger music catalogs or more diverse channels. In addition, some offer live shows, sports, news, weather and traffic! What more could you ask for?

In this post we’re going to review 6 popular music streaming services and let you decide which one is the best.

Let’s take a closer look.

6 Best Music Streaming Service Sites (Free) By Rank

1. Pandora

The pioneer all music streaming sites copied, Pandora invented algorithms to analyze music back in 2000. Recently, they added unlimited skips, replays, and longer ad-free listening.

They constantly improve their song selection engine, and their clear display gives you easy access to lyrics and band bios. It’s certainly a simple interface with thumbs up/thumbs down preference choices.

Some tracks aren’t on-demand, and you can’t browse by category, but you can tailor channels to your needs by adding more favorite acts and thumbing down ones you don’t want to hear.

Unlimited skips, replays, and ad-free listening are offered with a subscription. You can use it on desktops, pads, and mobile apps, like most free sites.

Get their free app on iTunes today.

COST: Free, $4.99 or $9.99.

2. Slacker Radio

Slacker – This upstart best music streaming service site has a deep library with expertly curated stations and creative playlists. Their useful controls let you fine-tune your music selections.

They offer great sound quality and live ESPN Radio. A wide range of stations with quality non-music content, news and Weather Channel updates. Expert DJs and unique DNA stations are all great.

The free version of Slacker gives you 128 Kbps audio, with commercials and only 6 skips an hour. Subscribing gives you unlimited skips, removes ads, and increases the audio to 320 Kbps.

Get their free app on iTunes today.

COST: Free, $3.99 or $9.99.

3. Spotify

Another popular one among best music streaming service sites, they have a deep music catalog, offering playlists you can tweak and good sound quality. The Spotify library boasts more than 20 million songs.

They also offer comedy routines, old radio dramas, and audio books. You can also find historic speeches, and poetry, too. The desktop version also lets you import your locally stored audio as well. Premium accounts offer some select albums before release, too.

Get their free app on iTunes today.

COST: Free, or $9.99.

4. I Heart Radio

Compared to other best music streaming service sites, iHeartRADIO is unique. That is, they feature local, over-the-air radio from around the country. They have many live and curated artist stations and playlists. Detailed artist bios, news articles, and lyrics are pulled up with a few clicks.

There are some catalog holes though, and you’re unable to rewind live radio like on Sirius XM and others. I Heart Radio merges live radio and a deep catalog.

The streaming music lacks many of the features offered by other sites, and the controls need improvement. Overall, if you are looking for the best music streaming service, they certainly are a qualifier.

Get their free app on iTunes today.

COST: Free, $4.99 or $9.99.

5. Google Play Music

With good audio quality and a large catalog, Google offers more unique features than almost any music streaming service. For instance, you have the option to buy songs from the Google Play Store, and follow links to YouTube videos.

The helpful music locker speeds getting it to sound how you want, and they offer an affordable family plan. Some drawbacks are that they don’t have lyrics with the tracks like Pandora, and they could add more non-musical content.

Get their free app on iTunes today.

COST: Free, or $9.99.

6. Jango Radio

Another upstart site, Jango focuses more on up-and-coming and unsigned music acts. However, unlike some free services, their music streams fast, and Jango gives you unlimited skips!

Jango’s a free service only, so there is no way to opt out of the ads.

Unlike most free sites, Jango plays only one video/audio commercial per day. There are still station and artist promotions throughout, pushing more royalties to artists.

Get their free app on iTunes today.

COST: Free.

5 Best Music Streaming Service (Paid) Sites By Rank

1. SiriusXM Radio

SiriusXM is a best music streaming service site. They have over 140 stations of clear 320 Kbps audio, lots of high-quality live stations, and world-class talk radio.

SiriusXM is the industry leader among music streaming apps.

They give you the ability to pause and rewind tracks. The TuneStart alert system tells you when one of your favorites is about to play somewhere on the system. Furthermore, these alerts let you jump over and catch it, so you’ll never miss them.

Additionally, their TuneStart platform provides you with song selections based on your favorites. In addition, it allows for other great channel preferences. They offer high-profile exclusive content with radio stars like Howard Stern and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo.

Paying for SiriusXM is so worth it. The best part, if you subscribe to SiriusXm today using our partner link you can stream their music for 6 months for only $30. That’s over half off!

COST: $10.99 a month.


They began as a site committed to paying artists better for their music, and offering uncompressed 1411 Kbps FLAC audio.

Tidal deserves your support just for those reasons alone. (Most online music services’ streams in the 128 Kbps and 320 Kbps range.) They also sell concert and sports tickets, generate original articles with their editorial staff, and offer a 30 day trial.

Start a free Tidal Trial Today.

COST: $9.99.

3. Apple Music

Apple iTunes pioneered portable digital music. They are a digital music warehouse, with a library of music that you can stream from their site. This includes exclusive albums and new material released first on iTunes.

iTunes also offers Siri and Apple Watch compatibility, and offline playback. Beats 1 Radio is another huge bonus. The 24-hour live radio service features shows and playlists. They have great on-air specials with famous DJs and celebrities like Pharrell Williams, Ryan Adams, Mike D., and more.

There are some confusing design features that need a revamp, and you can’t access your library from your browser. Overall, they remain a best music steaming service.

Get Apple Music Today.

COST: $9.99/month, $14.99 family plan (up to 6 users), $4.99 for students, $99 per-year renewals.

4. Amazon Music Unlimited

Who knew this online retail giant offers a great music streaming service? Well, they have a vast music library that you can stream tunes from. They have a great display, offering scrolling lyrics and a helpful Amazon connection. For those reasons, we consider them a best music streaming service.

Furthermore, it connects seamlessly with their Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Tap systems. The service also lets you upload your own music to mingle with their selections. They also give you 2 dollars off if you’re an Amazon Prime member.

Get Amazon Music Unlimited Today

COST: $9.99 a month.

5. Microsoft Groove

With more than 40 million tracks and good sound quality, Groove brings you easy collection and playlist set-up. The service also lets you listen to your own MP3s, and gives you on-demand playback. However, you can’t browse by genre, and they don’t provide lyrics. With no live content and a few missing features, Microsoft falls just short of the best music streaming service sites.

Get Microsoft Groove today.

COST: $9.99.

Our Conclusions

After studying the streaming music market, Internet Ideators has ranked them. In our humble opinion, these are the best music streaming service sites available to you.

SiriusXM Radio is the best music streaming service, offering audio quality that is slightly better than Amazon Music Unlimited. In addition, they have excellent original content compared to any of the other services. Sirius and XM Radio merged after building a satellite radio market that went up against broadcast radio.

Both companies stole some of their biggest radio personalities from “terrestrial radio“. Consequently, Sirius/XM is really the best of the bunch.

Similarly, Amazon Music Unlimited has great content and great audio quality, useful tools and an slick interface. They are one of the best music streaming service apps around.

Spotify has a uniquely diverse catalog and good sound quality. They are hugely popular, making them one of the best music streaming service sites.

Tidal has the best audio quality and pays better royalties. However, they may not have a large enough catalog for some music fans.

Other Recommendations 

I Heart Radio brings you local broadcast radio from around the US. As a result, frequent fliers love them for making them less homesick.

Pandora Radio began the custom music streaming market and has a vast catalog. Pandora still offers the easiest “out of the box” enjoyment of the bunch.

In conclusion, using any of the six best music streaming service sites we recommend will bring you hours of enjoyment. With any technology, of course, the more time you put in, the more you will customize your experience. This leads to you getting more out of it.

Have any comments? Do you agree with our reviews? Tell us in the comment section below.