There are a lot of music streaming services out there and even though most of them look similar from one to the next, there are differences within them to show they are not made equal.
Some offer high-resolution audio, some don’t. Some throw in podcasts and music videos, some shy totally away from it. Others, even allow you to upload your content to a library, others wouldn’t dare.
Here is a pretty handy guide for you to check out when deciding which music streaming service to use.
This year, Kenyans joined over 300 million other monthly active listeners to stream music from Spotify.
This was after long-term complaints from music lovers in many other African markets who had been before then using backdoor means like Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to bypass geographical restrictions by Spotify.
Spotify offers its currently vast library of over 70 million tracks and about 3 million podcast titles for free to its users, with an option to upgrade to an ad-free experience in their premium plan that goes for Sh299 per month.
There is a subscription for two users called Spotify Premium Duo which is priced at Sh389 a month as well as the Premium Family for up to six people at Sh479.
The Student Plan costs KES 149 allowing only 1 account. This is a special discount for eligible students in the university.
You can pay for Spotify Premium in lots of ways, including Credit/debit card, PayPal or Mpesa.
On the premium plan is where you can get to enjoy the improved sound quality, on-demand music, plus an offline option for tracks you download. New premium users in Kenya also get to enjoy one month of free streaming before charges are applied.
Spotify is loved for its playlists which is thanks to its algorithm and from human editors that curate these playlists.
Discovery weekly looks at the artists that you like and the songs you play repeatedly and then shares what other songs are in that playlist to help you discover new music.
Release radar is very similar but it focuses on the most recent releases from your favorite artists and offers them in a single playlist that is unique to you
Daily mixes are based on various types of genres
Spotify Premium streaming however tops out at 320kbps which is the lowest streaming quality on some other streaming services. Spotify announced that they have plans to rollout Spotify HiFi which will be their new high-end subscription service coming with lossless audio.
Spotify, which is available on the app, web, and desktop, has a Friend Activity feature on desktop app that shows you what your friends are playing and shows your friends what you’re playing. It is a small window on the right side of the desktop app that can be switched on and off in the settings.
The app also works on different other devices like smart TVs and video games consoles. That versatility is a huge plus
Deezer, the French music streaming service has been popular in the Kenyan market and gained popularity way before Spotify was rolled out. Deezer charges Sh327 for a Premium individual plan, Sh547 for a Family plan (with a one-month free trial) and Sh547 as well for a Deezer HiFi plan (All the benefits of Deezer Premium, plus High-Fidelity sound).
Supported payment options here are PayPal, Visa/Mastercard, Mpesa, airtel money or even equitel.
They also have a Deezer Free option, and a Deezer Student for those aged between 18-25 in select countries of which Kenya is currently not among.
Their artist and song recommendations feature has improved drastically, even though still not as quickly as Spotify’s.
The app includes a Mixes feature that blends the songs you like with its recommendations and a personalized mix based on your favorited songs and artists.
There are 32,000+ radio stations to browse, again for select countries in Europe who get to enjoy a world of live radio.
Boomplay Music is a media streaming and download service that was launched by TECNO mobile, first in Nigeria in 2015 before it came to Kenya.
More than 75 million music lovers use Boomplay, where they can follow each other and see their playlists, posts and also send direct messages
The platform has a bunch of other features like music videos, Livestream concerts, and even a buzz segment where users Read the latest news and create to share with others.
Boomplay has a “freemium” plan which allows users to access an ad-supported version of the service for free and the Premium plan at Sh199.
Boomplay supports various kinds of payment methods including Google Play Billing, debit/credits cards, and mobile money.
Boomplay has a reward system where users can earn up to 545 points per day when they complete tasks like sharing, reading articles, following artists, streaming content, and much more. Boom points can be redeemed for their subscriptions, merchandise, and more.
Mdundo is a music service providing Africa with easy and affordable access to music. For Mdundo, the cost is KES 100 per month and it does not look like they have any other subscription plan.
You can subscribe to a premium account through Mpesa.
Apple Music is a music and video streaming service developed by Apple, and has compatibility with both iOS and Android devices. Apple Music offers a free three-month trial of its paid service, which converts to a paid membership unless the user cancels before the trial period is over.
Apple Music supports Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio, two features that are being provided to Apple Music subscribers at no additional cost. The lossless streams offer quality at least as good as you hear from CDs, and they can do even better.
It has been described as an immersive, multi-dimensional audio experience that allows artists to mix music in a way that makes it sound like the notes are coming from all around you.
The Apple Music mobile app is organized into tabs to access your music library, browse the Apple Music catalog, and listen to radio stations, while a “For You” tab lets you check out suggestions based on your listening preferences.
Apple music’s premium plan for an individual is priced Individuals Plan: KES 327. The Family package, with up to six members, costs KES 547. Upon verification, University Students in Kenya pay KES 163 to enjoy the service.
You need an Apple ID and a valid payment method that is stipulated within apple ID capabilities for a subscription here.
Something you can hear loud and clear is that you do not have to compromise quality when it comes to streaming music, as the options are quite a couple with a variety of features making each of the platforms unique.
Go for one which reflects your pocket, audio needs, and features in this article that you felt you need.