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Avoid Spotify’s price hike with these 6 cheaper music streaming services

Other music streaming platforms offer hi-res and spatial 3D audio, as well as millions of tracks

Alex Lee
Wednesday 17 April 2024 10:02 BST
Keep your beats pumping with these alternative music-streaming services
Keep your beats pumping with these alternative music-streaming services (The Independent)

Music streaming giant Spotify has increased the cost of a subscription by up to £2 per month, or £24 per year. This is only the second time the service has jacked up prices – following a £1 increase last summer – leaving many money-savvy users looking for the best alternatives to Spotify.

Spotify’s family plan, which allows up to six listeners, will increase from £17.99 to £19.99. The duo plan increases from £14.99 to £16.99, while individual plans get a smaller increase from £10.99 to £11.99. Student plans remain unchanged at £5.99, while the limited and ad-supported free service remains free.

New subscribers will start paying the higher rate immediately while existing members will be given one month’s notice of the change before being charged the increased amount when their next Spotify bill is due.

The company surpassed the 500 million user mark for the first time in early 2023, securing its status as the leader in the streaming wars. But the once-cheapest music streaming service is no longer so, and competitors are one-upping Spotify by offering additional features, such as lossless audio, spatial audio, and ad-free YouTube videos for a cheaper price.

If you’ve started looking at switching away from the music platform, and want to cancel your Spotify Premium membership, we’ve rounded up the best, cheaper Spotify alternatives to subscribe to right now.

Cheaper Spotify alternatives 2024

Amazon Music Unlimited: £10.99 per month or £9.99 for Prime members,

(Amazon )
  • Individual plan: £10.99 a month (£9.99 for Prime members) 
  • Student plan: £5.99 per month  
  • Family plan: £17.99 per month (up to six members)
  • Free trial: A three-month free trial for new users and three months free with the purchase of an eligible Amazon product

Amazon Music Unlimited is the retail giant’s premium music streaming service tier. With a subscription, you can listen to more than 100 million songs ad-free, offline and with unlimited skips. You also get access to Amazon Music’s HD CD-quality tracks, lossless hi-res tracks and spatial audio.

At the start of the year, Amazon hiked the price of its Amazon Music Unlimited streaming service, increasing the individual membership fee (£10.99, But, and this is a big but, its individual subscription is £2 cheaper than Spotify’s if you’re subscribed to Amazon Prime (£9.99,, and you get access to lossless audio.

If you’re a Prime member currently and don’t subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited, you get free access to all of Amazon Music’s catalogue already, but you can only listen in shuffle mode and usually have to pick songs from Amazon’s all-access music playlists. If you own a Fire TV stick or an Amazon Echo smart speaker, there is also a single-device subscription available for £5.99 a month.

Right now, the company is running a limited-time deal, where you get Amazon Music Unlimited at half the price for three months.

Get Amazon Music Unlimited now

YouTube Music Premium: From £10.99 per month,

(YouTube )
  • Individual plan: £10.99 per month 
  • Student plan: £5.49 per month 
  • Family plan: £16.99 per month (up to five additional members)
  • Free trial: A one-month free trial is offered with a paid subscription

Strip out all the cat videos, low-res vlogs and memes but keep all the songs, albums, remixes, live performances and music videos, then throw in some recommended playlists. That’s YouTube Music Premium in a nutshell.

If you subscribe to the service, you’ll be able to play music in the background whenever your phone’s screen is locked or you’re using a different app. It also removes the ads and enables offline play. For an extra £2 per month (£1 more than Spotify Premium) you can get full YouTube Premium, which removes ads from all YouTube videos, watch using picture-in-picture mode, and listen to YouTube videos with your screen switched off.

With the increase to the price of Spotify Premium, a subscription to YouTube Music Premium is now cheaper than all of Spotify’s plans, with the individual plan costing £1 less, and the family plan costing £3 less.

Get YouTube Music Premium now

Tidal: From £10.99 per month,

(Tidal )
  • Individual plan: £10.99 per month or £19.99 per month for Tidal Hi-Fi Plus
  • Student plan: £4.99 per month or £9.99 for Tidal Hi-Fi Plus
  • Family plan: £16.99 per month or £29.99 per month for Tidal Hi-Fi Plus (up to six members)
  • Free trial: A one-month free trial for new subscribers

Tidal sets itself apart as the streaming service with high-fidelity sound. It is the brainchild of the rapper Jay-Z and features exclusive tracks from the likes of Beyoncé and Kanye West. It bills itself as offering lossless music that sounds the way the artists intended it, and it pays artists one of the best fees per play.

The streaming service features more than 100 million tracks, exclusive releases, interviews and music videos. There are two subscription tiers, but they both come with ad-free listening, offline playback and unrestricted downloads.

With the price hike in place, Tidal is now cheaper than all of Spotify’s subscription plans. With a standard membership, you can enjoy the library of 60 million songs in hi-fi audio for £10.99, meaning you get hi-fi audio for £1 less.

However, the more expensive HiFi Plus subscription doubles the price. If you’re an audiophile, you’ll appreciate the extras that the Plus tier provides, including Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) studio-level audio, Dolby Atmos, Sony 360 Reality Audio and hi-fi, as well as expert-curated playlists and support for smart speakers.

Get Tidal now

Apple Music: From £10.99 per month,

(Apple )
  • Individual plan: £10.99 per month
  • Student plan: £5.99 per month (with the first six months free) and a free subscription to Apple TV+
  • Family plan: £16.99 per month (up to six members)
  • Free trial: A one-month free trial is available for new members and six months free with the purchase of an eligible device  

Apple Music is, unsurprisingly, Apple’s ad-free music streaming service. It has more than 100 million tracks, over 30,000 curated playlists, live radio and original shows, concerts and exclusives. Its entire catalogue can be listened to in lossless hi-res audio and spatial audio can be enabled on its tracks. You can download up to 100,000 songs to play offline, and you also get access to Apple Music Classical – the new classical-only service – as well as Apple Music Sing, which is Apple’s karaoke mode.

In October 2022, Apple increased the price of its Apple Music subscription. With the most recent Spotify price hike, an individual membership now costs £1 less than a Spotify individual membership, while the family tier is £3 cheaper. It’s good to note that you do get lossless hi-res audio and spatial audio with Apple Music, and students get a subscription to Apple TV+ for free.

There is, of course, the Apple One subscription, which gives you up to six Apple subscriptions for one lower monthly price, including up to 2TB of iCloud+ storage and access to Apple Music.

Get Apple Music now

Deezer Premium: From £11.99 per month, or £8.99 per month when paid annually,

  • Individual plan: £11.99 per month, or £8.99 per month paid annually
  • Student plan: £5.99 per month
  • Duo plan: £15.99 per month, or £174.99 per month paid annually
  • Family plan: £19.99 per month, or £18.25 per month paid annually (up to five additional members)
  • Free trial: A one-month free trial for new users

In an alternate reality, Deezer could have been the Spotify of today, having launched a year before the Swedish company and featuring the same rich library of music and features. Deezer is free if you’re prepared to put up with the ads, but the good stuff is all in its premium tier.

It has more than 90 million tracks, and Deezer Premium gets rid of the ads, adds offline listening and high-fidelity FLAC audio, which Spotify lacks. As well as music, there are podcasts and radio stations, personalised recommendations and a Shazam-style SongCatcher feature to help identify tracks around you. Deezer also works on smartwatches, smart speakers and car audio systems.

Deezer is as expensive as Spotify, though it now offers the choice to pay for a full year subscription and get an eight per cent discount.

Get Deezer now

SoundCloud Go+: £9.99 per month,

(SoundCloud )
  • SoundCloud Go plan: £5.99 per month
  • SoundCloud Go+ plan: £9.99 per month
  • Student plan: Go+ for £4.99 per month
  • Free trial: 7-day trial with Go, 30-day trial with Go+

Underground music fans will be very familiar with the music distribution platform SoundCloud. Launched in 2007, SoundCloud is a music streaming service for music producers, independent up-and-coming artists, podcast producers and their listeners, hoping to discover new music. It also has a giant library of 180 million tracks, mostly uploaded directly by artists.

There are two premium SoundCloud tiers. SoundCloud Go costs £5.99 per month – it gets rid of all the ads and you get unlimited offline downloads. However, Go+ costs £9.99 per month and gets you access to SoundCloud’s entire library, as well as higher-quality audio.

With the Spotify price increase, SoundCloud Go+ is now significantly cheaper than its competitor streaming service. While it doesn’t have a family plan, there is a student plan for £4.99 per month. And the Go+ plan also lets you listen on up to three devices at once.

Get SoundCloud Go+ now

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