The Internet has changed how we listen to music. Without these music streaming services, listening to music is difficult. But it’s hard to deny that these platforms don’t have issues. It’s the tiny things that frustrate consumers: ads, upgrades, and listening restrictions. Here is an overview of the top music streaming platforms, highlighting the good and the bad.
1. iTunes — Apple’s Media Player
iTunes is arguably the best music service. You buy your own music (which isn’t too expensive), and you don’t need an internet connection to listen to it. There is also the bonus of no advertisements. But there are still some issues. With iCloud technology there comes the feeling of being watched by robots. Also, Apple Music has been causing a number of problems. For many people, it has taken personal music files and replaced them with an iTunes match. Apple is now the business of subtle totalitarianism.
2. Spotify — “Free iTunes”
Spotify is considered the free iTunes. It has many appealing aspects. You can listen to more underground music, it’s free, and it’s available on most devices. But there are some drawbacks. Advertisements appear after every three to four songs. The reason for this is to get users to spend money. If you pay and upgrade to Spotify Premium, all ads disappear. The other large issue is that some artists aren’t available on Spotify, because they don’t make much money from the service. Taylor Swift is one of them. She got into a huge fight with Spotify, so she pulled her music off. Spotify has taken a large hit from musicians following her lead.
3. Tidal — Jay-Z’s Latest Project
Tidal is the new kid on the block. It was created after musicians started pulling their music off streaming websites (like Spotify) due to poor pay. Jay-Z and other big artists started Tidal, which is a streaming platform you pay for. It’s a noble idea, helping musicians get a fair wage. But $19.99 for seven months of service is a lot of money. Not to mention, most artists on Tidal are already millionaires. Overall, it’s off-putting.
4. Pandora — The Internet’s Radio
Pandora has fallen out of favor recently. It’s can’t compete with iTunes and Spotify, because users can’t choose what to listen to. Much like the radio, you can listen to a genre of music you like, but you don’t know what songs will play next. The platform is also very limited. There are many advertisements and a small number of songs you can skip. Pandora makes listeners work while listening to music, something most people don’t want to do.
Each music streaming service has it’s benefits, as well as it’s drawbacks. It all depends on the way you like to listen to your music (and how many ads you can stand to hear). But without these music platforms, we’d all still be buying buying CD’s.