Music streaming platforms in the world: who, what, and where?
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When it comes to music streaming services, the first word that comes to mind is Spotify.
Spotify is the most popular music streaming service in the western world, with over 400 million users. Its popularity attracts independent artists and the entire music industry.
But Spotify is not alone; the music streaming industry has many different platforms around the world, some of which we never heard of prior to writing this article and some of which have more users than Spotify.
It's impossible to point out the best music streaming service out there, every platform has its own unique features, some are free music streaming services; others have better sound quality, some are integrated with social features; and the list goes on.
We've mapped the different music streaming services and their popularity around the world. Most of the platforms offer streaming music services, with a few exceptions of platforms allowing music download. Here's what's going on in the music streaming services around the world:
NetEase Cloud Music
NetEase Cloud Music is a popular music streaming platform in China, with over 800 million registered users as of 2021. It was launched in 2013 by NetEase, a Chinese technology company that is best known for its online gaming business.
NetEase Cloud Music offers a vast library of music, including both Chinese and international songs, and is known for its personalized recommendations and curated playlists. The platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to analyze user behavior and make music recommendations based on individual preferences.
In addition to music streaming, NetEase Cloud Music also has a strong social aspect, allowing users to interact with other music fans, share playlists, and discover new music through user-generated content. The platform also hosts live streaming events and concerts, and it has a feature that allows users to create and manage their own music festivals.
One unique aspect of NetEase Cloud Music is its focus on supporting emerging artists and indie musicians. The platform has a dedicated section for independent music, and it offers tools and resources to help independent artists promote their music and connect with fans.
QQ Music is another popular music streaming platform in China, with over 800 million monthly active users as of 2021. It was launched in 2005 by Tencent, a Chinese technology conglomerate that is also known for its popular social media platform, WeChat. QQ Music offers a vast library of Chinese and international music, as well as music videos, live performances, and karaoke features. One unique feature of QQ Music is its integration with WeChat, which allows users to share music and playlists with their friends and followers on the social media platform. The platform also has a strong social aspect, with features that allow users to connect with other music fans, participate in online communities, and discover new music through user-generated content.
KuGou Music has over 400 million monthly active users. It was launched in 2004 by Tencent, the same company that owns QQ Music.
KuGou Music offers a vast library of Chinese and international music, as well as music videos, lyrics, and live streaming concerts.
KuGou Music also offers a paid subscription service called KuGou VIP, which provides users with access to exclusive content, higher quality audio, and other premium features.
Baidu Music was a music search platform owned by Baidu, and it merged with Taihe Music in 2015. The platform has over 100 million monthly active users as of 2021.
Baidu Music offers a vast library of Chinese and international music, as well as music videos. One unique feature of Baidu Music is its integration with Baidu's search engine, which allows users to easily search for and discover new music.
There are a number of music streaming platforms operating in Africa, some of which have been described as the "Spotify of Africa." Here are a few examples:
Launched in Nigeria in 2015, Boomplay has become one of the largest music streaming platforms in Africa, with over 100 million users across the continent. The platform offers a vast library of African and international music.
Based in Kenya, Mdundo is another popular music streaming platform in Africa, with a focus on African music. The platform allows users to stream and download songs, offers both free and paid subscription options, and allows users to download music for offline listening.
Founded in Cape Town in 2013 by Simfy Africa, Ayoba is a music streaming platform that offers a library of over 50 million songs. The platform offers chat, messaging, and music streaming.
Spinlet Launched in Nigeria in 2012, is a digital media company, focusing on Afro-music content. With downloads available globally via web browsers and the Spinlet app on iOS and Android. The Spinlet platform provides the largest music catalog. Spinlet's app has been downloaded nearly 2 million times.
Russia Yandex Music
Yandex Music is often referred to as the "Spotify of Russia." It is a popular music streaming service that was launched in 2010 and is owned by Yandex, the largest search engine in Russia.
Yandex.Music offers a vast library of Russian and international music, as well as podcasts, radio stations, and music videos. It also features personalized recommendations based on user preferences, and offers a range of playlists curated by Yandex's music experts.
The platform offers both free and paid subscription options, with the paid subscription providing additional features such as higher quality audio and ad-free listening. It also has a mobile app for both iOS and Android, which has been downloaded over 10 million times. Overall, Yandex.Music is a comprehensive music streaming platform that offers a wide range of Russian and international music, as well as unique features that cater to local audiences.
VK Music is a music streaming service that is offered by VK, a popular social media platform in Russia. VK Music has over 80 million active users and it allows users to access a vast library of music, as well as personalized recommendations and curated playlists.
One unique feature of VK Music is that it allows users to download music for offline listening, which is especially useful in areas where internet connectivity may be limited. Additionally, VK Music allows users to share music with their friends on the VK social media platform. It’s available for free, but it is ad-supported. However, users can also opt for a premium subscription, which provides additional features such as ad-free listening and higher quality audio. The premium subscription is also bundled with a VK social media subscription.
Anghami is a popular music streaming service in the Arabic world, that was launched in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2012. It offers a vast library of Arabic and international music, as well as podcasts and live radio stations. One of the unique features of Anghami is its focus on Arabic music, which is a major part of its library. Anghami is available for free, but it is ad-supported. However, users can also opt for a premium subscription, called Anghami Plus, which provides additional features such as ad-free listening, unlimited skips, and offline playback. Anghami is popular in the Arab countries, such as Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and more.
Audiomack is a popular music streaming platform that was founded in 2012 and is based in New York City. It is known for its vast library of independent music and mixtapes, and has become a go-to platform for up-and-coming artists and music enthusiasts.
Audiomack offers both free and paid subscription options, with the paid subscription providing access to additional features such as higher quality audio and ad-free listening. The platform also offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android, which has been downloaded over 10 million times.
One unique feature of Audiomack is its "Trending" section, which allows users to discover new music that is currently popular on the platform. The platform also offers a range of playlists, curated by both Audiomack staff and independent curators, as well as a "Charts" section that highlights the most popular songs on the platform.
Audiomack is popular worldwide, but its largest user base is in the United States, followed by other English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. However, the platform has also gained popularity in non-English speaking countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa, where it has become a popular platform for promoting and discovering African music. Audiomack has also gained popularity in Latin America, particularly in countries like Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil, where it has become a popular platform for promoting and discovering Latin music.
Deezer is a music streaming service that offers access to over 73 million songs, as well as podcasts and live radio. It is headquartered in Paris, Deezer is very popular in France, where it was founded, as well as in Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, and Portugal. In Africa, Deezer is popular in countries such as Senegal, the Ivory Coast, and Tunisia, where it has partnered with local
Deezer offers a catalog of over 73 million songs and also features podcasts, audiobooks, and live radio. As of September 2021, Deezer reported having 16 million monthly active users and 7 million paying subscribers.
Platforms you might already know…
Apple Music: Like Spotify, Apple Music is a subscription-based music streaming service that offers access to millions of songs, curated playlists, and personalized recommendations. Apple Music has 88 million subscribers
Tidal: Tidal is another music streaming service that offers high-quality audio quality reaching up to cd quality, exclusive content from top artists. Based on their last report, Tidal has about 4.2 million subscribers, based on their last report. The company was owned by Jay-Z and was sold to Square, a financial services company.
Amazon Music: Amazon Music is a music streaming service that is included with Amazon Prime. It offers access to millions of songs, as well as curated playlists and personalized recommendations. Amazon Music has 55 million subscribers globally, including both paying and non-paying users.
YouTube Music: YouTube Music is a music streaming service that offers access to millions of songs, as well as music videos and live performances, YouTube Music has 15 million subscribers.
Pandora is a music streaming service that offers personalized radio stations based on your music preferences. Pandora Music has 60 million monthly active users, mainly in the United States.
Last.fm: Last.fm is a music discovery platform and social networking site that was launched in 2002. It allows users to track and share their listening habits, discover new music based on their personal tastes, and connect with other music fans. The platform has 10 million registered users.
Souncloud - launched in 2008 and is headquartered in Berlin, Germany. SoundCloud has a vast catalog of user-generated content, including original tracks, remixes, podcasts, and more. Unlike most of the other platforms mentioned above, Soundcloud allows artists to upload music directly without using a 3rd party aggregator. in 2019, it was reported that SoundCloud had over 76 million registered users and over 200 million active monthly listeners.
Jango - Jango is an online music streaming platform and internet radio station that allows users to create custom radio stations based on their favorite artists and genres. Jango was launched in 2007 and is based in New York City. The number of users is unknown.
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