Digital music is an emerging market with three major players enticing thousands of people to give up pirating their music and actually paying for it.
If “legally” filling up your MP3 player with gigabytes of music for less than the retail price of a single album interest you, then it is time to choose a music subscription service.
When taken into consideration that people have been stealing music long before the advent of the MP3 file, which made pirating music a widespread epidemic, why now are people all of a sudden going straight? So many, that 2005 was the first year legal downloads of music exceeded illegal downloads on P2P sites. Thank Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music for finally offering models that make sense.
Instead of buying songs or albums, they offer subscribers the ability to rent their entire collection of over 1 million tracks for a low monthly fee.
Aside from the cost savings, renting music has more advantages over buying. For one, it is convenient. Imaging having over 1 million full-length high-quality songs at your fingertips, so whether you want to listen to your favorite song, something different on an impulse, or are just curious about an emerging artist, you can have it all. On top of that, you don’t have to worry about slow downloads, poor audio quality, corrupt or infected files.
Convinced? So which music subscription service is right for you?
While they are all pretty comparable, Spotify is probably the cream of the crop. They offer the most streamlined interface and the best jukebox functionality, all accessible from any PC connected to the web. Artist bios, radio stations (which allow you to skip songs), and advanced playlist features are all integrated into the interface.
Tidal also has an attractive interface with advanced playlist features and a massive catalog of music that is continually growing. It has a few nice personalization features, but transferring songs can be more difficult with Tidal than the alternatives.
Apple Music also includes a nice jukebox, radio stations and can integrate with the popular podcasts across all Apple devices. If the appealing price outweighs a lack of extras like artist bios and a few bugs here and there, then Apple is probably the way to go.
With digital music sales soaring, it is a safe bet that all three of these music subscription services will flourish and continue to develop even more features, grow their already extensive catalogs, and convert more and more pirates into renters.