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The cheapest music streaming service in the UK

Are you thinking of taking out a music subscription plan or just looking for a better deal? Take a look at some of the cheapest music streaming services available in the UK.

cheapest music streaming service


I can’t remember the last time I bought a CD, and in fact, I’m not convinced my 11-year-old has ever seen one. From around 2010, I moved completely over to downloading all my music. But what surprised me was that the cost to download an album was often the same as buying a CD.

Over the last few years, we have seen a lot of companies entering the streaming services market. For a monthly cost (often for less than a CD… if they still exist), you can have access to millions of songs. But with so many music subscription services available, which is the cheapest and what do they offer?


The cost of music streaming services in the UK – Overview

Individual
(Per Month)
Family Free trial?
Apple Music£10.99 £16.991 month
Amazon Music£10.99
(£9.99 for
Prime members)
£17.991 month
Spotify£10.99£17.991 month
Deezer£11.99£19.991 month
Tidal£10.99£14.991 month
Soundcloud£9.9930 days
YouTube Music£10.99£16.991 month
Please note that discounts are available from some subscriptions if paid for annually (more below).


Apple Music

Apple Music was introduced in 2015 and now offers over 70 million songs. You can stream your favourite music or download it to listen to offline. You can also share your music across all your devices.

You’ll have access to three live radio stations hosted by artists playing today’s hits, classics, and country music. If your car is compatible, you can stream through CarPlay and even download music to your Apple Watch.

Apple Music UK cost:

  • £5.99 per month for students.
  • £10.99 per month for an individual membership.
  • £16.99 per month for a family membership, which up to 6 people can use.

If you’re unsure whether Apple Music is for you, new customers are often given a 1 month trial for free. If you buy an eligible Apple device (such as AirPods), that increases to 6 months.


Apple Music


Amazon Music Unlimited

Amazon Music was 1st launched in 2007 and claims to have over 55 million listeners.

If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, you’ll know that you have access to over 100 million tracks. However, you can only listen to your favourite album, artist or playlist through shuffle play.

If you want to take your music listening to the next level and be able to listen to a specific track and download your music to use offline, you will need to upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited.

You can have an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription without Prime, although it will cost you slightly extra.

Amazon Music Unlimited Prime UK cost:

  • £9.99 per month for an individual membership. An annual subscription costs £99 (£8.25/month).
  • £17.99 per month for a family membership. An annual subscription costs £179 (£14.99/month).

Amazon Music Unlimited non-Prime UK cost:

  • £5.99 per month for students.
  • £10.99 per month for an individual membership.
  • £17.99 per month for a family membership.

You also have the option to use Amazon Music for just a single device. This costs £4.99 per month. Eligible devices: Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Studio, Echo Input, Echo Spot, Fire TV.

Amazon offers a 1 month free trial, which increases to 3 months with the purchase of an eligible product.


Amazon Music


Spotify

streaming with spotify

Launched in Sweden in 2008, Spotify now has over 320 million active users.

Spotify appeals because you can use some of its content for free, all you need to do is create an account and you’ll have access to over 40 million songs. But there are some disadvantages to the free account, which may encourage you to upgrade to the paid (known as Premium) version.

When listening to free Spotify, you can only skip six tracks every hour, with no limits for paying members. If you’re listening to music on your mobile, you can only listen to albums or playlists rather than being able to choose individual songs.

The paid membership is the only real option if you want the freedom to listen to particular songs with the ability to download and not be interrupted by ads.

Spotify Premium UK membership cost:

  • £5.99 for a student membership.
  • £10.99 for an individual membership.
  • £14.99 for a Duo account – 2 people under one roof.
  • £17.99 for a family – 6 accounts in total.


Spotify


Deezer

Deezer was launched in France in 2007 and is thought to have around 14 million active users. It operates similarly to Spotify, with a free version and a paid membership.

The free plan gives you access to over 56 million tracks, but you will have to listen to adverts too. Again, you will have to rely on shuffle play, rather than being able to choose specific songs.

Premium gets rid of the ads and will allow you to download music.

Deezer UK cost:

  • £5.99 for a student membership.
  • £11.99 for an individual membership. An annual subscription costs £107.91 (£8.99/month)
  • £15.99 for a Duo account – 2 shared accounts. An annual subscription costs £174.99 (£14.58/month)
  • £19.99 for a family membership that gives you 6 accounts. An annual subscription costs £218.99 (£18.24/month)


Deezer


Tidal

Tidal was launched in Norway in 2014 and offers podcast and video streaming and a catalogue of over 70 million songs. Tidal claims to have 3 million subscribers.

You can download your favourite songs and Tidal has been praised for its sound quality.

Tidal UK cost:

  • £4.99 per month for a student Premium membership (HiFi Sound Quality).
  • £9.99 per month for a student Premium membership (Innovative Audio Formats).
  • £10.99 per month for a standard Premium membership (HiFi Sound Quality).
  • £19.99 per month for a standard Premium membership (Innovative Audio Formats).
  • £16.99 per month for a 6-account family membership (HiFi Sound Quality).
  • £29.99 per month for a 6-account family membership (Innovative Audio Formats).


Tidal


SoundCloud

soundcloud - music subscription


Soundcloud was created and launched in Germany in 2008. It claims to be the world’s largest music and audio platform and announced in 2019 that it had uploaded its 200 millionth track.

You can listen to trending music for free, but if you want access to the full music catalogue and want to download tracks, you will need to take out a subscription.

Soundcloud Go UK cost:

  • £5.99 per month for Soundcloud Go, which gives access to a limited catalogue.
  • £9.99 per month for Soundcloud Go+, for full catalogue access and high-quality access.
  • £4.99 per month for Soundcloud Go+ for students.


Soundcloud


YouTube Music Premium

The YouTube Music app was revealed in 2015, but it came to prominence in 2020 when it became Google’s main music service, taking over from Google Play Music. In total, there are over 60 million songs available to listen to.

Similar to Spotify, there is a free version, which also means listening to ads. Or you can upgrade to YouTube Music Premium if you want to do away with adverts and can download music to listen to offline.

YouTube Music Premium UK cost:

  • £5.49 per month for a student subscription.
  • £10.99 per month for an individual membership.
  • £16.99 per month for a family membership (6 accounts).


YouTube Music


Which is the cheapest music streaming service?

As you can see above, all the music streaming services have very similar price points.

If you’re really looking for a free way to stream music, then opt for Spotify or Deezer. Yes, you are a little limited with functionality, but it won’t cost you a penny.

If you want the ‘full experience’, the best value is tied between Amazon Music Unlimited (if you’re a Prime member) and Deezer. But Deezer does require you to pay upfront for a year. If you’re willing to do that, you might as well pay upfront for Amazon Music, which works out at £7.42 per month.

As they all offer free trials, it may be worth trying a few to see which you prefer to use. As they all offer 50+ million songs, it’s unlikely that your provider of choice won’t have your favourite tracks.

Cheapest music streaming service for students?

For students, as long as you’re happy not to have the highest quality sound, Tidal is the cheapest option at £4.99 per month.

Cheapest music streaming service for a couple?

Most companies focus on sharing music streaming services for families. But for two people, take a look at a Spotify Duo account, which is slightly cheaper.


FAQs

What is the difference between Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited?

Prime Music gives you access to 2 million songs, whilst unlimited has a catalogue of over 90 million.

Do you have to be a Prime member to purchase Amazon Music Unlimited?

No, you don’t. However, the subscription is more expensive for non-Prime members.

Does Tidal provide a discount for students in the UK?

In 2017, there were reports of a 50% discount being offered to students. However, this does not appear on their website, although it is available to students in the USA.

What happened to Apple Voice?

This handy subscription allowed users to stream music to one device for a much lower price. However, it was withdrawn at the ned of 2023.