The average German listens to around 55 songs a day. Reason enough that Stiftung Warentest once thoroughly examined several music streaming services. The result: While many providers are not convincing, a popular app ranks first.

Nine music streaming services in the test

One music streaming service costs ten euros per month, another allows you to listen to your favorite songs from as little as eight euros per month. But anyone who thinks that the streaming services only differ in their pricing policy is mistaken. Stiftung Warentest (Issue 10/2022) put nine different music providers (for Android and iOS) through their paces. While the song, podcast and radio play catalogs of the conventional streaming services are largely identical, the audio apps differ in terms of the range of functions and the technical implementation.

This is how Spotify, Deezer do

The music master among audio apps is Spotify. With the rating “very good”, the Swedish company is at the top of the streaming podium for both Android (overall mark 1.4) and iOS (overall mark 1.5). Deezer followed in second place with an overall score of 1.9 for both operating systems. Apps like Napster, Qobuz or Aldi Life Music only scored “sufficient” in the test. You can read the detailed test report with all the results for a fee at Stiftung Warentest.

All providers play music without any problems. However, some apps mess up the correct song order when the internet connection is lost. Then playback stops and the app switches to offline mode. Stiftung Warentest also observed various differences and problems when creating, managing and sharing playlists.

Some of the apps also forward superfluous data, including detailed technical information on the cell phone used. The experts also found clear deficiencies in the data protection declarations of almost all providers. The general terms and conditions (GTC) are therefore clearly or very clearly objectionable in almost half of the applications.

All tested apps have an offline mode. The feature is not only practical in everyday life, it also helps users to improve their ecological footprint while listening to music. According to the Federal Environment Agency, it is more energy-efficient to download music at home via WLAN and then play it in offline mode on the go than to stream the songs on the go via the mobile network. The apps also allow the audio quality to be reduced in the app settings. Thus, the user reduces the generally used data rate during streaming and consumes less energy.