To Stream or not to Stream, that is the real question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind and wallet to suffer the outrageous subscription prices of the music industry vultures, or to take another direction altogether for listening to music that you like.
Amazon Prime , Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play Music, Pandora, Spotify, SoundCloud, Tidal, and a few others, that are really insignificant, all offer music streaming services.
When it comes to paying artists, YouTube is paying out the meager $0.00111 per stream to that eye popping $0.00121 with Spotify up to the $0.01573 from Tidal.
When it comes to the quality of your music streaming you'll find that Spotify and Tidal will give you up to 320 kbps while the others are likely to give you 128 kbps and that includes YouTube.
If you want to pay an ongoing subscription for listening to music, the all around best option will be Spotify. They have better playback, and more selections and are fairly priced for the service they provide. They also offer an ad supported free version. YouTube is your next best choice, they also offer a free ad supported version. The upside with YouTube is that they have the largest all around selection of music that there is.
Free tiers are offered through Pandora, Spotify, SoundCloud, and YouTube. These are all worth considering.
Now ask yourself, how much music do you listen to? When do you listen to music? How long do you listen to music? Do you really listen or is it just something in the background while you're doing other things, socializing etc.?
Is this worth the ongoing $10-$14 a month?
The same music is being played on the radio for free...you do know that right?
Aside from the cost, the resources used by your system of choice and the bandwidth, I really do not think that any of these services are worth their price. None!
You can use your Google account to create a YouTube account and from there create play-lists of all of your favorites. You can create lists of songs or lists of albums, it would depend on what you prefer. This is my recommendation for anyone wondering whether to stream or not to stream.
YouTube has the most music available, creating various play-lists is easy enough to do, and more and more are doing just that. Forget about Google Play Music and YouTube Red, just use the standard YouTube to create all of the play-lists that you like.
Another option is to check your local library for digital media. There you can stream high quality content, but there may be a limit to how much you can check out. It is a good option that no one else has been talking about, and I like to do this myself.
You'll have to decide for yourself, but the best free options are your local library and YouTube, and the best paid service to date will be Spotify.