Music streaming

The best music streaming apps and music streaming services for Android

Music streaming has grown enormously since its inception and is now one of the best ways to listen to music. Many streaming services let you listen for free, which has helped reduce the need for pirating while artists still get at least a little for their work. It’s also easily accessible with a ton of options. If you’re looking to stream music, here are the best music streaming apps and music streaming services for Android! Since music streaming is such a hard thing to do well, we don’t expect much change to this list in the near future unless something really cool happens.

Honorable mentions also go to Qobuz (Google Play), a Hi-Fi competitor to Tidal that actually lets you buy and download music. The other honorable mention is Primephonic (Google Play), a streaming service specifically for classical music. Both of these options are also decent.

The best music streaming apps for Android


Apple Music

Price: $9.99 to $14.99 per month

Screenshot Apple Music 2022

Apple Music exploded onto the scene in late 2015 to mixed reviews. However, it quickly became one of the best music streaming apps. It offers 30 million songs plus playlists, 24/7 live radio, and you can download your music and stream it to your device. There is also a social component where you can follow artists and see what they are up to. It offers a variety of monthly plans, including individual plans, a less expensive student plan, and a family plan that supports up to six family members. It even fixed many of its early bugs and issues. What it lacks in features it makes up for in its availability in many countries where many of these other services are not available. Students get a 50% discount ($4.99 per month) while family plans are $14.99 per month. Apple still has a few bugs to fix, so it’s not the best Android experience, although it’s a rock-solid streaming experience overall.

Screenshot of Deezer Music Player 2021

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

Deezer has its ups and downs. However, it is one of the most respectable streaming services. It offers the usual range of features, including playlists, stations, recommendations and Flow, a personal soundtrack feature. It also has 43 million songs in more countries than many competitors. Perhaps the best feature is a Hi-Fi streaming option with 16-bit FLAC quality for $19.99 per month. This gives Tidal some competition in the Hi-Fi streaming space. Those not looking for a Hi-Fi experience, however, have better options for casual listening. So, opt for high-quality products or go elsewhere.

iHeartRadio 2020 Screenshot 2

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

iHeartRadio is a longtime favorite. It is among the best when it comes to curated playlists and radio stations. The service also offers a premium on-demand music service with millions of tracks. This gives him a powerful one-two punch. Its radio selections are far better than most competitors. The $4.99 version adds on-demand music playback while $9.99 adds a bunch of extra features. This honestly isn’t a bad way to go, although many competitors have a better selection on demand. iHeartRadio will always be a champion in the free radio station market.


pandora

Price: Free / $4.99 to $9.99 per month

Pandora is one of the most popular and recognizable music streaming apps of all time. It’s available on a ton of platforms and that includes some cars. There are two main Pandora experiences. The first is a radio station-only service that lets you skip tracks and nudge up or down to show if you like something in particular. The second is a full on-demand streaming service similar to Spotify, Apple Music, etc. Of course, the full on-demand service (at $9.99 per month) also includes all the features of Pandora Free. It’s a great choice if you already use Pandora or want something with above-average radio station playlists.


SoundCloud

Price: Free / $9.99 per month

Screenshot SoundCloud 2022

Another hugely popular music streaming service is SoundCloud. It’s useful for independent creators around the world. Tons of people upload their stuff to SoundCloud for others to enjoy. SoundCloud Go, SoundCloud’s on-demand service, adds tens of millions of popular tracks to the mix. The total is over 150 million tracks available for $9.99 per month. It’s the second largest music collection (Google Play Music and YouTube Red technically have more). It’s a great place to discover indie stuff that no one else knows. Additionally, the service includes the usual stuff like playlists, stations, and other discovery features.

Spotify 2022 Screenshot 1

Spotify is one of the most recognizable music streaming apps in the world. It offers a rock-solid experience with tens of millions of songs, playlists, podcasts, curated radio stations, and even video content. Only the powerful combo of YouTube Red and Google Play Music offers a better overall selection of video and audio content. Spotify is available on tons of platforms, is rock solid, and it’s available in many places around the world. Moreover, the free version is much better than most competitors. There are other music streaming apps that perform better in some areas but worse in others. However, Spotify does everything right and that’s why it’s popular. You can also try Spotify Stations if you want to experience the service another way.

Tidal Screenshot 2022

TIDAL presents itself as a music streaming service by musicians. It has over 48.5 million tracks, support in dozens of countries, and an ownership group of over a dozen musicians and artists. Some other features include 16-bit CD-quality sound (for $19.99 per month), Android TV support, curated playlists, an actual music blog, and over 130,000 music videos. Competitors usually have more features and gimmicks. However, TIDAL is definitely aimed more at serious music fans than casual listeners. It and Deezer are also the only two good options for audiophiles.

TuneIn is a bit of a wild card in the music streaming space. It lacks the popular features like on-demand music content. However, it makes up for it by having a ton of radio stations, podcasts, and even live sports (in the premium version, anyway). This includes AM and FM stations, 600 free commercial stations (premium version only) and 100,000 other stations. If you can’t find a good radio station here, it probably doesn’t exist. However, we would only recommend this one to people who also enjoy live sports, podcasts, and talk radio. Otherwise, you may be better served with another app from the list.


youtube music

Price: Free / $9.99 per month

Screenshot of YouTube Music 2021

YouTube Music is now Google’s big streaming service. It works quite well as a streaming service. You have access to the same tens of millions of songs as all other streaming services. However, this one also sources from YouTube itself and that gives it the edge in terms of song choices. The app is a bit rudimentary, but new features are released fairly regularly. The service eventually overtakes Google Play Music, and most of Google Play Music’s features are transferred to the new service before it shuts down.

Plex 2021 screenshot

Those with large local music collections can still stream music. Apple Music and Google Play Music allow you to download music from their servers. However, you can also create your own server. There are a variety of apps that do this, including Subsonic (including DSub), Plex (linked), and a few others. You are basically setting up a server on your computer. It sends the files to your device and your device plays the music to you.

It’s a neat and old method of streaming music, but it’s still very effective and ideal for those with large collections of high-quality music and for those who don’t want to pay a monthly fee. Home server apps usually cost a few dollars, but that’s usually it.


If we missed any of the best music streaming apps or services, tell us about them in the comments! We know of some, like Microsoft’s Groove Music, but their app offerings will have to improve to make it onto this list! You can also click here to check out our latest lists of Android apps and games.

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