For DJs and music lovers, finding new songs can be an exciting or arduous experience, depending on where you are looking. In this age, independent music shops seem to be going out of business at an alarming rate. This saddens me greatly as music shops were my main source of music in my teenage years. Now, however, we have options that can't be ignored. The rise of online streaming has caused great issues in the industry, but there is no doubt that they are a goldmine for DJs looking to pick up some music tailored to them. This article compares some of the best streaming and downloading sites to use that are legal (we want to support each other as musicians too!).
This may seem like an odd one to put at the top of the list, but it is a very underused resource that many people are paying for anyway. If you have Amazon Prime, then you have access to Prime Music. This service never really kicked off as much as other ones, but the fact that you're probably paying for it already means it shouldn't go to waste.
Prime Music operates very much like Spotify, with playlist features and recommended stations that intelligently learn from your music taste. It also integrates well with Amazon's Alexa and other tools and so is a very convenient service to use.
Amazon is a company that plays its cards close to its body, so there is no public data on how many people are using Prime, but if estimates are correct, it is significantly more than either Spotify or Apple music. Whether the majority of these people use the music feature though is unknown.
While Prime Music is limited in the number of tracks, you can upgrade to Unlimited to get access to 40 million songs. If you are a Prime member already, the cost is cheaper than other streaming services and so worth considering.
Prime Music and Prime Music Unlimited both have 30 day free trials, so are worth signing up for, even just so you can have a free month of streaming without ads.
Spotify is the most popular streaming company at the moment, with one of the longest running services, it is very popular across all demographics. Spotify has incredibly good algorithms to help you find music based on your listening stats, and playlists are created by top DJs and Record Labels for you to follow.
Spotify is one of my main ways of finding new music - I download a playlist on my phone and screenshot the songs which I like. I can then grab them that evening and upload them into Serato.
Spotify has great subscription deals, especially for students and they offer free trials too. What I would say though, is that if you don't start making playlists and listening to songs, Spotify cannot tailor the music as well to you, so make sure to follow the artists you like.
You also get personal playlists made for you automatically, and there is a latest-release playlist on the newest tracks released every Friday.
Until the end of June, Spotify is offering three months for £0.99.
Originating from Beats Music, when Apple bought Beats, Apple Music is a streaming service with a large library of music. Apple has the largest music library and also takes the effort to secure exclusive releases on its platform.
Due to being an Apple service, it integrates into iTunes and so your libraries will match up. This is a major plus for iTunes users as it offers convenience and ease of use between all your Apple products. Of course, Windows users and people who don't use iTunes will not see as big a benefit to this.
Apple Music also has a global radio station with live curation of tracks from all sorts of genres. This human element is a major plus and allows people who don't normally listen to the radio to have access to live broadcasted music.
The general online consensus is that Spotify still Trumps Apple in the streaming business but for those Apple fans, this might be simply more convenient to use.
Which one to go for?
If you are looking for the absolute best streaming service, I would personally recommend Spotify. It is by far the most intuitive and it gives the best tailoring to your taste. If you are short on music though, and already have Amazon Prime, then there is really no reason why you shouldn't give Prime Music or Prime Music Unlimited a shot. Apple Music does offer some great features, but without a free tier, it doesn't do a great job of getting people started, and it really is directed at Apple users.
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