Written by, Adavelli Muninder
Updated November, 12, 2022
Free music streaming apps in the UK are a great way to listen to music on the go without paying a penny.
All you need to do is free up some space on your mobile and download the app.
Before you get into our list of the top-rated free music streaming services, let’s cover some basics.
Streaming music is a process of feeding audio materials directly to your device without the need to download files.
Streaming services work on almost any device, so even if you are not one of the 88% of UK adults who owns a smartphone, you can stream music for free on your Xbox, Smart TV or even car dashboard system.
The audio files are delivered straight to your device in a stable stream of data packets. So, as long as there’s no interference in the streaming process, the songs will play without interruption.
Downloading is the process of using data to make a copy of the audio file from one server and save it as a physical file to a location on your device.
In the past, you had to download the file on your hard drive to be able to access the track or album. With streaming services, there is no need for a physical media file. As long as you have an internet connection, you can access a track anytime and as many times as you want to.
However, if you find yourself out of data, some music streaming services in the UK give you the option to both stream music and download it, so you can have the best of both worlds.
Just like streaming films online, streaming music for free over the internet is 100% legal as long as you have a paid subscription or are using a free version or trial from one of the legal streaming services operating in the country.
Keep in mind that there are many streaming services operating illegally, so double-check if you are dealing with a legitimate site before you sign up.
Here are some of the apps you could use to get free music online in the UK.
Spotify is one of the most popular free music apps out there, counting over 422 million users worldwide.
With millions of songs and more than 4 million podcast titles and audiobooks, Spotify has a rich collection of entertainment that can last for hours and hours.
Creating the ultimate playlist on the app is incredibly straightforward: you can find popular and new artists easily, add tracks from your computer, take a look at what your friends are listening to or get daily and weekly personalised recommendations for your playlist.
To enjoy an ad-free experience and better sound quality, as well as download music, you would have to upgrade to Premium. The free version also limits you to skipping just six songs in one hour.
Love podcasts? Here is how you can start one of your own!
Deezer offers a plethora of music genres to choose from, including some of the most popular performers right now as well as a large selection of unknown artists. Original podcast content also ranges from topics like true crime and politics to comedy and lifestyle, so there really is something for everyone.
Unlike Spotify, Deezer Free allows for shuffle-based streaming. The free version comes with other great features, such as Flow to create personal mixes, Lyrics and SongCatcher. You could also create your own playlists or get a smart mix made up of personalised recommendations.
Like with most free streaming music apps, there are restrictions. Users who want to avoid ads or download tracks for offline listening will have to choose one of Deezer’s paid plans.
Apple Music has the most eye-catching layout of all the free music streaming platforms, providing the sleek and stylish design synonymous with Apple devices.
Once you sign up, you can quickly and easily navigate through the music libraries. Apple Music lets you create playlists, discover new artists and songs, as well as see the lyrics of your favourite tunes and sing along.
The quality is second to none, with Apple streaming lossless audio to all your iOS devices. On top of that, you can tune in live to three different radio stations free-of-charge.
Apple Music gives subscribers a one-month free music stream trial, after which you will need to pay for a premium plan to continue streaming on this server or get an ad-free music experience.
Amazon Music Free, as the name suggests, gives you completely free access to thousands of radio stations and several playlists, no subscription needed.
However, if you want to get more out of this top-rated music streaming service, you should go for one of the paid plans. Users can choose from Amazon Music Prime and Amazon Music Unlimited, the second of which comes with a one-month free trial. The plan also offers a bigger selection of HD tracks, no ad interruptions, curated playlists, thousands of podcasts and offline access.
If you are one of the 15 million Brits subscribed to Amazon Prime, you will get Amazon Music Prime for free, although you will still have to pay for tracks not covered by your Prime membership.
YouTube Music has a wide selection of tracks and albums to stream for free, as well millions of videos from the biggest UK YouTubers, gamers and vloggers.
You can find songs by genre, mood, and recency or pick them from a personalised playlist based on your previous choices within the app. You can also locate your favourite or new tracks by typing in the name of the song, album, musician or some of the lyrics—a trademark feature which is quite helpful when you have a song stuck in your head that you just can’t name.
Other standout features include ad-free music, offline access and background listening, i.e. letting the app run in the background when you use other apps or turn off your screen. To get these perks, though, you will have to upgrade to Music Premium.
TIDAL is one of the first music streaming services to offer Hi-Fi sound quality, coupled with original content, 350K video content, and expertly curated playlists, courtesy of My Mix. Alternatively, you could tune in to Artist Radio and discover new tracks or stream albums for free.
This music streaming service, previously owned by Jay-Z, has two paid subscription plans (HiFi and HiFi Plus), both of which are free for one month and give users one-of-a-kind features, such as up to 1411 kbps, or 9216 kbps, sound quality, unlimited skips and offline access.
HiFi Plus also personally involves your favourite artists by contributing 10% of your subscription to the musicians you listen to the most.
SoundCloud’s diversity is unmatchable, expanding your music taste by introducing you to new artists as well as providing your all-time favourites. In fact, with the app’s free music trial you can get access to over 150 million songs, much more than other music streaming services in the UK.
SoundCloud has two paid subscriptions: Soundcloud Go and Soundcloud Go+. The first is available for free for seven days, whereas you have a month to explore the features of Go+. In addition to ad-free and offline listening, Go+ lets you mix songs from select DJ apps and gives you full access to its high-quality catalogue.
Also, like TIDAL, the artists you listen to get a share of your subscription as royalties, so you are directly supporting them.
Spinrilla is one of the best music streaming sites for free hip-hop tracks from independent artists.
Launched as the world’s first mixtape music app, Spinrilla lets you create and share playlists, download music and listen to as many tracks as you want for free.
On top of that, you get access to exclusive music videos, interviews, and documentaries from your favourite artists as well as notifications within the app every time they drop a single.
Last but not least, the app is equipped with a top-of-the-line equaliser which you can use to boost bass and treble so you can experience hip-hop on another level.
The only disadvantage? To get rid of ads, you must sign up for a Premium Membership.
TuneIn Radio lets you listen to music for free, offering exclusive online music stations with hand-picked content from world-famous DJs, special guests and influencers. On top of that, you get access to more than 100,000 AM and FM radio stations across the globe. These include some of the UK’s best, like Magic Radio UK, Virgin Radio, Capital UK, Kerrang! Radio and many, many more.
Did you know that 49.5 million adults in the UK listen to live radio?
Music stations are separated into genres, making it even easier to choose the one that best suits your mood, time of day or activity. You can also share the stations you like on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
With TuneIn Premium, listeners will get fewer ads and more news and sports.
BBC Sounds offers 100% free music streaming with no ads. Apart from providing live access to all BBC Radio stations (complete with pause and rewind functions), users can also download music, podcasts and radio shows, as well as get audio on demand whenever and wherever they are.
If your device does not have the space for large audio files, you can always bookmark content you like and pick up listening where you left off.
What’s more, with BBC Sounds, you get recommendations based on what you listened to in the past, making it incredibly easy to discover new artists and shows. Speaking of ease of use, the BBC Sounds app is incredibly user-friendly, allowing you to browse through several different categories and be entertained for hours on end.
Unlike other free music streaming services where you choose artists or songs to listen to, Jango lets you create custom radio stations—simply choose your favourite artists and Jango will play their or similar musicians’ tracks. You can customise radio stations by rating songs or banning them from your playlists (although there is a set number of songs that you can ban with the Thumbs Down feature).
If you are not in the mood to customise playlists, Jango has hundreds of ready-made stations divided into separate genres.
Best of all, Jango is completely free and it doesn’t even require a user account for access. It’s worthwhile signing up with your email or Facebook account, though—it’s still free, but you get more features and options.
Free music streaming apps may sound too good to be true. Although perfectly legal, there are some things you should look out for.
Free music streaming can use up a lot of your mobile data, so you might not get an uninterrupted streaming experience. More importantly, using up your mobile data could result in a huge bill, so switch to WiFi whenever possible.
Note that you would need at least a 5GB mobile data monthly allowance to listen to around 6 hours of music or internet radio.
However, since Brits use an average of 2.9GB of mobile data every month, you should not have any issues.
Free music streaming services offer limited features for non-paying members. Not to mention, you’ll constantly get interrupted by ads if you don’t have a subscription.
Although they work on the same principle, there is a world of difference between one music streaming service and the next. Some come with generous features even in free trials, while others are available only on Android or iOS.
From 100% free apps like Spotify and Jango to popular apps with free trials like Apple Music and Amazon Music, there are many options when it comes to free music streaming apps in the UK.
How to choose the best one? Give them a try! After all, they are all free!