By now, most people have had some experience with a streaming music platform, even if they haven’t fully adopted one as their go-to source for listening to music. Millions have signed up for Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music, but those three aren’t a perfect fit for everyone. If none of those companies has convinced you to stick around, there are plenty of new or lesser-known options that are worth a listen, including these four.
While certainly not the best-looking streaming service out there, AccuRadio offers a simple, no-frills option for listening to music. From the look of it—and the many call-outs and mentions on the site itself—this is the perfect source for listening for an older crowd while at work. Many of the office-specific playlists leaned top 40 and adult contemporary pop (think Bruno Mars, Kelly Clarkson, and the like), so it might not be the best option for those that are big followers of the music space, but rather for those that want a steady stream of familiar hits while they are busy.
Unlike fellow internet radio services like Pandora, AccuRadio does allow you to skip an unlimited number of times, though you can’t skip within tracks (so you’re just going to have to wait for that chorus). That’s a neat feature, and one that is hard to come by. Streaming is free, and there are just under 1,000 stations to choose from, so it’s unlikely that anybody will run out of choices anytime soon.
Streaming music may feel like a new phenomenon because of all the discussion around the burgeoning industry, but some services are older than you’d realize. Slacker was launched in May of 2007, and while it has never been the most-popular option out there, it has been able to survive for almost a decade, which is truly an accomplishment in this business.
Slacker Radio has all the same songs you can get on most other platforms (yes, Taylor is there), but it offers something particularly interesting: the feeling of listening to real radio, only you have better, more specific choices when it comes to genre. Before the music begins on many playlists, a DJ comes on to talk about what you’re about to hear for a few seconds. Sometimes that chat gives insight about the artist, while at other times it is up-to-the-day gossip about what’s happening in music now. Also, at just $3.99 a month for ad-free listening, Slacker is a really good deal.
More a “music blog aggregator” than a proper streaming service, Hype Machine is still the best place to catch up on what is happening this minute in music. The site lists the tracks that are getting attention from tastemaker blogs around the world in various genres, though there is usually a lot more pop, electronic, and dance featured because of the nature of what is “cool” right now. Every song featured can be played right there on the page, and immediately beneath it you can read what a blog like Indie Shuffle, Free Bike Valet, or Music Is My Life is saying about it.
Entirely free listening makes this an even more attractive option for those looking for a great new song to be obsessed with for the weekend. There really is nothing else quite like Hype Machine online today.
You’ve heard a lot about it by now, so why not actually give it a go? The Jay Z-owned service may have had its fair share of controversy in its very short lifetime, but it is actually a good platform, and there is a lot on there to occupy your time. Aside from just music, there is a ton of video content that can’t be found elsewhere, and you can get lost for hours watching everything from original series to music videos, all of which separates it from more popular competitors like Spotify.
Aside from everything else, Tidal is still streaming Kanye West’s latest, The Life Of Pablo, which the rapper himself says won’t be available on other sites. So, if you haven’t heard it yet, try the company’s free trial before deciding if the $9.99 per month price tag is worth it to you.