The battle for the top spot in music streaming services rages on, with one update after another coming to reinforce each contender on the frontlines. Now, Google Play Music and Spotify both offer three-month subscriptions for $1.
Needless to say, it's a done deal at that price, but which one should you choose? It's a tough choice, so here are several points to consider in making the big decision.
Google Play Music
Google did a bang-up job with this one, providing on-demand access to over 35 million songs. Each song is available up to 320Kbps, and the app automatically adjusts the quality depending on the user's Internet connection. As for data consumption, it's measured at 144 MB per hour.
A subscription with Google Play Music offers access to ad-free videos with YouTube Red, which then provides the audio-only option of playing videos on YouTube Music. With over 30 million videos on the streaming website, it's unlikely to get the short end of the stick here, not to mention that it opens up certain content that other music streaming services can't provide, such as instructional videos and songs from lesser known artists.
Paying subscribers also get to upload and store 50,000 songs to the cloud, up to 300 MB per track. This means that users will be able to listen to their massive libraries practically anywhere. On top of that, the I'm Feeling Lucky Radio is a pretty neat feature to get personalized stations at a tap of a button.
As an extra this holiday of 2015, all albums are up with a 50 percent discount.
Spotify is spot-on (no pun intended) regarding user features, successfully establishing itself as the go-to music streaming platform for many avid listeners. The service offers more than 30 million songs, where Premium users can choose the sound quality between 160Kbps and 320Kbps. Data consumption is pegged at 144 MB per hour at 320Kbps and 72 MB at 160Kbps – the math checks out!
The user-generated playlists on Spotify is one of the company's main selling points. Aside from that, the Discover Weekly feature puts up a strong case to pick this service, offering a ton of recommendations based on a user's listening history.
To top them off, the social functions on Spotify lets subscribers take a peek at what friends have been listening to, opening up more opportunities to explore more music.
Yes, both of them are currently tagged with a promo price of $1, but to make a point of how much this deal can save money, let's tackle the original costs.
For both services, it costs $9.99 a month.
As for the family plans, Google offers it at $14.99, covering up to six linked Google accounts.
Spotify has it at $14.99 per month for two Premium accounts, which can be expanded up to five people for an extra $5 a month per person, coming to a total of $29.99 a month for five accounts.
Currently, Spotify is also offering a three-month family plan at $9.99, which consists of a Premium account that'll serve as a sort of "administrator" account to assign other family accounts. The promo can be gifted up to four family members.
One last thing – the free trial periods for Google Play Music and Spotify are 30 days and 60 days respectively. These are great to test out the waters before deciding which one to stick with, but considering the present promo, they don't really help much, now do they?
At any rate, you can sign up with Google Play Music and get Spotify's 60-day free trial or vice versa to get the best of both worlds, but you may miss out on a month or two depending on your choice.
Both of them are widely available, including on Android, iOS, Mac and PC, and they are also accessible via Web browsers too.
More to the point, paid versions of the two can also run offline and play downloaded songs anywhere.
Free Tier Face-Off
So what's next when there's no more extra cash for paid subscriptions? Well, the free tier division, of course.
Google Play Music offers a free, ad-supported streaming radio service and a couple of curated radio stations. The content is the same as in the paid subscription repository, but users can't choose their music, only the station – yes, it's pretty much like a traditional radio. The free model also grants access to uploaded tracks and purchases, which is a big plus.
On the other hand, Spotify essentially offers an ad-supported, downgraded version, lacking only a few certain features, such as the ability to choose which songs to play. Also, the quality of audio files is limited to 96Kbps or 160Kbps.
In a nutshell, Google Play Music is a lot easier to use, and it's great for when choosing music is a bit difficult. Meanwhile, Spotify just delivers well if you want to explore numerous artists' songs and albums, but when it comes to discovering artists, Google takes the cake thanks to YouTube Red and YouTube Music.
Hopefully, these points will help you make your decision, but when prices don't matter, subscribing to both could be a pretty swell option too.
Photo: Johan Larsson | Flickr