what is the best streaming deal for college students? | Tech Radar
As August approaches, new and continuing students might be thinking about how to take advantage of student discounts on music streaming services. The two big players here are Spotify and Apple Music, and while the student tiers for both are close to price, there are other things to consider before blindly jumping on the cheaper option.
The first thing we recommend is to consult our guide to the best music streaming services to get an idea of what each service offers, as well as their positives and negatives. Both services are also currently adding additional subscriptions and other things to sweeten the deal for newly logging in students, and we’ll cover those in detail below.
Spotify Premium Student
Many students were probably already using Spotify for the simple reason that it’s free – with ads, of course. But upgrading to the paid student tier of the service is something to consider, primarily to get rid of those ads, but also to get the streaming extras that Spotify adds as part of the deal.
For $4.99 per month, Spotify Premium Student will give you access to the service’s massive music catalog, personalized playlists, and a huge selection of podcasts, all ad-free. And you will also get a free subscription at the ad-supported level of Showtime and Hulu. Showtime normally costs $10.99 per month and ad-supported Hulu costs $6.99 per month, so these are great bonuses.
What are the disadvantages of Spotify? There are many problems, but the main one is sound quality: while other services like Apple Music offer lossless CD-quality and high-resolution audio streams, Spotify still uses lossy compression for streaming. This despite having announced it would switch to lossless CD quality as early as February 2021.
Another thing missing from Spotify that Apple Music and other services add for free is Spatial audio. This feature can improve headphone listening by providing an increased sense of immersion in music, and it works not only with Apple’s AirPods family, but also with regular headphones and earbuds.
Apple music student
The Apple Music Student plan doesn’t fit into this comparison on the strongest footing since the company recently increased his rate from $4.99 to $5.99 per month in the US, Canada and the UK. Even so, there are other factors to consider that tip the scales in favor of Apple Music.
As mentioned above, Apple Music offers lossless CD quality and Hi-Res audio, as well as Spatial Audio tracks in its extensive library. This gives it a strong sound quality advantage over Spotify with its compressed music offerings.
New subscribers to the Apple Music Student plan also get a complimentary Apple TV+ subscription. I wouldn’t have called for so many bonuses when Apple TV+ launched, but the service has added plenty of great shows to its roster recently, including Severance, Pachinko, and Slow Horses, and there are plenty of excellent documentaries to dig into. as well.
For a limited time, Apple Music is also propose new student subscribers (opens in a new tab) in the United States and the United Kingdom, a set of Beat Flex wireless headphones, a $70 value. Apple Music plus TV plus Beats phones for $5.99 a month – kinda sounds like a slam dunk, right?
Other Student Music Streaming Plans
Spotify and Apple Music aren’t the only players in this student streaming game. Amazon Music Unlimited has a student plan with the same $4.99 per month cost as Spotify, which offers full access to its vast library of lossless, high-resolution audio tracks with Spatial Audio.
This particular deal only gets better if you’re an Amazon Prime Student member, with the price dropping to just $1 per month. Amazon Prime Student is free for the first 6 months and $7.49 per month thereafter. But it does get you unlimited access to Amazon Prime Video, plus free 2-day shipping of stuff most people sign up with Amazon Prime for in the first place.
Are there other student streaming offers? Tidal Hi-Fi is only $4.99 per month for students. And while Tidal doesn’t add anything extra, this audiophile-approved service offers both lossless and hi-res tracks as well as music mixed in Dolby Atmos and Sony. 360 reality audio.
What is the problem?
Which service offers the best value for money? With their combination of price and extras, Spotify and Apple Music are great options, though the sound quality benefit of Apple Music is well worth the extra $1 a month, and this deal is even better if you want a pair of free Beats. Amazon’s student plan also looks good, but it makes more sense if you sign up as an Amazon Prime Student member.
No matter what plan you’re running with, going back to school with an ad-free music streaming plan means coming back in style.