With the decline of physical music formats like CDs and vinyl records, streaming has become the dominant way for music fans to enjoy their favorite tunes. In South Africa, YouTube Music stands out as the most affordable option, offering over 100 million tracks to individual subscribers for just R59.99 per month. A family plan is also available for R89.99 monthly that allows sharing within the household.

Globally, Spotify maintains the largest market share among music streaming services at 30.5%, though this percentage has shown a slight decline in recent years according to analyst firm Midia Research. Apple Music and Amazon Music are also major players with shares of 13.7% and 13.3% respectively.

MyBroadband conducted an in-depth comparison of five leading streaming services – YouTube Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and Amazon Music Unlimited. Pricing, library sizes, and restrictions on personal music collections were evaluated.

At R64.99 per month, Spotify offers a slight increase over YouTube Music for individual users. It also allows up to 6 family members to access the service for R100 monthly. Both Spotify and YouTube Music give subscribers full access to their libraries of over 100 million songs without limits.

Apple Music costs R69.99 per individual or R110 for a family plan, on par with its library size. However, it caps personal collections at 100,000 tracks uploaded. Spotify and Apple Music also cater to students with discounted plans priced at R34.99 each.

YouTube Premium stands out for incorporating the music service into its full video platform for R71.99 monthly individual or R109.99 family. Perks include ad-free YouTube access across devices. Students pay R41.99.

With the smallest catalog of 90 million songs, Deezer starts at R79.99 individually yet restricts personal uploads to just 10,000 tracks. Its family plan is R130, and students can sign up for R35.90.

Heavy users may prefer services like Spotify and YouTube Music that lack collection limits. But for most listeners, any of these will provide access to millions of songs at affordable monthly rates.

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