Over the past ten years, the market has almost completely shifted to streaming platforms, however there are still sites for purchasing music should you prefer to own your media with no monthly costs.
Most streaming platforms have adopted the same deal, around $10 a month for unlimited, ad-free streaming. So what are the advantages of paying around $10 per album?
You own the media. When you purchase music from iTunes, it’s DRM-free meaning you will be given the music file to do with as you please forever.
It can be more cost effective. For example, some people prefer to have radio soundtrack their life and buy the occasional album from their favourite artist. If you’re buying more than one album per month, you’ll probably want to make the switch to streaming.
Next to each store, you’ll see the price of an example new album on each store (Eminem – Music to Be Murdered By). The MP3 cost for all remain very similar across the board.
iTunes still remain king of the digital music stores, pioneering the shift from CDs and pirated music in 2003, with a clean and well integrated platform. This method is certainly favourite if you’re mostly listening on your iPhone, to save from any syncing or extra apps.
Amazon MP3 ($11.49)
Amazon have three music services. Amazon Music Unlimited (premium streaming), Amazon Prime (basic streaming) and Amazon MP3 (download store). There’s also the main Amazon site where you can buy physical media, such as CDs and vinyl, but we’ll stick to digital services for now.
7Digital ($11.99 MP3, $18.99 24-bit FLAC)
7Digital offer many services to people and businesses. They also offer multiple formats, so this is the one for you if you’re after uncompressed, hi-res audio, though you’ll pay a premium.
- 320kbps MP3
- 16-bit/44.1kHz FLAC
- 24-bit/44.1kHZ FLAC
Google Play ($11.49)
Like Apple and Amazon, Google Play offer both a store and streaming service. The Google Play Store comes bundled with all Android phone, so this may be favourite for Android users.
eMusic (subscription based)
eMusic actually beat iTunes to the punch launching way back in 1998. Their model is unique, offering three subscription choices:
- $10/month – 20 tracks
- $16.99/month – 40 tracks
- $23.99/month – 60 tracks
With savings if paid annually. If you fit perfectly into any of the above, this may be the one for you, though their music range seems limited.