Best Online Music Services for Streaming Songs

Listen to millions of songs on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or TV

Happy woman with cell phone listening to music on headphones at brick wall
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Streaming music services offer huge libraries of songs that you can listen to on a variety of different devices. This flexibility means you don't need to download your favorite songs to all your devices, and with some services offering a free account or trial, it's also a great way to discover new music at zero cost.

Most streaming services enable you to search for your favorite artist or song so that you can start listening straight away. Services of this type usually have built-in music discovery engines that recommend similar artists that fit the type of music you listen to.

As well as basic audio streaming, music services also offer additional music options. Depending on the service you choose, you can create custom playlists, watch streaming music videos, share your discoveries on social networking sites, or make your own radio stations.

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Spotify is one of the top online services for streaming music. What makes this service great for listening to songs on portable devices is its Offline Mode. This enables you to download your favorite songs from Spotify and listen to them without having to be connected to the internet.

As well as offering a premium subscription plan, this service gives you the chance to try before you buy. You can sign up for Spotify Free, which is an ad-supported account. It doesn't expire, so it is a great way to test-drive the service before subscribing.

With a web player for desktops and facilities to stream music to mobile devices, game consoles, cars, TVs, and home stereo systems, Spotify is a serious contender in the streaming music market.

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Apple Music is a full-fledged subscription streaming music service that compares favorably with other top cloud music services such as Spotify and Pandora Radio. It has excellent mobile support and also has good music discovery options.

Rather than relying solely on algorithms to suggest new music, the service also uses expert-curated playlists to serve up suggestions.

Apple offers a three-month trial of ad-free music to try out its 45 million songs. Apple Music streams to mobile devices, desktop computers, Apple-branded HomePod and AirPods, headphones, and other devices.

If you're looking for a simple music discovery website that streams music, then Pandora is a good choice. Pandora is an intelligent internet radio service that plays music based on your feedback. Once you have entered an artist's name or a song title, the service automatically suggests similar tracks that you can agree with or reject. Pandora remembers your answers and fine-tunes future recommendations. Many of the songs have lyrics available for view.

Pandora offers a free ad-supported radio and two subscriptions: Pandora Plus and Pandora Premium, both with free trial periods.

The music streams to mobile devices, desktop computers, TVs, and cars.

Slacker Radio is a stellar online music service that you can use to listen to hundreds of compiled radio stations. This service provides an interactive experience that also allows you to build custom-made stations of your own. Although this service is subscription driven, Slacker offers a free account for you to try out the service at no cost. This freebie, called Slacker Basic Radio, is surprisingly feature-rich and includes mobile music support. A good range of mobile apps are on offer to hook up your portable device, and you can share your music discoveries on popular social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

If mobile music is your thing, there's also an offline mode that enables you to listen to your favorite stations, songs, and albums without an internet connection.

If you already have an Amazon Prime account, you have full access to Amazon Music as a benefit of your Prime membership. The library isn't as large as some of the other streaming services—approximately 2 million songs—but you get unlimited access to those songs ad-free as well as curated playlists.

Into Echo and Alexa? Prime Music is just a request away. The streaming service is also available on iOS and Android phones and tablets, computers, cars, and home entertainment systems.

Amazon also offers Amazon Music Unlimited by subscription. The service features tens of millions of songs that are ad-free and can be downloaded for offline listening.  

YouTube separated its streaming music service from YouTube Red in mid-2018 and launched YouTube Music as a separate premium streaming music service structured and priced to compete with Spotify and Apple Music. It promises to keep listeners in touch with what's trending as they explore ad-free and offline.

A three-month free trial period of the premium service is available, and an ad-supported version is free, but it doesn't include premium features such as song downloads, background listening, and music discovery options. YouTube Music is available on desktop and Android and iOS mobile devices.

YouTube Music replaces the Google Play Music service. 

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If you already listen to SiriusXM in your car, you may be missing out on a world of other streaming music opportunities. You can also catch SiriusXM on your desktop, mobile devices, smart TV, Blu-ray player, gaming consoles, streaming media players like Roku and Apple TV, and smart speakers such as Amazon Alexa and others from Bose and Sonos.   

SiriusXM streams more than 200 channels of commercial-free music, with plenty of on-demand shows and interviews. Depending on your current SiriusXM subscription, you may already have access to streaming music wherever you are. If not, a $5 increase per month to your existing plan (as of mid-2018) is all it takes to expand your listening options.

 A free 30-day trial is available.



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Tidal is not for everyone, but for audiophiles (and Jay Z fans) who refuse to compromise on sound quality, it is the only game in town. Tidal's premium subscription is roughly double the cost of other music services, and its edge is only appreciated on high-quality audio gear, but it has its following. 

Tidal audio is uncompressed 24-bit audio. Tidal also offers a compressed audio stream for people who don't own the expensive stereo systems necessary to hear the difference. A free trial is available.

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Deezer delivers more than 53 millions tracks, so finding your old favorites and new ones won't be difficult. Curated collections by genre are available when you're in the mood to discover something new. If you prefer to make your own playlists, go right ahead. Deezer promises an endless stream of your favorite tunes and new recommendations based on your favorites.

Download your favorite music and take it with you on all your devices— no cellular or Wi-Fi connection needed. And lyrics? You bet. Now you can sing along with confidence.

Deezer offers a 30-day free trial and pricing that is comparable to other streaming services. Students are eligible for a subscription at half the regular price.


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SoundCloud's free account gives you access to streaming music from undiscovered and small-name artists. Its Go+ subscription makes listening offline and ad-free possible.

SoundCloud is for indie music fans who are happy to sift through its songs looking for that perfect tune. It has a 200-million-member active community, many of whom upload their new music to the site.