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- The majority of free sites make their money through advertising. Consequently, the perks of a lot of paid-for versions of these apps include unlimited skips, offline listening, and ad-free streaming.
- The majority of the apps/services on this list include paid-for versions at $9.99 a month, although some have family and student discounts.
- The majority of apps/services on this list that advertise themselves as online radio services do not have paid-for versions or in-app purchases.
The internet has evolved from the grey markets of user-to-user downloads through LimeWire and PirateBay, into legitimate streaming services for music free of charge!
Let’s explore some of these apps/services below:
- Key Takeaways
- The Best Sites/Apps To Listen To Free Music
- Related Questions
The Best Sites/Apps To Listen To Free Music
As one of the biggest music streaming sites in the world, Spotify significantly changed the music landscape upon its inception back in 2006.
Although the free version of Spotify still requires users to create an account, to listen to advertisements at certain intervals between music, does not allow for offline listening or unlimited song skips, it still remains an excellent free service.
Regarding the amount of music on the Spotify platform, including various artists of all genres, Spotify has a music library unmatched by most competitors.
Especially if you are looking for libraries that include brand new music, new releases from your favorite artists, as well as full discographies, Spotify is also the home of some of the world’s most popular podcasts, such as the Joe Rogan Experience.
Furthermore, features such as “Discover Weekly, Artists Radios, and Playlists” help new users discover music and artists similar to their music tastes. Consequently, the more one uses the app; the better Spotify becomes at catering playlists and music to your specific genres!
Spotify is available on both Android and Apple devices, as well as desktop browsers through the free to download and use browser app. While there is an indefinite free version, users may opt for Spotify premium at $9.99 per month.
As pioneers of online listening and music downloads, one cannot speak about digital music without mentioning Apple. Both in terms of the company’s influence on the music industry, the technology behind listening to music, and their continued innovations.
Having evolved from the exclusive realms of paid downloads and iTunes libraries, Apple’s shift to free music streaming has seen immense success with their streaming service: Apple Music.
One of the key features that differentiate it from its competitors is the inclusion of modern artists such as Drake, having signed exclusive deals with Apple to house and play their music, and the addition of internet radio stations.
Initially forming the backbone of Apple Music as a result of Apple’s purchase of the Beats streaming service in 2014, Apple Music offers multiple internet radio stations to help listeners engage with real-time DJs across a multitude of genres and jurisdictions.
Apple Music also allows users to connect the app with their own personal libraries via iCloud music, meaning that the app can house your own personal playlists/library while also adapting accordingly to make discovering new music as per your tastes a whole lot easier!
Apple Music is exclusive to Apple devices, and while the free version of Apple Music allows users to sync their personal libraries to the app and listen to Apple Music indefinitely, it is recommended that you purchase a paid subscription once the three-month free trial expires (although you can still use the free version if you wish.)
The reason is that the paid-for version of Apple Music includes a host of discovery features and unprecedented access to a massive music library.
For example, while the standard Apple Music plan is $9.99 a month in line with Spotify’s rate as its main competitor, Apple Music includes discounts for both family plans and students ($14.99 and $4.99 a month, respectively).
Deezer is considered to have one of the biggest and most diverse music libraries when compared to its competitors. Fortunately, Deezer’s FLOW feature is a method of discovery that helps streamline finding new music in line with your preferences.
The layout of Deezer has been praised for its accessibility and ease of use, making it ideal for both listening to music and other audio features such as news or podcasts while on the move.
The free version also includes quality of life features, mostly aimed at customization, such as lyric fetching, unlimited playlist creation, and mixes based on individual artists.
Deezer is available on both Android and Apple devices and desktop browsers. While there is an indefinite free version, users may opt for Deezer’s premium packages that range between $9.99 and $14.99 a month.
Despite the relatively high cost of these premium packages, the benefits are not solely access to unlimited listening and improved discovery features but also improved audio quality across the board!
Consequently, Deezer is an attractive option for audiophiles who are looking for music of better quality than what most competitors have on offer!
Despite the name, Amazon Prime Music does not require users to be subscribers of Amazon Prime to access this music streaming service, although there are some distinct benefits of being a Prime member that will be discussed below.
One of the key features of Amazon Prime Music that makes it an attractive option compared to its competitors is that even the free version allows for ad-free music listening! However, the music library is (relatively) small at approximately 2 million songs.
Therefore, while it may not be the best music streaming site for those interested in niche genres or users looking for advanced discovery features, it offers casual users excellent, easy-to-use access to many modern/contemporary music.
Amazon Prime Music is available on both Android and Apple devices, Echo and Fire TV devices, as well as desktop browsers.
While there is an indefinite free version, users may opt for Amazon Prime Music premium package: Amazon Music Unlimited for $9.99 a month (or $7.99 a month for Amazon Prime members).
Considered one of the best apps and online streaming services to find and listen to new music from popular artists, Pandora focuses on the creation of online “radio stations” and custom playlists.
Once you create a custom online radio/playlist, the more you listen to the station, the more Pandora will learn your particular music taste and will advise similar music or recommend radically different music, depending on your settings.
Furthermore, unlike some other streaming sites that tend to broadly recommend music in terms of one’s general tastes, Pandora allows for the creation of up to 100 radio stations/playlists, meaning that specific music will be recommended to specific playlists.
This makes Pandora an ideal choice for those with a broad taste in music who want advice across multiple genres and artists.
Furthermore, the App has both Top Stations and Top Genres pages to help guide your music selection and to stay up to date with the latest music.
While the free version does not allow for unlimited skips and offline listening, the ads do give users the option of increased skips should they opt to watch the advert in its entirety.
Pandora is available on both Android and Apple devices. While there is an indefinite free version, users may opt for Premium and Plus packages for $4.99 and $9.99 a month, respectfully.
Although YouTube is a viable method of listening to music online, whereby a lot of artists and producers have official channels with accompanying music videos, YouTube Music essentially has the same layout and ease of use as YouTube, but with features that make it a far superior option for listening to music online.
YouTube Music offers users access to literally millions of songs and artists, and while the app does promote larger, more popular artists, it’s also known for promoting smaller, niche artists, given the ease of access to stream on the platform.
The smart search feature means that YouTube Music recommends music relative to where you are, the songs you listen to, the artists you follow and helps users find music even if they don’t know the title of the song!
Along with music, YouTube Music offers users music videos along with live recordings, interviews, concert footage, and documentaries for both popular and smaller artists (depending on the content they themselves wish to upload to the platform.)
YouTube Music is available on both Android and Apple devices and desktop browsers. While there is an indefinite free version, users may opt for a Premium package at $9.99 a month.
Furthermore, YouTube Music has family plans, student plans, and a 30-day free trial version of YouTube Premium.
Rather than trying to compete with the bigger streaming services such as Spotify or YouTube Music with premium versions and virtually unlimited streaming options, Jango differentiates itself as a space to create online stations.
Jango doesn’t need users to create an account to use their service; instead, the app can be accessed without any personal information, meaning that users can start using its features quickly and efficiently.
Instead of searching for specific artists or songs, Jango wears its “online radio station” moniker on its sleeve, allowing users to listen to hand-selected stations, including but not limited to “Today’s Top 100, Best of 2021, and genre-specific stations”.
Jango is available on both Android and Apple devices and desktop browsers. Jango is free to use, with no options for paid-for versions or in-app purchases. This means that while there are adverts, they are minimal.
Furthermore, users that link their Facebook accounts to Jango will only see one advert a day, while the mobile app versions of Jango have no adverts.
Sticking with online radio stations, iHeart Radio gives users access to live radio stations across the country while also allowing users to create their own custom stations/playlists.
While you can use iHeartRadio without opening an account, an account is needed for some of the basic functionality of the free version of iHeartRadio, such as the aforementioned custom stations, as well as other features such as sleeper timers and alarms.
Along with the option of listening to traditional AM and FM radio stations, iHeartRadio also allows listeners to access podcasts, talk shows, news, and comedy shows from a variety of sources.
Furthermore, while iHeartRadio might be one of the best methods to interact with traditional steaming/live music sources such as radio, it includes modern quality of life features such as third-party integrations for Chromecast and Android Wear and Android Auto support.
iHeartRadio is available on both Android and Apple devices, Echo and Fire TV devices, as well as desktop browsers.
While there is an indefinite free version, users may opt for premium packages such as iHeartRadio Plus or All Access at $9.99 per month.
Previously known as Slacker and LiveXLive, LiveOne has been through various iterations in the past few years.
What has remained consistent is that LiveOne is considered one of the best ways to watch live concerts online (which has grown in popularity following the rise of Covid-19 restrictions on live performances.)
Although the app does appeal to larger artists and events, LiveOne still provides features outside of live performances, including but not limited to access to custom playlists/radio stations, which adapt and evolve depending on how much you interact with the app.
Consequently, LiveOne remains a viable method of discovering new music while also having unprecedented live access to some of the biggest artists and events in the world, free of charge!
LiveOne is available on both Android and Apple devices and desktop browsers. While there is an indefinite free version, users may opt for premium packages such as LiveOne Plus or Premium at $3.99 or $9.99 a month, respectfully.
Although TuneIn is best known for news, podcast, comedy shows, and talk shows, it is still considered a viable option for listening to music, especially for those looking for international and/or non-English music.
The reason is, is that while TuneIn gives users access to the majority of radio stations across the United States of America, it further provides users with over 100 000 AM and FM radio stations across the globe!
These stations can be fined tuned and filtered to specific languages, genres, and jurisdictions and provide further niche options such as live sports broadcasts, business news, and travel podcasts.
TuneIn is available on both Android and Apple devices and desktop browsers. While there is an indefinite free version, users may opt for TuneIn Premium at $9.99 per month (there is also a free 30-day trial of TuneIn Premium.).
Although users find DashRadio to be limited with regard to certain genres, Dash Radio offers users no commercial radio free of charge, making this a major differentiator from its competitors that typically only allow no commercials for premium subscribers!
As implied by the name, DashRadio allows users to create a custom dashboard that houses all their favorite stations with their specific genres, allowing uncluttered and easy access to one’s favorite stations.
All-in-all, DashRadio is a simple to use and efficient method of finding new music.
DashRadio is available on both Android and Apple devices, as well as desktop browsers. DashRadio is a free-to-use service with no commercials, adverts, or features locked behind paywalls.
SoundCloud is by far the best app for users looking for independent artists and users looking for a platform to interact with these artists on their official SoundCloud channels or who wish to upload their music to the platform.
With over 125 million tracks and an estimated upload rate of over 10 hours of music a day, SoundCloud gives users access to arguably the largest music library on the internet completely free of charge.
Although this may be overwhelming, SoundCloud has discovery and search features to help new users filter their listening to their own preferences.
In the event that users are looking for bigger/more popular artists, SoundCloud does feature their music, although this is sometimes locked behind a paywall.
SoundCloud is available on both Android and Apple devices, as well as desktop browsers. While there is an indefinite free version, users may opt for SoundCloud Go+ at $9.99 per month (there is also a free 30-day trial of SoundCloud Go+).
Furthermore, SoundCloud does offer a half-price version of SoundCloud Go+ exclusive to students.
AccuRadio is a great app/service for users looking for more unique and international genres. Some of the examples of unique genres include Nordic folk music or opera.
You do not need to have an account to listen to AccuRadio, meaning that a large variety of music and stations/playlists can be accessed immediately and efficiently.
Furthermore, unlike the majority of services on this list, AccuRadio does not have its playlists or radio stations’ music catalogs constructed by bots or algorithms; instead, each playlist and station is curated by actual people.
Although an account is not needed to use AccuRadio, we would highly suggest doing so, as this means that users can listen to AccuRadio indefinitely and without any advertisements.
AccuRadio is available on both Android and Apple devices, as well as desktop browsers. AccuRadio is a free-to-use service with no commercials, adverts, or features locked behind paywalls.
Myspace offers users a variety of easy-to-use search features and genre-specific playlists to help users find new music subject to their particular music preference.
Furthermore, you do not need to have a Myspace account in order to access all of Myspace’s features and content.
As the precursor to popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, Myspace has found new life as a free site for streaming music to surprising success!
Myspace is also a popular site for news, both music-related and other notable news within the wider entertainment industry.
Although Myspace no longer has an app on Android or Apple devices, it has full support on desktop and mobile browsers. Myspace is a free-to-use service with no commercials, adverts, or features locked behind paywalls.
Sticking to the theme of exploring, discovering, supporting, and promoting smaller artists and niche genres, we have ReverbNation.
What ReverbNation lacks in terms of popular music and artists in more than makes up for in terms of its support, search functionality, and ease of uploads, which allows users to listen to indie music and artists through a simple sign-up process.
Furthermore, ReverbNation keeps you updated on the news and events surrounding their artists, particularly those in your local jurisdiction.
ReverbNation does this through its “Shows” and “Charts” tabs which give you information on any upcoming shows and events in your area!
Furthermore, ReverbNation can help artists promote their music and interact with the service/their fans via the “Join as Artist” tab, which opens up a whole host of unique features!
ReverbNation is available on both Android and Apple devices, as well as desktop browsers. ReverbNation is a free-to-use service with no features locked behind paywalls.
If you are an avid listener of music or want to listen to music offline, then most online music apps/services are worth the $9.99 a month investment.
No, due to the issues with licensing music, most large studios and artists only put their content on larger, established apps/services such as Spotify and YouTube Music.
While a lot of online apps/services allow users to upload their own content, this may be subject to licensing or access to features that may be locked behind paywalls.