In the age of smartphones, smart speakers, and the never-ending pursuit to optimize every aspect of our lives, old-school ways of listening and selling music simply don’t cut it, anyone. In response, music streaming and streaming apps have carved out a unique position to facilitate that desire by offering a huge catalog of music for consumers at a fraction of the cost.
There are many perks to streaming music online, from saving storage on your devices to being able to play music across multiple devices at the same time. But how does one get to choose these streaming apps? What advantage does one app have over the other? Follow along in this article as we unpack and answer some of those questions;
1. Freemium vs Paid Access
Every music streaming apps has only two options when it comes to customer acquisition and subscription model. A customer either pays upfront before accessing the music or users can signup for free with limited features of the app then later subscribe for more additional features.
The decision of which direction offers more value is subjective and it’s a question of preference. I have used streaming apps in both spectrums and seemed not to miss much especially when using an app with the freemium to a premium model.
Apple Music and Tidal are some of the most popular apps in the category of paid access meanwhile Deezer, Spotify, Boomplay, and Audiomack fall under the department of freemium.
2. Do Ads Really Matter?
The catch with most streaming apps that offer free access is there are usually ads. The type and duration of the ads vary from one platform to another. From experience, Audiomack and Boomplay have the worst type of ads because of popups when you want to play a song.
Back to the question, Do ads really matter? Smart and Short ads like the case of Spotify aren’t a big deal and can be ignored. Deezer’s approach to ads is suitable as well. Our recommendation on this topic, it’s better to choose a streaming app with minimum and less stressful breed of ads.
3. Streaming Data
High data costs are one of the barriers to music streaming especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. To solve this, a few of the streaming services made strategic partnerships with telecom companies to offer subscriptions + streaming data to customers.
MTN Nigeria has a partnership with Audiomack and Tidal for this type of Data bundle program. Tidal and MTN Uganda have the same arrangements for their customers in East Africa as well. They offer subsidized plans to the streaming services compared to the global prices.
4. Offline Access
Offline access is undoubtedly the most important feature of any music streaming app. The ability to save or download your favorite songs to your device and be able to play them any time, even when there is no network is a big bonus.
The majority of the free streaming ads hide this feature in the paid version of the app. Spotify, Audiomack, Boomplay, and Deezer all offer this offline mode for paid or premium versions of the platform.
5. Apple Music vs Spotify vs Tidal vs Deezer vs Boomplay vs AudioMack Features Compared
|Can you play music without paying?||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Price||- In Nigeria, individual plan goes for ₦900 per month. Student plan is ₦400 per month.|
- In Kenya, individual plan goes for 2.99$ per month. Student plan is 1.49$ per month.
- In Uganda, individual plan goes for 2.999$ per month. Student plan is 1.49$ per month.
|- In Uganda, premium/individual plan goes for 10,000UGX per month. Student plan is 5000UGX per month.|
- In Nigeria, premium/individual plan goes for ₦900 per month. Student plan is ₦450 per month.
- In Kenya, premium/individual plan goes for 299Ksh per month. Student plan is 149Ksh per month.
|- In Uganda, 10000UGX per month for subscriptions only and 15,000UGX with streaming data.|
- In Nigeria, ₦800 per month for subscriptions only and ₦1200 with streaming data.
|Deezer Premium cost 2.99$ across most countries within the continent.||- In Nigeria, monthly subscriptions at ₦550, and weekly access at ₦270 both wit streaming data.|
|Offline mode||Yes||Available on paid version||Yes||Available on paid version||Yes|
|Lyrics||Yes||Available on paid plans||Yes||Yes, and Available on free version as well.||No|
|Autoplay||Yes, based on what you last song played.||Yes, based on what you last song played.||Yes, based on song search history.||Yes, based on song search history.||Yes, based on the playlist.|
|Device Support||PC, Smartphones, Apple TV, Macs and Smart Tvs||PC, Smartphones, and Smart TVs.||PC, Smartphones, and Smart TVs.||PC and Smartphones||Smartphones|
|Discover Music feature||Listen Now||Discover Weekly||Flow||N/A|
And that’s it for our guide on choosing a music streaming app in Africa. Let us know in the comment section if we missed an important point or share with us your hacks when it comes to choosing a streaming service.