For the first time in history, audio streaming services are more popular than video streaming services. And, audio streaming is quickly becoming the cornerstone of the music industry—audio streaming has surged 79.5% year-on-year, while the download market and physical album sales continue to plummet.

Karl Volkman, audio streaming expert and CTO of SRV Network, Inc. says, “Audio streaming is changing the face of the music industry. From Jay-Z’s Tidal to the new BitTorrent, streaming music might soon become the only way the next generation listens to their favorite artists. However, not all services are created equal.”

Here, Volkman outlines his top tips for those seeking the best audio streaming service:

1) Amazon Prime: “If you are already a Prime customer, this is a serviceable option in a pinch,” says Volkman. “Their catalogue is limited, but the app runs smoothly and with no ads. Best of all, you can access whole albums at a time, and skip, replay, or fast-forward to your heart’s content. (Many other apps limit the skips, such as Pandora.)”

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2) Musi: “This app offers access to music video content on the web, whether your kid wants to hear Thomas the Train’s theme song for the millionth time or you want to run sprints to Missy Eliot’s hits. Downside: Navigating the app and building playlists can be tedious, and you can’t download the songs to your phone—which means you have to use precious data.”

Musi

3) Apple: “Apple offers an awesome monthly plan for up to 6 other people, so you and your whole family can share access to millions and millions of songs. They also offer cheaper student rates. You can upload music and stream it your device, along with 24/7 radio, and 30 million songs at your disposal. But, if you don’t upgrade to the monthly subscription, you will be dealing with unwanted and annoying ads.”

Apple

4) Google Play: “Google recently bought out Songza, which was a music app that many people adored. Hence, they had big shoes to fill, and critics say that the tech giant has failed to do so. Users complain that the app doesn’t run smoothly and often stalls, while others complain about the icons and graph format, as they prefer lists. Others say that Google Play did away with Songza’s best feature—the ability to introduce you to new artists you might not otherwise have discovered.”

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5) BitTorrent: “If discovering new music and indie artists is important to you, then BitTorrent is a great fit. You will have access to millions of artists, but these won’t necessarily be the artists you need on Top 40 stations—and that can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your tastes.”

Bittorrent