Choosing the Best Music Streaming Service in Kenya – YouTube Music, Spotify, or Apple Music?

When I look back to let’s say five years ago, it’s very hard to fathom just how much the music streaming landscape has since changed here in Kenya. I remember when it was so easy to go online and just search for various places that we could easily download mp3 files for free. The problem with that was that we were forced to download every mp3 file that we wanted and this could also end up clattering storage on our various music playing devices of choice. Fast forward to today, things are quite different with the likes of Apple Music, Boomplay and the industry favorite Spotify rocking our world.

It is therefore safe to say that music streaming services have literally revolutionized how we consume music by offering several songs at our fingertips. Here in Kenya, for those of us who still have some attachment to the world of music, the market is dominated by three major players which include Boomplay, Spotify, and Apple Music. In addition, the recent entry of YouTube Music into the Kenyan market has also added some flare within the segment, prompting users to ponder which platform is worth their investment.

Price

Every coin in the current economy counts, and to be frank, Kenyans have grown to be cautious with how much they spend on various items such as entertainment. Therefore, when we compare the top music streaming providers, we expect that the pricing of these services play a significant role in decision-making. Spotify and YouTube Music offer a free ad-supported version which already gives them a heads-up by being more accessible to many users. On the other hand, Spotify stands out as the most budget-friendly option, offering cheaper plans across the board. The inclusion of the Duo plan coupled with the free tier makes Spotify more accessible to a wider audience. But Apple Music’s pricing which is pegged on the dollar, makes it the most expensive option, especially with the current exchange rates, still we expect it to have as many customers as possible here in Kenya especially those who own iPhones.

ServiceStudent (Ksh)Individual (Ksh)Duo(Ksh)Family(Ksh)
YouTube Music209419669
Spotify149299389479
Apple Music305.39503.67842.74

Community/Social Factor

On various occasions, I’ve heard my peers mention that it’s the little things that matter when modern consumers intend to decide about their lives. And in this case, we have singled out the social aspect of music streaming services to be a game changer that can enhance the overall experience of streamers. Spotify, with its unique feature that allowing users to share playlists, see what friends are listening to, and collaborate on playlists, fosters a sense of community. This social element can significantly enrich the music discovery process as well as create a shared musical space among friends.

Music Library

It’s obvious that most consumers would probably be willing to go for the streaming service that has as many files that resonate with them as possible. Therefore, the size and diversity of the music library are just as important factors for considerations. We all know about YouTube which is a very popular video streaming service not only here in Kenya but across the world. By this mere fact, YouTube Music’s association with YouTube gives it the upper hand. From there you’ll still have access to a vast collection of official tracks, user-generated content, and unique covers. Spotify on the other hand is known for its extensive library that excels in curated playlists, podcasts, as well as exclusive content. Apple Music is backed by the iTunes catalog and also offers a comprehensive selection of songs, albums, and exclusive releases. Your preferred genre and artist availability should guide your decision.

Standout Features

Bottomline in this category is that at least each of the mentioned music streaming services offers unique features that set them apart. YouTube Music seamlessly integrates with the broader YouTube platform which in the end allows users to switch between music and video content effortlessly, and this can be viewed as a plus for some of us. On the other hand, Spotify is known for its personalized playlists and algorithm-driven recommendations which foster a dynamic user experience. Apple Music stands out with its exclusive artist interviews, live radio stations, and integration with the Apple ecosystem, for Apple fan guys, this might not be a question of which but when.

Sound Quality

For some of us who are audiophiles and those with high-end audio equipment, sound quality is paramount. Apple Music consistently provides high-quality audio with lossless streaming options. Spotify and YouTube Music also offer decent sound quality options, although audiophiles may notice differences in codecs and bitrates.

User Experience and Platform Availability

The user experience coupled with platform availability are crucial for seamless integration into our daily life. Spotify boasts wide availability across various operating systems, ensuring accessibility across different devices. YouTube Music and Apple Music also provide apps for Android and iOS, with Apple Music having slightly limited availability on Windows devices.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right music streaming service in Kenya requires careful consideration of various factors such as pricing, music library, standout features, sound quality, community/social factor, user experience, and platform availability. Each service caters to different preferences, so evaluating these aspects will help you make an informed decision aligned with your musical tastes and lifestyle.

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