YouTube launched its Premium content service in South Africa in March, which includes the YouTube Music service.
YouTube Music is a worthy challenger to the dominant player in music streaming – Spotify – as both sport extremely large databases of songs and extensive features.
However, there are other streaming services available which offer their own extensive song databases and unique features.
Deezer and Apple Music are also popular choices, ensuring that there is good competition among music streaming services for South Africans.
Apple Music claims to offer around 45 million songs to its users.
With iTunes, you can also integrate music you already own into your library.
Spotify, meanwhile, is known for its extensive database of music, and offers users over 50 million tracks while adding over 40,000 songs every day.
Surprisingly, the lesser-known Deezer beats Apple Music in this department, and offers a similarly-sized catalogue to Spotify.
Deezer offers over 50 million songs to its users, making it a serious consideration for music listeners looking for a large selection of artists.
It is worth noting, however, that Deezer is popular in many non-English speaking countries, so many of these additional songs may be in foreign languages.
YouTube Music, however, has by far the largest catalogue of music, as it has access to the company’s video service, meaning that users can access millions of unofficial songs along with all of the officially-released music on YouTube.
Deezer offers all of the basic features one expects from a music streaming service, including simple navigation, playback controls, and categorised music.
The audio quality of Deezer music can reach as high as 1,411kbps on the most expensive package, although lossless audio is unavailable on the platform’s mobile and web-based players.
One of YouTube Music’s biggest attractions is the fact that you can subscribe to YouTube Premium for a slightly higher cost than YouTube Music.
This allows you to access offline and background playback across all of YouTube’s services, and it removes all advertisements from regular YouTube videos.
However, YouTube Music users will have to be content with a 256kbps audio quality.
Apple Music’s biggest attraction is the fact that it is tailor-made by Apple for its different devices.
The app includes features such as offline listening for up to 100,000 songs, but – like YouTube Music – offers a 256kbps audio quality, which is a big drawback when compared to the other services that offer greater bitrates.
For example, Spotify offers the option of low (24kbps), normal (96kbps), high (160kbps), and very high (320kbps) streaming quality.
Spotify is known for its sleek and user-friendly interface, impressive music recommendation algorithms, and integration with a variety of other popular apps such as Tinder and Instagram.
It also features multi-login support and cross-device playlist synchronisation.
All of these music streaming services except Apple Music offer free versions of their services, which allow users to listen to music with adverts.
All four services also offer a free trial of their paid services, with Spotify and Apple Music both offering the longest period – three months of free use.
Deezer offers a two-month free trial, while YouTube Music offers just a single month before users must begin paying for the service.
The pricing of these music streaming services can be found below.
|YouTube Music Free||Free|
|YouTube Music Student||R29.99|
|Apple Music Student||R29.99|
|YouTube Music Premium||R59.99|
|Apple Music Individual||R59.99|
|YouTube Music Family||R89.99|
|Apple Music Family||R89.99|