Top music streaming apps and services

Music streaming has grown up tremendously since its inception and is now among the best ways to listen to music. Many streaming services let you listen for free, which has helped curb the need for piracy while artists still get at least a little bit for their work. It’s also easily accessible with a ton of options. If you’re on the hunt to stream some music, here are the best music streaming apps and music streaming services for Android! Since music streaming is such a difficult thing to do well, we don’t anticipate many changes to this list in the near future unless something really cool comes along.

We’d also like to give honorable mentions to Qobuz (Google Play), a Hi-Fi competitor of 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 those are decent options as well.

List of music streaming apps

  • Apple Music
  • Deezer
  • iHeartRadio
  • Pandora
  • SoundCloud
  • Spotify
  • Apple Music

Apple Music arrived pretty late to the streaming service party, but it has quickly risen through the ranks thanks to its excellent music curation, unique 24/7 Apple Music 1 (previously Beats 1), Music Hits and Music Country radio stations, and integration across Apple’s ecosystem of headphones, TVs, smart speakers, watches and more.

And, of course, it’s not just for iOS users; Apple Music is available on Android too, as well as other devices such as Samsung’s smart TVs. 

Apple Music weathered an initially mixed reaction but, thanks to some excellent iOS redesigns and updates, its paying user base had rocketed to 72 million by summer 2020. 


Deezer appears to have been around forever, but if you haven’t taken a look at the music streaming service recently, then it’s well worth checking out in 2021. The service has really developed over the years, and thanks to Deezer’s embrace of high-quality music streaming and spatial audio formats, it’s a worthy competitor to the most popular platform in the world, Spotify. 

A catalogue of more than 73 million songs means that you’re unlikely to miss out on your favorite artists if you do plump for Deezer over Spotify, while it’s well-priced subscription plans mean that there’s a streaming tier for everyone, from families to audiophiles. Best of all, these subscription plans come with a free three-month trial period, giving you the opportunity to really dig into the platform before you commit. 


The streaming music space is incredibly competitive. There many services that deliver quality audio and extensive catalogs, and companies will do whatever it takes to win over your ears. Such is the case with Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio, a free service (with premium options) that combines live radio with curated artist channels and podcasts. In short, iHeartRadio tries to be a music site that has something for everyone, though it looks clunky in places and lacks some features offered by the competition, like curated artist streams.


When you don’t want to decide exactly what song to listen to, Pandora’s got you coverage. The popular online music service lets you create custom radio stations based on genres of music, artists, music albums, and even specific songs.

Just like the original Web-based version, Pandora Radio for Android lets you tap into an incredible library of music to create stations based on artists or songs, browse through genre-based stations, or fire up a shuffled playlist based on your listening history. If you’re already a Pandora listener, you can enter your existing log-in credentials, or you can create a new account right from the app.


SoundCloud combines user-generated music and podcasts with tracks from major label musicians into a unique streaming music service. That said, listeners may miss the entertaining features that other services possess.


If there’s one constant in the vast, ongoing, streaming music war, it’s this fact: Spotify is the big dog. Despite competition from the feature-rich Apple Music and the audiophile-friendly Tidal, Spotify remains the king of the hill due to its large catalog, collaborative playlists, podcasts, and numerous other attractive features. For these reasons and more, Spotify remains a top-rated, overall Editors’ Choice winner for streaming music services, along with Apple Music and SiriusXM Internet Radio.

And the best music streaming service is Spotify. Spotify is the pioneer in music streaming and arguably the best-known service. It offers a number of curated music discovery services, including its Discover Weekly playlist, and is constantly implementing new ones, such as Stations. It’s also ramped up its non-music content with a push towards podcasts.

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