Finding free – and legal - music online is becoming as important as it is desirable after a recent Government announcement hinted that the end of the 99p music download could be nigh.
Digital music downloads could be hit by price rises after Chancellor George Osborne announced in his Budget that downloads from firms such as Apple and Amazon will be subject to UK tax rates.
We’ve enjoyed cheaper music – most notably the 99p download – as firms were able to pay lower taxes by basing offices in Luxembourg. But under the changes tax will instead be charged based on the location of the person who's doing the downloading.
This means the cost of a 99p download could rise to more than a pound.
Here we pick some of the best ways for listening to music for free online – and don’t worry, they’re all legal.
Spotify is amazing. It’s a streaming service that puts “millions of songs at your fingertips”. With it you can find the latest Arctic Monkeys song or an old eighties classic and pretty much anything in between and listen to it for free.
It works on your laptop or desktop PC, or your tablet or smartphone – so it’s great for listening to tunes at home or on the go. The only problem: adverts, and a whole lot of them. However, if you can cope with ads every couple of songs then you’ll be more than happy.
Can’t stand the ads? Sign up for the paid for Spotify Premium. Find out more, here.
Want to spread your musical wings and discover underground artists that’ll gain you serious kudos with hipster friends? Then you need LastFM in your life. Find what you like, listen to it and then have personalised recommendations tailored to your listening habits. If you listen to The Strokes, it may suggest Loaded by the Velvet Underground, if you listen to Jake Bugg you may get Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde.
Like going to gigs? It also keeps you plugged into events near where you live – again based in the kind of stuff you’ve been listening to. Find out more about LastFM here.
Your YouTube adventures may be more about watching clips of David Brent saying “Milligan, Cleese, Everett: Sessions” a thousand times.
But it’s also a great place for listening to tunes. Click on the music link on the left hand side of the homepage and there’s a relative smorgasbord of sounds. There are sections for every genre from country and electronic to pop and hip hop, with top tracks for each genre and its main artists picked out for you. You can also check out what music is trending on YouTube, as well as listening to whole albums from artists. Check out YouTube Music, here.