Best Music Streaming App in India

Last Updated on March 9, 2020

Thank you Jio. Without you, we wouldn’t really get all these music streaming services trying to compete with each other in India. /s

Well, anyway, it is really a good time to own a smartphone, partly because you don’t really have to pay much for one and the data plans are just so friggin cheap.

So, at the time of writing this article, there are four companies that are really in the fight to win your valuable monthly subscription:

1. Spotify

Spotify logo

Spotify launched in early 2019 in India and has quickly garnered upwards of two million users pretty soon after launching.

The biggest feature of Spotify, when compared to other music streaming apps, is the amazing recommendations that you get based on your listening history.

The user interface is really intuitive and the design is really pleasing on the eye. It is available across all devices whether Android, Apple and even your web browser!

The only drawback currently is that it has a limited library in India as they have a couple of disputes with record labels which they are trying to sort out. Apart from this, the app is the best in the market right now. It’s streaming bitrate is 320 kbps, the highest in India but it’s only available in premium.

Spotify has flexible pricing to match almost everyone’s needs:

  1. Regular monthly – Rs. 119/month
  2. Student pricing – Rs. 55/month (Rs. 66/month prepaid)
  3. Prepaid plans – Rs. 13/day, Rs. 39/week, Rs. 129/3-months, Rs. 719/6-months, Rs. 1189/year

We were disappointed that it does not have a family plan yet, but we are hoping it’s gonna come soon.

As of October 2019, Spotify has launched a family plan where for Rs. 179 per month, you get Spotify premium subscription for 6 users. All you need to do is go to this URL and sign up for it. You can then add upto 5 more users.

Other than that, Spotify has the best algorithm, the best UI and the best sound quality. This is definitely our top choice, we just hope that its disputes with record labels are sorted out.

Fast facts:

Regular monthly priceRs. 119
Student monthly priceRs. 59 (Rs. 66 prepaid)
Streaming bitrate 320 kbps
Max devices at a timeFive
Free trial period30 days
Pros
  • Across all platforms – Android, iOS and Web
  • Great recommendations for new music
  • Smooth and intuitive UI
  • Can listen for free with ads
  • Streaming available at 320 kbps
  • Can play podcasts
Cons
  • Limited library in India
  • No family plans

2. YouTube Music

YouTube Music logo

Launched in 2019, YouTube Music is YouTube’s attempt to break up the duopoly of Spotify and Apple Music.

The best thing about YouTube Music is that it is basically YouTube with all the user-uploaded content available to add alongside studio versions of songs. We love that we can add our favourite amateur covers along with the original songs in our playlists.

But, and it’s a big but, the app and player, in general, is not as intuitive as Apple Music and Spotify. Also, the discovery mechanism is pretty weak as all you can see our curated playlist from YouTube to listen to new stuff. Further, the max streaming rate you can get is 256 kbps which is pretty much standard but lower than Spotify.

Because of this, we believe YouTube Music is a great option for Android users till Spotify sorts its shit out with the record labels.

Fast facts:

Regular monthly priceRs. 129
Streaming bitrate 256 kbps
Max devices at a timeFive
Free trial period3 months
Pros
  • Wider collection than most apps
  • In-app videos
  • Ability to add amateur performances and covers with regular songs
Cons
  • Clunky user-interface
  • Slower than Apple Music and Spotify
  • Streaming capped at 256 kbps

3. Apple Music

Apple Music logo

Apple Music should be the preferred choice for most iPhone users.

Apple’s music subscription service gives the best combination of a wide library, decent streaming quality, smooth user-interface, and an average discovery platform.

However, the Android app is less than stellar and is ridden with bugs and crashes. it is so bad that we believe it is a ploy by Apple to make people switch to Apple devices.

A great thing about Apple Music is that you have the option for a family plan as well where you can buy a plan for your family (up to 6 users) for just Rs. 149/month. This presents the best value out of all the music streaming apps. So, if your family is hooked on Apple devices, this is the way to go.

Regular monthly priceRs. 99
Streaming bitrate 256 kbps
Max devices at a timeFive
Free trial period3 months
Pros
  • Widest library
  • Smooth user-interface
  • Great Siri integration
Cons
  • Android app is not smooth
  • No web player
  • Discovery of new songs is not as good as Spotify
  • Streaming capped at 256 kbps

4. Amazon Prime Music

Amazon Prime Music logo

And then we come to prime. Honestly, we wouldn’t open Prime Music if it wasn’t bundled with Amazon’s Prime subscription.

With that said, we assume most people in India are going to have an Amazon Prime subscription some time or the other, so this might as well be the default streaming app for people who are not really particular about their music library or streaming bitrates.

Amazon’s Prime Music boasts a decent library across languages but its clunky user-interface does not really let you discover new music like some of the other streaming apps we are so fond of.

Pros
  • Comes bundled with Amazon Prime
  • Integration with Amazon devices (Alexa)
  • Available across all platforms – Android, iOS and Web
Cons
  • Clunky user-interface
  • Discovery of new songs is really tedious
  • Streaming capped at 256 kbps

Apple Music vs Spotify vs YouTube Music vs Prime Music

SpotifyYouTube MusicApple MusicPrime Music
PricingRs. 119/monthRs. 129/month Rs. 99/month Rs. 999/year
Trial period1 month3 months3 monthsNone
Family planRs. 179/month (6 users)Rs. 149/month (6 users)Rs. 149/month (6 users)None
Max streaming bitrate320 kbps256 kbps256 kbps256 kbps
Web playerYesYesNoYes
Podcast supportYesNoNoNo
Free featuresListen at 160 kbps with ads every six songsNoneNoneNone

How do you choose?

We would choose based on four main parameters: library depth, audio quality, cost and user-interface.

Library depth: This basically means the number of songs available on the platform. In India, there are like 10 different major music industries with their own language, so getting the streaming app that has music in your preferred language is the most critical aspect.

Audio quality: Audio quality is measured in bitrate. Most platforms stream in 256 kbps and only Spotify goes up to 320 kbps. In simple terms, it means the lower the bitrate, the lower the quality and vice-versa.

Cost: Music streaming comes at a cost and Prime Music unarguably offers the best value in terms of money.

User-interface: This is the basic layout of the app and how you interact with it. We consider it very important that the app makes it very easy to discover music you normally would not have and Spotify is the best among all these.

Gaana, Wynk, JioSaavn… what about them?

Clunky UI, stutters, weird audio quality… no thank you.

Leave a Reply