The world of music is constantly changing. As technology evolves, the way we buy and listen to music has radically shifted. With all the choices for streaming and listening music, it can quickly get expensive for students. That’s why we’ve done the work for you.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best student discounts on streaming music and other media!
How it Works
Although you can download music onto your device and listen to it at any time, streaming music to your device on demand is becoming increasingly popular. Streaming technology delivers audio and video to computers and mobile devices in a continuous flow, which lets you watch or listen on demand. If you are already familiar with streaming, keep reading, because these discounts save you money (up to 50% off) in the long run.
Spotify costs $9.99 per month but Spotify Premium is only $4.99 per month for students. Their site says “No ads, no limits, just music.”
Who qualifies? This offer is available to students at a U.S. Title IV accredited institution located in the United States.
Qualifying Students get a 50% discount on the monthly subscription price of the Spotify Premium Service for up to 12 months.
To take advantage of this discount, you must submit information to verify that you are a qualifying student- personal information and qualifying educational institution information.
Spotify already offers a $4.99 per month Spotify Premium for Students plan, which gave a $5 discount on the company's regular Premium service. Recently, current and new student subscribers can add Hulu's limited commercials plan (otherwise priced at $7.99 per month) to it for free. Hulu’s offer is available to students over the age of 18. Check out Spotify's website for all the details on how to get started.
Your student discount is active for 12 months from the moment you apply it to your account. After that, your account will revert to the standard Premium rate.
They will send you an automatically send you an email reminder when your discount is about to expire. That doesn’t mean it’s the end- if you’re still a student, you can reapply for an additional 12 months.
Discount: 50% discount
Pros: Wide selection, easy to navigate
Cons: 12-month increments that require some attention for renewal
Apple Music Student Plan
Apple Music combines subscription-based music streaming with global radio-like programming and a social feature that connects artists to fans. Here, you can stream music instead of purchasing music as you would on Itunes. For Apple Music, just pay a flat fee, and you unlock the entire Apple Music library filled with 30 million songs.
Apple also offers a 50% off your Apple Music subscription, leaving you with a discounted price of just $4.99 per month for unlimited music streaming. If you haven’t already done so, all you need to do is set up an Apple Music account to get started.
How To Create An Apple Music Account
If you're joining Apple Music for the first time, click the trial offer to start your Student Membership. Otherwise, click “Start Student Membership”. If prompted, enter the Apple ID and password that you use with the iTunes Store. If you don't have an Apple ID, click “Create Account”.
If you already have an Apple Music account, you have to convert your account to a student account. You will have to verify your student status and institution information, so be sure to have that information handy.
How To Switch To An Apple Music Student Membership
Pros: Compatible with Apple products, good value, exclusive access to artists and community
Cons: Conversion from regular account to student account is a bit of a hassle
Tidal Music Student Plan
Tidal Music is an advertisement-free, lossless, CD-quality music and music video streaming service with extensive curated editorial expertise. It was founded by Jay-Z and other top artists to compete with Apple Music and others, while delivering a great music experience for customers.
What does “lossless” mean? Lossless formats use compression algorithms that preserve audio data so the audio is exactly the same as the original source. Tidal Music prides itself in premium sound, high-definition music videos, and streaming quality.
Tidal also offers exclusive content and special features on music, including concert live streams, ticket giveaways and other experiential events, such as listening parties and meet-and-greets with artists.
Tidal provides two levels of digital music streaming service: Tidal Premium (lossy quality) and Tidal HiFi (lossless CD quality – FLAC-based 16-Bit/44.1 kHz – and MQA).
With easy access wherever you go, Tidal works on a wide range of devices. Tidal can be used on phones, tablets, computers and a wide range of network players such as Sonos, Bluesound, Linn, Auralic, Mirage, Squeezebox, Amarra, McIntosh, Wadia, Electrocompaniet, Meridian and Lode.
Another added bonus is that you don’t have to be online to play music. TIDAL has offline mode, which means you can download content of your choosing to your device, and play it when there is no network available.
Students can get TIDALPremium for $4.99 per month, and TIDALHiFi for $9.99 per month, which is 50% of the regular price of the standard plan. Select “student plans,” and this will take you through the verification process.
Once you are no longer a student, the value plan at $8.49 per month (6 months pre-paid) still offers great value at a discount. As a bonus, they also offer military plans.
Discount: 50% discount
Pros: High quality, access to more than 46 million songs and nearly 190,000 videos with the capability to listen offline.
Cons: Website plan information is limited.
Pandora has been a long-standing popular choice with excellent free options. It boasts a wide selection of songs from a variety of genres and artists. You get to select from different radio stations filled with songs from your favorite artists.
You can also favorite a specific station or song to save it for future listening, and also to adjust your preferences.
Pandora has the best free membership with some limitations- you have to listen to commercials, and you are only able to skip six songs per hour. For those who want more, Pandora offers premium subscriptions. Pandora still has better music on their free stations than most other services.
Pandora is an ad-free subscription service, that includes the ability to replay tracks, listen to 3 of your most played offline stations, higher quality audio, and a longer timeout period.
Pandora Premium includes all the benefits of Plus in addition to the ability to search and play songs on-demand, no timeouts, fully customizable playlists, and more offline listening options. Pandora Premium is available on for iOS and Android mobile phones only.
Pandora Plus costs $4.99 a month, but you get ad-free subscription service, that includes the ability to replay tracks, listen to 3 of your most played offline stations, higher quality audio, and a longer timeout period. You also get a 30 day trial.
With Pandora Premium, you get all the benefits of Pandora Plus along with the ability to search and play songs on-demand, create fully customizable playlists, and get more offline listening options. Pandora Premium is $9.99 per month, and is available on for iOS and Android mobile phones only. With Pandora Premium, you get a 60 day trial.
While there is no student discount, coupon codes for free months have been periodically spotted on discount and coupon sites such as Groupon. You can also sign up for a free trial, and go back to the free version when the trial period ends.
Discount: None, but you can use the free option or search for online coupon codes for a free month.
Pros: Excellent free option, wide selection of genres and artists.
Cons: No student discount for premium option.
The Bottom Line
There are plenty of low-cost and free options for students looking to save money on streaming media. You can also cut back on your cable bill to offset some of the costs, and if you use the Spotify student discount that includes Hulu, you’ll be set for most of your music and favorite shows. If you select Tidal or Apple Music, you will be able to watch your favorite music videos and listen to music on demand. Depending on your needs, the possibilities are endless- just pick the right option that works for you and your wallet.
How have you scored student discounts on streaming music and other media? Tell us in the comments below!
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.