Here's how Apple Music compares to Spotify, Tidal, and other streaming services

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One question immediately stands out when you start to compare the biggest music streaming services: where are the differences?

The reality right now is that Apple Music and Google Play Music, Spotify and Rdio, and any other pair of other music streaming services sound pretty similar on the surface. They offer about 30 million songs for about $10 a month. They let you play music offline and offer radio services and playlists if you don't feel like picking something yourself. They stream in relatively high-quality audio, and they probably have some videos for you to watch.

But there are some key differences between them, and they could just change whether you'd like to choose one over the other. The biggest differentiator remains Spotify's free, ad-supported tier on desktop and mobile. It's something that no one else can match, and it makes Spotify the obvious starting place to go if you're thinking about trying out streaming music for the first time. Of course, Apple is hoping that its three month free trial can change that, especially since its service is built right into every new iPhone.

Apple has some other highlights that it's hoping will get listeners on board. Siri control could make the service more accessible, and its $14.99 per month family plan is a relative bargain. Apple Music may also turn out to have some exclusives from artists in its social Connect section, though there are legitimate reasons to question how well that'll play out. And then there's Taylor Swift. Maybe her fans all own the album by now, but being the only service streaming 1989 can only help.

To help you find your streaming service of choice, we've laid out all of their major selling points below. They're all available on the biggest platforms, so you don't have to worry about that (Apple Music, however, won't arrive on Android until this fall). Instead, you can sort through the smaller differences that might make a difference to you. Maybe it's lossless audio, maybe it's the right price. Hopefully one of them has everything you're looking for.

*unconfirmed bitrate


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