We’re willing to bet very few of you reading this right now have ever taken the time to dissect the differences between the top music streaming platforms. After all, you sign up with a digital distributor and they take care of the rest, right? Well, they do but then YOU are the one oblivious to which links you should promote more in your linktree and why. Because truth to be told, some will simply bring you more money while others more exposure. Some are more reliable and have a proven track record, others are brand new. So which one goes at the top of your website? The decision is yours to make when you’re done reading the differences between the top 7 music streaming platforms.
First launched in December 2001, Napster has had quite the rollercoaster at the core of its existence. They’re the veterans of copyright infringement lawsuits having suffered major losses of over $36 million that had to be paid over the years to music creators and copyright owners. The current CEO of Napster is Bill Patrizio. We can’t find the current estimate of the market value of the company but it is worth mentioning that Napster got bought for $70 million in 2020. The app is available in US, Canada, and most of Europe. Napster boasts 1.2 million monthly active users and they pay $0.019 per stream. Positioned as number 7 because it is a relatively unknown service struggling against the much bigger competitors like number 1 and 2.
The YouTube Music app was launched in October 2015 and it completely superseded Google Play Music as Google’s main brand for music streaming on December 1, 2020. Positioned on the market as a direct competitor of Apple Music and Spotify, YouTube Music is available in 100 countries and boasts a whopping 30 million monthly paying users so the monthly number of generally active users must be even higher, however, the official number has not been reported yet. It is estimated YouTube Music pays $0.002 per stream. Susan Wojcicki is the CEO of both YT Music and YouTube. Positioned as number 6 because it still has its faults, lags, and glitches, and even slightly lower audio quality when compared to the higher placed services but it is more popular than Napster.
With 16 million monthly active users, Deezer is slowly but surely becoming a fan favorite when it comes to Europeans. The first version of the French online music streaming service was developed in 2006 by Daniel Marhely called Blogmusik, in Paris. Relaunched in 2007 as Deezer, the service’s website traffic increased exponentially having made legal agreements with the biggest labels in the world. Available in most countries, Deezer pays $0.006 per stream and it’s being expanded under the CEO named Jeronimo Folgueira. The CEO has been quoted saying: “With the support of all shareholders, partners, and a passionate team of 600 people, we have built the 4th largest global audio streaming service in the world.” Close enough. Placed 5th because the service is lacking in its US reach but overall it is considerably better than YouTube Music and Napster.
Although it markets itself as a Norwegian subscription-based music service, we all know it as Jay-Z’s business 😀 It was first launched in 2014 by Aspiro and rebranded and relaunched in March 2015 after Jay-Z purchased it for close to $56 million. Square then paid $297 million in cash and stock for a “significant majority” of Tidal in March 2021. Tidal is active in 61 countries with over 3 million active users. The streaming service pays $0.012 per stream, which is considerably more than all other streaming services on the list except for Napster. The current CEO of Tidal is Richard Sanders. We’ve ranked it 4th as it truly excels in audio quality. You’ll struggle going back to Spotify after you’ve tried Tidal HiFi.
3. Amazon Music
With a loyal 55 million active monthly users, Amazon Music is most certainly in the top 3 leading global streaming services of the moment. Launched in beta in 2007, by January 2008 it became the first music store to sell music without DRM from the 4 major labels. Going after Tidal, on September 17, 2019, Amazon Music announced the launch of Amazon Music HD, a new tier of lossless quality music with more than 50 million songs in High Definition. The streaming service pays $0.008 per stream. The man in charge of the service’s progress is Steve Boom. Ranked third as Amazon Music is rapidly adapting to the market’s needs and combines both accessibility with HD audio quality.
2. Apple Music
First launched in June 2015, Apple Music has amassed an incredible 72 million active users around the world as of June 2019. Oliver Schusser is the CEO of Apple Music. The streaming service pays $0.012 per stream. The service provides three live 24-hour radio stations: Apple Music 1, led by DJ Zane Lowe, Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country, which broadcast in over 100 countries. Apple Music’s use of iCloud, which matches a users’ songs to those found on the service, allows users to combine their iTunes music library with their Apple Music library and listen to their music all in one place. Suffice to say, the pre-existent 2-decade long credibility of iTunes helped ease the transfer of customer trust to Apple Music. Ranked second because of obvious popularity and impossibility to avoid.
Here’s a test we want you to try out. Open a song you’re very familiar with in tab A on YouTube Music and in tab B the same song on Spotify. Then alternate listening between the two tabs intermittently and you will be shocked to discover that Spotify delivers much higher quality over YouTube Music for example.
With that being said, Spotify was founded in 2006 and it boasts a whole 365 million monthly active users. By the end of 2021, Spotify is expected to operate in a total of 178 countries. The streaming service reportedly pays $0.004 per stream, although the rate varies depending on the country you’re in. The CEO is Daniel Ek and we highly recommend you read up on his life story for it makes great motivational material.
Spotify is number one for low fees, high-quality audio, an infinite library of music, and a very intuitive, user-friendly interface.
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