Top 5 Alternatives to Google Play Music and YouTube Music

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Google will definitely shut down Google Play Music in 2020 with YouTube Music as its successor. The move makes sense. After all, YouTube is the most popular on-demand music website in the world. Also, YouTube Music is getting some features from Google Play Music, like the ability to upload your own music to stream later. However, this move is the straw that breaks the camel’s back for some people who want an alternative other than YouTube Music.

The good news is that you have many options. There is also bad news. YouTube is the most popular music streaming site in the world for a reason. It has everything, including a ton of music that can’t be found on traditional music streaming sites. It’s easily accessible and you don’t even need an account on the website for streaming on demand. Additionally, a Google Play Music subscription also doubled as a YouTube Premium subscription, making it the best one-two punch in video and audio streaming history.

But if you need other options and where you don’t have to pay for a while, you can take advantage of the three free months that Amazon Music offers you.

Or you can upgrade to six months free with the purchase of an Echo dot device.

There is no music streaming service with those features. Therefore, you will never find a 100% perfect YouTube music alternative. Some services come close, however. Here are the best music alternatives to YouTube and Google Play Music.

Best Alternatives to Google Play Music and YouTube Music

Apple Music

Price: Free / $9.99 per month

Top 5 Alternatives to Google Play Music and YouTube Music

Apple Music is the closest approximation to Google PlayMusic at the moment. It has a huge library of over 60 million songs, the ability to listen to both on-demand content and radio stations, and the ability to upload up to 100,000 songs of your own music.

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The autoload feature process is a bit tricky unless you have a Mac, but it’s still there. Apple still hasn’t rectified all the app bugs on Android and that’s a shame. Still, it has almost all the same features as Google Play Music.

Plex

The price: Free / $4.99 / $4.99 per month / $149.99

Plex is a great solution for people who don’t want to lose the ability to stream their own music. You don’t have a streaming service up front like Google PlayMusic, but basically you can make your own streaming service. Set up Plex on your computer and point to the music folder, then get the app and stream your music directly to your phone. You have to pay $4.99 for the app in order to do this and the $4.99 per month Plex Pass adds extra features and functionality. Plex also has a dedicated music app now if you just want to use it for music.

Spotify

Price: Free / $9.99 per month

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Spotify is one of the obvious choices when leaving YouTube Music or Google Play Music. It is the biggest music streaming app out there. You can also listen to music on demand for free (with ads), listen to radio stations, and even the service now includes podcasts. The desktop apps are solid like all mobile apps. You can even get this in many newer cars without any extra nonsense as long as your car has a data connection. In any case, it fills the void of free music on demand (with ads), but lacks YouTube’s hilarious collection of underground and independent artists.

soundcloud

Price: Free / $9.99 per month

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SoundCloud is a surprisingly decent option for a YouTube Music replacement. It has the traditional streaming service if you want it for $9.99 a month. However, SoundCloud also has a huge collection of music from independent, small, and underground artists. In fact, it’s the only streaming service that comes close to YouTube’s massive selection. The app itself works great and you can find all sorts of weird stuff on there, including royalty-free music and podcasts. You can listen to some content with the free version, but if you want the popular stuff, you have to pay for it.

TIDAL

Price: Free / $9.99-$19.99 per month

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One of the benefits of uploading your own music was quality control. Google Play Music allows you to upload high quality music and then converts it to 320kbps MP3. It’s not hi-fi, but it’s better than many streaming services. It’s no better than TIDAL, as TIDAL enables true high-fidelity listening. The app allows you to download music for offline listening, create playlists, listen to existing playlists, and stream music at 16-bit, 44.1kHz FLAC or 24-bit, 96kHz MQA. It doesn’t get much better than that, although Deezer’s hi-fi option comes close. You can’t upload any of your own music, but it does everything else just fine.

Basically any other streaming service

Price: Free / Varies (normally around $9.99 per month)

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This is the question. A proper Google Play Music or YouTube Music alternative has the specific features that make those services good. If you don’t need or use those extra features, you can basically switch to any other streaming app and be perfectly fine. There are some decent selections, including Pandora, Deezer, iHeartRadio, and others. Many people are attached to the name of Google Play Music, but not to its features. If you can go beyond that, you can use basically anything.

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