Music streaming services in South Africa have boomed over the past couple of years, with the most recent arrival on our shores being streaming giant Spotify. This is great news for music lovers, because stiff competition can only mean competitive prices for consumers, and that’s just what we’re getting. Every major music streaming provider in South Africa comes in at under R100 per month for a single premium subscription, with some plans as low as just R25 a month. With such low-cost subscriptions coupled with falling data costs, your only concern is choosing a music streaming service that best suits your needs, and we’ve decided to help you sort them out. Here’s a rundown of all major music streaming providers topping the charts in South Africa:
Cost: R59.99 for a single user to R89.99 for a family plan per month.
Trial Period: 3 months
Offering an astounding 3-month trial period, Apple Music is the most appealing try-before-you-buy option. At 36 million users and a catalogue of 45 million songs, Apple Music is one of the largest music streaming services in the world, offered by the company that spearheaded digital music distribution. Apple users will love it for its easy integration across their devices, but the service is also available for non-Apple users. It’s also easy to use and features amazing 24-hour live curated radio services, such as Beats 1.
Google Play Music
Cost: R59.99 a month
Trial Period: 15 days
The Google Play Music service works seamlessly on desktop and mobile devices. It has a slick, user-friendly interface that puts over 40 million tracks at your fingertips. As with most major streaming services, there are curated playlists as well as “radio stations” based on your favourite artists and genres. Searching music and creating your own playlists are a breeze, and to top it off, Google offers the ability to upload 100 000 of your own songs to stream and download anytime, at no additional cost. Like Apple Music, you have the option to purchase tracks or albums directly through the app or your web browser.
Price: R59.99 a month / Free ad-supported option available
Trial: 30 days
Spotify has finally landed on South Africa’s shores, bringing with it access to its massive catalogue of over 35 million tracks. What sets Spotify apart from the competitors is its music discovery algorithm, which learns your music preferences based on your listening history. It gets better the more you listen, and is even able to create playlists using the “radio” feature. There’s also a weekly playlist called “Discover Weekly”, which is a personalised two-hour-long playlist of music you may have missed. Spotify automatically syncs with Facebook so you can share playlists and see what music your friends are listening to.
Price: R59.99 a month
Trial: 30 days / 3 months for just R10
The 11-year-old platform boasts over 53 million tracks. Along with the bells and whistles of its counterparts, Deezer has a great new feature called Flow, which mixes your favourite music with fresh recommendations. It learns what you like and what you don’t, and then plays an infinite stream of music suited to your individual tastes. Deezer offers user-made and curated playlists, as well as a useful “lyrics” feature that lets you sing along to your favourite tunes without the embarrassment of getting them wrong. There’s also a loyal music community built around Deezer that helps emerging artists by helping them connect with music lovers.
Price: R25 – R60 a month
Trial: 2 weeks
Simfy was the first music streaming service to launch in South Africa, and remains a popular option not just here, but throughout Africa. It boasts a catalogue of 36 million tracks, featuring both local and international artists. It has a simple, easy to navigate interface, along with the ability to download music for offline listening on up to three devices and creating playlists of your favourite tunes to suit any mood. You can also choose from ready-made playlists curated and compiled by the Simfy music team. If you’re a local music fan, you’re likely to find a better selection here than on any of the other platforms. Where Simfy stands out from the others is the plan options – the premium plan costs R60, but there is also a cheaper R25 per month plan that gives you access to all the music, but strips out the mobile app and offline listening.