Most streaming services claim to be the best music streaming service, giving users the option to choose from millions of tracks. However, there are some differences between them.
It can be in the form of price point, music options, parental control, and more.
Before comparing the best music streaming service, let’s first understand what a music streaming service is and how it works.
What is a music streaming service?
Music streaming apps allows people to listen to music on their devices. It gives users access to millions of songs and artists from around the world.
Popular music streaming apps and sites include Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music, Amazon Prime, YouTube.
Why is music streaming service so popular?
Music streaming allows children to listen to songs from around the world in a much easier and cheaper way. It has also enabled smaller artists to get their music heard.
Many children are uploading videos of their songs and music to sites like YouTube. This enables them to showcase their talent which would have been very hard to do many years back.
5 Best music streaming services:
1. Amazon Prime
This is part of Amazon Prime. It is a monthly subscription service that costs $13 per month or $119 per year.
Using Amazon music, users get a free 3-month trial and a family plan service.
However, the issue with Amazon prime music is that it can only be played on one device at a time.
2. Apple Music
Users get a 3-month trial when using Apple music. After that, the price is $10 per month (or $15 for up to six family members).
For students, the price is $5 per month.
Apple Music is suitable for people who are already using Apple products. They can access the songs from the iTunes Library.
There are over 60 million songs on Apple Music.
Popular artists like Drake release new songs on Apple Music. It is known to be the music streaming service that gives the latest songs.
The best thing about Apple music is that users can search for songs by just typing in the lyrics.
Spotify can be used on a desktop or on smartphones. Users can use the free Spotify version, however, that comes with ads.
The free version also has a limited selection of songs.
Premium Spotify that is ad-free and give users access to millions of songs and podcast, cost $10 per month for individuals or $15 for up to six family members.
Spotify Family Plan has one of the best music streaming services for families. It allows each family member to have their own account and multiple users can use it at one-time.
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4. YouTube Music
YouTube Music is free to use with ads. To remove ads, users have to subscribe to YouTube premium which costs $10 per month, or $15 per month for families.
There is a free 3-month trial and discounts given for students.
The main issue with YouTube music is that users cannot lock their phone screen or use other apps when listening to songs on YouTube music.
This is one of the cheapest music streaming services. Pandora costs $5 per month without ads.
Users can pay $10 per month, to get ad-free streaming radio
There is also a family plan for $15 per month.
The best thing about Pandora is that users do not need to search for songs. The app can automatically pick the songs for you.
All you need to do is tell the app which artists you would like to listen too and the app will populate all the songs from that artist.
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What are the risks of using a music streaming service?
There is no doubt that explicit content is everywhere in the online world. This would also include popular songs.
For instance, 50 of the top 100 songs in the United States which are uploaded on YouTube had the title “Explicit” next to its titles.
On Spotify, there are podcasts that are inappropriate for children. For example, by searching the word “sex” a number of podcasts which discusses this matter shows up.
It is also easy to erase searches, which means that a child can hide what they were listening too.
Hence, there is always the risk of your child coming across music which are inappropriate for their age.
2.Cyberbullying & inappropriate comments.
Your child can be subjected to cyberbullying by uploading their music on platforms like YouTube.
3. Risk of malware & identity theft
If your child is using free apps like YouTube, there is a chance that they might click on links attached to the music clip that might lead them to sites they should not be on.
There is always the risk of their devices being attacked by malware, spam, and viruses.
Chatting to strangers
Some music apps like Playlist wants to make music a more social experience by finding others who share your musical tastes and join group chats where you listen to a playlist together in real-time.
Such music apps will increase the chance of your child chatting to strangers online.
How to choose a music streaming service?
1. Choose the right music streaming service
There are plenty of music streaming services that are made just for children. For instance, Spotify kids app.
Ask the following questions below choosing a music streaming service :
- Is there any parental control measure?
- Can you block certain content?
- Can children change the settings you have in place for them?
- Can they chat with others on the app or site?
- Are there any previous privacy and data issues with the app?
- Is there any reporting tool in the app?
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2. Check account Settings:
Check the privacy setting of your child’s app. Ensure that whichever app or site they choose to stream music, the settings are set to be private.
This way they can only share the music they are listening too with friends and family.
3. Check age requirement:
Ensure that your child is at the right age of using the app. Many kinds of music streaming app requires users to be at least 13 years old.
4. Block & Filter :
Some music streaming app allows you to block certain types of songs. For example, those with foul languages and explicit lyrics.
Blocking those type of songs will protect your child from explicit songs.
5, Be part of their music streaming journey :
If your child insists on wanting to be an artist and wants to publish their music on one of those apps then be part of the journey with them.
Take the time to understand why they want to do it. Ask the following questions before publishing your child’s music on a streaming app :
- How will my child’s information be used?
- Does the app protect artists from piracy?
- Who owns the rights to the music that is published?
- How will the profit be divided?
6. Parental control:
Have parental control activated into their devices and apps especially if you have younger children who want to stream music.
7. Regularly check-in with your child:
Have regular conversations with your child about what they are listening to and how they are feeling.
Let them know that they can always talk to you in case they come across a content that made them feel uncomfortable
8. Reporting :
Teach your child how to use the reporting tool on the app or site. Remind them to report something if it made them feel uncomfortable.
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