Listening to music via Spotify or Deezer instead of turning on the radio is quite normal in many households. Children and young people also like to use such offers via their smartphones. The practical pocket-sized music player has become a faithful companion in everyday life. We have summarized for you here which services are available and what to look out for.
Many children don’t even know CDs or MP3 players anymore. Instead, music and other audio content such as audiobooks are now listened to via so-called streaming services. The music is no longer available as a file or sound carrier, but you rent or subscribe to it, just like a newspaper or a bicycle.
You sign up for a subscription with a specific provider. You don’t pay for a single song or a special album, but for being able to listen to music. You access the provider’s music database via the Internet and app. This way, you can always choose from millions of songs and other content without having to buy them. You can search for individual songs, listen to entire albums by a particular artist, listen to thematic playlists, e.g. for relaxing, or have music suggested according to your own preferences.
Once you cancel the subscription, you can no longer access the music tracks.
Finding the right provider seems difficult at first glance. Many musicians make a living from their songs and therefore make them available free of charge only in exceptional cases. That’s why you pay a subscription. Thus, most services that offer music for free and without ads disregard the rights of artists and are illegal. That’s why it’s better to use well-known and much-used streaming services.
The range of music streaming services is large. Which streaming service is best for your family is something you should consider and test out together: What is the range of music and child-friendly content like? How is the usability of the app and what functions are there? Can the service cost anything and if so, how much? Can you accept commercials between music tracks? Is it possible to listen to music without internet access? How many devices can I listen to music on with one subscription?
Note that each streaming service requires registration. If you use a free account, you are always told to upgrade and have to live with ads. If your child uses such an account alone, you should make him/her aware not to click on such notices.
For most services, free accounts have commercial breaks, and songs can’t be skipped easily. Listening to music without Internet access is only possible with a premium account.
Paid subscriptions can be used across multiple devices, but not necessarily at the same time. A good choice if several people want to use one account are family subscriptions. This usually allows several devices to be connected simultaneously via an account, and individual playlists can be created for each family member, for example.
Spotify is one of the most popular streaming providers. It offers a very large selection with a scope of 35 million titles. The offer can be used free of charge or from €9.99 per month. Spotify offers various deals and perks, such as for families (Spotify Premium Family). The well-personalized music suggestions are a special feature.
Deezer also offers up to 35 million tracks and can be used both for free and for a fee starting at €9.99 per month. Deezer also offers discounts for families.
Particularly popular with this service is the “Flow” option, which allows hours of uninterrupted music listening based on the user’s preferences.
Amazon Music Unlimited offers 40 million tracks. Access is free of charge only with a test account for 30 days. Those who have an Amazon Prime account or use Amazon Echo can access part of the music database. Full access is only available with Music Unlimited for an additional €9.99 per month. Anyone who buys music, audiobooks or similar via Amazon can save them via the Amazon Music app and then also have offline access to them.
Apple Music offers the largest selection with 45 million tracks. The service can be used from €9.99 per month. Other offers for families are available. A minor drawback is that the app has limited usability for Android users.
An alternative to the classic music streaming services is Soundcloud. The provider has no contracts with the major record companies. Soundcloud is a platform aimed at artists who publish their music there themselves. That’s why you tend to find – but not only – lesser-known artists on Soundcloud.
Current chart music is the exception. Nevertheless, the service offers a huge selection – according to its own information, over 150 million titles. You can hear some of that with the free account. If you want to access all the music, you’ll pay between €5.99 and €9.99 per month – similar to the other music streaming services. One nice thing about Soundcloud is that you can also upload and publish your own music tracks or audios here.