The Good Spotify wears a fresh, clean design and goes beyond streaming music with videos, podcasts and extra features. It's massive collection of community-driven playlists mean you can find great music for any mood, activity or holiday. The free, ad-supported version offers a good introduction to the service with no time limit.
The Bad Combining your own music files with Spotify's catalog is a complicated endeavour. There are no live radio stations, and without a Premium account, you cannot listen offline or pick any song you want to hear. It's family plan can be more expensive than Apple Music's.
The Bottom Line Despite increasing competition, Spotify is still the top of the pack for streaming music.
The best streaming music experience you can buy
Spotify is the king of streaming music, with a catalog of 30 million songs, several social features and clever new tools that cater to the many different ways you listen to music. It's been going strong for nine years, gaining steam quickly and left other streaming services in its wake. Spotify has apps for the three major mobile platforms, Windows and Mac desktop and a Web player. Add to that Spotify Connect devices, which allow you to stream the service over Wi-Fi to a growing number of audio products, and you've got a full-range music ecosystem you can listen to anywhere you go.
On the surface, Spotify is just another app that lets you play millions of songs you don't own for a monthly fee. But look deeper and you see a constantly evolving service that seeks to reinvent how we find and play music. In recent months, Spotify has branched out and added video, podcasts and a feature that matches music to your running pace. It also has a strong community that has built thousands of unique playlists anyone can stream. Social features let you connect your Facebook account, follow your friends also on Spotify and share playlists directly with them.
The competition in the on-demand streaming music category is increasingly fierce, as the market transitions from techie early adopters to the broader mass market that is still focused on buying digital singles and albums via iTunes and Amazon. But while the likes of Rdio, Rhapsody and the newly minted Apple Music try to stake their claim, Spotify's superior feature set keeps it ahead of the pack -- at least for now.