If you go to Trip Advisor and enter “streaming music in Jamaica” you’ll see comments from visitors to the island who had no choice but to listen to the local FM radio while on vacation because the streaming platforms weren’t working.
Tiffany D from Pennsylvania said: “For the most part, my music collection is available offline. I was just wondering if I could stream my Apple Music or Pandora, but I guess that’s not the case. As for an FM tuner?…I don’t even listens to local radio here in the United States.
Steven G from Connecticut said: “From what I understand, none of the major streaming services are available in Jamaica at this time.”
These comments go back years. Now, with streaming almost fully integrated into the Caribbean, there are a number of local and international options for streaming music in Jamaica. The best ones will depend on user preferences, usability, and ability to pay.
Every music service boasts of its best qualities until you sign up and realize which app best suits your lifestyle. Either the monthly subscriptions continue to increase, or the sound quality is not worth listening to, or the application does not work in certain regions. When it comes to Jamaica, not all music streaming services are created equal, but those that are available are free to download. Once you have the app, there are upgrade options.
Here are 9 streaming platforms available in Jamaica for residents and visitors, along with the pros and cons of using them on the island.
It is perhaps the least used streaming service in Jamaica. You can hear it especially in stores and restaurants that want to create an American atmosphere.
There are three paid options for SiriusXM: SiriusXM Selection for $16.99, all music, comedy, and news stations and sports channels, except Major League Baseball. Unlimited access to SiriusXM for $21.99 has everything mentioned above plus baseball and SiriusXM mostly music for $10.99, as the name suggests, it’s mostly music.
From July 2021, there will be three Jamaican music channels on SiriusXM; Gasket directed by Pat Mckay, Radio Tuff Gong by Bob Marley hosted by Cedella Marley, and more recently Shaggy announced their new weekly show Shaggy’s Yaad on SiriusXM Fly Chanell 47.
Although Pandora is not in Jamaica, users can customize their Pandora-powered stations based on the artists they like. There are over 100 commercial-free stations for your lifestyle, and SiriusXM is the only place to listen to cutting-edge controversial content like The Howard Stern Show.
Unlike many new streaming platforms that use algorithms for scheduling, SiriusXM still relies on program directors and on-air talent to curate music and other content to your liking. The in Car option works for most cars made in the USA within the last 20 years with an OEM audio system. The main downside to using SiriusXM in Jamaica is that you will need data or Wifi for it to work as it depends on satellite coverage.
8. Amazon Music
Amazon’s Songs & Podcast app is free to download and comes with Amazon Music included with Prime which has 2 million ad-free songs, podcasts, radio stations, unlimited skips and hands-free use. There’s also Amazon Music Unlimited which offers 75 million songs, original podcasts from Amazon, a 30-day free trial, and the option to upgrade to Amazon HD at no additional cost. Amazon HD remastered Ultra HD albums. You can also import your playlist from other platforms. Prime members pay $7.99 and non-prime members pay $9.99 per month.
7. Log in
For those who just want to listen to radio, local or international, TuneIn has access to most radio stations in North America and the Caribbean. You can choose to listen to a radio station in New York or Jamaica. The advantage of using TuneIn over FM radio is that it has a library of stations right on your phone and there are music stations for all your needs. It also works seamlessly with Alexa.
This platform is owned by the local telecommunications company Digicel. They have a library of over 40 million songs to choose from. Dark mode, offline streaming without ads. You can play and jump without limits from a locked screen. The only downside, especially for visitors and those off the network, is that you have to become a Digicel customer to access the service.
Deezer was the first international streaming service to establish a presence in Jamaica. With 56 million music tracks as well as podcasts, their playlists and recommendations will match any musical taste. Deezer is free but Deezer premium is $9.99 or $14.99 per month for families. They also have a student plan for $4.99 per month.
4. Apple Music
Not to be confused with Apple iTunes, Apple Music is the most popular music streaming platform with over 75 million users in the US and a choice of 75 million songs according to MIDiA research. However, in the Jamaican store, fewer songs are available in their library.
They are new to the market and have yet to adapt much of their content to reggae-dancehall culture and Jamaican life. Some of the benefits users get from the platform while in Jamaica include the option of time-synced lyrics, live interviews, artist performances, and you can search for music on the go. lyrics help or just ask Siri. New members get three months free.
AudioMack is the only music streaming platform that actively seeks to build relationships and content with Jamaican artists. AudioMack basic is free if you don’t mind low quality in your ears, but many Jamaicans seem to like the platform. In 2019, their VP of Content Operations and Artist Services, Brian “Z” Zisook tweeted, “So AudioMack is currently more popular than Instagram in Jamaica.”
That’s hardly true now, but with a focus on discovering new artists and local heroes, they have playlists tailored to Jamaican culture and occasionally hire artists to perform on the platform. . No Wi-Fi or data plan is needed as you can download and listen to music offline. AudioMack premium is the same as Apple’s student price of $4.99.
Spotify was the latest streaming platform to enter Jamaica. Unlike Apple Music, this is a unique music and podcast app. They have exclusive deals with some of the top podcasters such as Joe Rogen, Barack Obama and you are sure to find plenty of local podcasters such as Tami Chin and Debbie Bissoon and World Music Views. Spotify has grown into the territory as one of the leading forces when it comes to exclusive audio content.
They allow users to create a playlist that often informs algorithms based on the country you are in and your listening habits. There is an ad version and a premium version. Convenience differs by cost and with Spotify Premium you can listen offline and play on any device. There is also better sound quality.
The most user-friendly and accessible streaming platform in Jamaica is YouTube. YouTube is the second most popular website in Jamaica and music is one of the most popular reasons people log on.
If you go to a hairdresser, hair salon, hotel, or convenience store, chances are they have YouTube music videos on their screens as entertainment. The site offers audio-visual and visual content. Chances are you already know most of the benefits of streaming music on YouTube, but many of you might not know that YouTube offers weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly reviews for artists and details their performances in each parish and country. It was a game changer for the Jamaican music industry since they started focusing on music. Over the past year, more Jamaican artists have streamed more than ten million times on YouTube than on any other streaming service. There are YouTube channels that offer a paid monthly subscription if you want to support an artist’s work. Users can get exclusive benefits and become part of an artist’s listening and sharing community. The only downside of YouTube in Jamaica is that there is no YouTube Music app that allows downloading music and accessing a closed screen.
Have you found your ideal streaming service?
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