Free music streaming in Australia: Services with a payless option
Get your groove on for free with these music channels.
Free music! Who wouldn’t say yes to that? While there are plenty of subscription based music services out there, you can still find ways to chill, be inspired or boogie on down at no expense.
If you don’t mind being interrupted by advertisements, these are some of your options for streaming music for free:
Image courtesy: Spotify
One of the world’s most popular music streaming services, Spotify offers a catalogue of 30 million tracks for you to choose from.
The free version has some limitations. It will prevent you from skipping more than five tracks per hour and does not offer a function for you to listen to offline playlists.
You will be served with an ad every few tracks and won’t have access to the high quality audio option that customers who pay the monthly subscription fee enjoy.
There are still loads of great features. The team behind Spotify has created an intuitive search function to help you find the tracks and artists you love.
The service also has the ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist, which shows up in your app on Mondays and is full of clever suggestions based on your listening history.
Music fans using Spotify for free are able to share recommendations with their friends and can also access the service’s ready-made genre, mood and time of day-based playlists.
Image courtesy: Pandora
Pandora could be described as ‘smart radio’, as it offers a vast selection when compared to the stations you might normally listen to in the car.
All you have to do to get started is enter an artist, genre or song and Pandora’s Music Genome Project® will create an entire ‘station’ for you.
This project is the result of thousands of hours of work, with experts analysing over 450 qualities within every song to come up with an algorithm that recommends music you will enjoy.
For example, if you type in ‘Rihanna’, Pandora creates ‘Rihanna Radio’, which features tracks with electronica, hip-hop and R&B influences.
Pandora lets you create up to 100 different stations for free and allows you to refine them if there are tracks you don’t want included.
If you wish to upgrade, paying the monthly fee will let you listen ad free.
Image courtesy: iHeartRadio on the Google Play store
If you love your favourite radio personalities and want to listen no matter where you are, you will get a lot out of the popular iHeartRadio app.
Available on iOS and Android, iHeartRadio lets you tune in to many of the AM or FM Australian Radio Network stations you have been enjoying for years.
You can also browse music stations from around the world based on location or genres like alternative, classic rock, oldies or popular artists.
If you want more variety, you can use iHeartRadio to create commercial free stations of your own, choosing from a catalogue of over 20 million songs.
Image courtesy: Deezer
Supported by ads, the free version of Deezer gives you access to millions of songs via a downloaded app or your desktop browser.
Once you have signed up, you are asked to nominate your favourite genres and artists before being given access to ready-made playlists based on your preferences.
You can create your own lists, browse others that are popular or view tracks recommended for you.
The ‘Flow’ function on Deezer serves up songs you like as well as other musical suggestions.
You can also go with ‘Mix’ and nominate a mood before listening to a customised list of tunes.
Available for iOS and Android, the YouTube Music app creates personalised stations that will get to know your tastes.
Every video you play will kick off a non-stop station featuring “new artists, classic favourites and everything in between”.
Because YouTube is video based, you can also check out concert footage and live recordings.
For an ad free experience, you can try the subscription-based YouTube Red.
After the free trial period, you will be able to create offline mixtapes and keep listening to tracks when your screen is switched off. You’ll also have access to Google Play Music, Google’s answer to Spotify and Apple Music.
Free always comes with caveats, but if you are able to accept each provider’s conditions you will have access to hours of tunes without having to spend a cent.
Just keep an eye on your data usage if you’re going to be streaming while out and about!
A few music and video streaming services actually let you download content for offline use, so long as you're a paid subscriber.