Whether you are a music streaming enthusiast or a beginner, here are some useful tidbits of information about the major players in the music streaming industry. Helpful for those looking to:

  1. Learn more about the industry
  2. Partner with music platforms for marketing & business opportunities
  3. Determine which music streaming service to adopt

YouTube

According to a Think With Google article, YouTube is the #1 destination for music videos, in fact, 88% of the Canadian population watches at least one music video per month. Many viewers use this FREE service as their preferred music streaming site given Youtube’s robust playlist development and automatic syncing technologies. Music is usually good quality, however, you may run into pirated uploads of music and television in the odd occasion where the music quality is compromised. On the upside, music lovers use this platform to view music videos, experience the song by video before downloading the music; an interesting consumer behaviour by 86% of Canadians. Be careful, you can go down a Youtube ‘binge’ where you find yourself watching Siamese cats or TED Talks from 2008.

Recommended for: light music streamers; search terms and user interface are very simple.

Spotify

Known as the champion in commercializing music streaming, Spotify today has more than 50 million paying active users across the globe, as of March 2017. The paid service costs $9.99 per month with bundles and discounted memberships through strategic partnership models. Some of Spotify’s key partnerships in the past decade who have been turnkey in growing Spotify’s userbase and targeting mass audiences include Starbucks, Facebook, Waze, Coca-Cola plus many more.

Recommended for: heavy music streamers; the music library is one of the largest in the world (30 million-plus song catalog), the playlist creation and sharing functions are optimized, new releases come out every Friday and Spotify works with partners in different industries and markets to provide their committed users with value-added experiences and to grow their userbase.

Apple Music

Apple Music is like the godfather of the industry – Apple has iTunes, which ran a monopoly on digital music libraries for many years. It would be silly not to make a streaming service and so launching in 2015, many years after Spotify, the service went to 10 million users in just 6 months in 2016. Today Apple Music has about half the number of Spotify listeners. With the existing relationships and success in music due to iTunes, Apple remains the platform for high-level exclusive releases by artists and producers. Apple Music also provides easy to use integration into the popular Apple iOS system.

Recommended for: low to mid-level music streamers on Apple devices; optimized for Apple iOS, the music library is one of the largest in the world and is easy to use and create non-sharable playlists. As well if you were previously an iTunes user, all your music will automatically sync to Apple Music

SoundCloud

SoundCloud, while facing serious business issues with senior leadership, still remains a popular platform for aspiring artists to release their music to a large network of dedicated music enthusiasts who put great care into finding the next best artist. The platform and interface have improved steadily alongside other music streaming platforms, however, the business itself stays afloat due to the majority of their revenues coming from major labels who put money into indie artists and DJs making a name for themselves on the channel.

Recommended for: heavy music streamers; people who want to be the first to find new music and are willing to sift through the thousands of mediocre tracks.

Shazam

Shazam is a unique place to find music. With Shazam’s unique content recognition technology, to pick up on songs played in the vicinity of your Smartphone, the song can then be automatically added to your Apple Music playlist (a strategic partnership) or pulled up on Youtube. This is a great way to discover music through your day-to-day, and it has great storing and replaying capabilities. Shazam also has a unique song ranking interface with different markets around the world. The ranking is curated by the number of “Shazam’s” picked up by their technology in their region, the more Shazammed songs of a particular artist, the higher the ranking. Brilliant.

Recommended for: All music streamers; Shazam picks up most English songs and the library continues to grow with new releases. It is a great tool for both beginners and experts in music who want to keep track of music they hear.