The best websites for music lovers
Find out where to get the best deals for music downloads as well as live gigs!
Music is a funny thing – everyone has their own individual tastes which can often lead to arguments and heated discussions.
But whatever your tastes, whether you’re looking for ways to listen to your favourite artists on your iPod or you’re hunting out tickets to a gig, I’m going to highlight the best websites to use to get the best prices!
Best for listening
For those of you who are permanently attached to your headphones, here are five top websites to check out for great deals.
If you generally use iTunes to download your music, but you're looking for a cheaper alternative, Amazon is an excellent choice. Prices vary depending on what you want to download from the site, but you can pick up tracks from as little as 59p. In comparison, iTunes usually charges between 79p and 99p.
You can also pick up discounted albums from just £2.99. What’s more, each week, Amazon offers a selection of tracks absolutely free! For example, at the time of writing, you could pick up free tracks from Macy Gray and White Lies.
Play.com is also worth checking out. It offers a wide selection of tracks at 89p each. Although it’s not always cheaper than iTunes, it has a good choice of both current hits and older stuff, and any savings you do make will soon stack up.
If you’re after something a bit less mainstream, eMusic.com might take your fancy instead. With this website, you will need to sign up to a membership plan. Plans start from £9.99 per month and this will give you 24 downloads each month. However, you can currently sign up to a free trial for 25 songs and £10.50 credit.
Examples of some of the artists you’ll be able to download include Santana, Paul McCartney, the Kinks and Snow Patrol.
If you’re prone to listening to a few songs in the office, Spotify should be right up your street. You can install the program onto your computer and then stream the songs you want to hear.
You can choose from a selection of packages. The Open option is free, but you will have to listen to the odd advert between songs. Alternatively, for £4.99 a month you’ll be able to avoid the adverts and you can stream as much music as you want. And finally, for £9.99 a month, you can listen to your Spotify playlists offline and on your mobile or iPod.
John Fitzsimons highlights the best sites to visit if you fancy a freebie!
5. Sky Songs
Last on my list is Sky Songs. Again, you can play or stream music online but you can also download albums and songs. For £4.99 a month, you’ll be able to stream as much music as you want and download five tracks per month. You can then buy additional albums and tracks to download if you want to.
The live performance
If you’re more interested in watching the live performance, there are also plenty of websites to help you get gig tickets at great prices. Not only should these websites help you to save the pennies, they will also help you to avoid getting caught out by rip-off websites and fraudsters selling fake tickets.
Ticketmaster is probably one of the most well-known ticket agencies. It launched in 1998 and sells a range of tickets for music, theatre, performing arts, sports and attractions. By searching for your chosen concert/show, you’ll be able to easily see which days offer the best deals.
2. Live Nation
Live Nation (which also sits in the Ticketmaster network) is a search engine that helps you to find concert tickets more easily. Here, you can search all events and find the best priced tickets. What’s more, if you register on the site, you’ll also have access to the Live Nation presale where tickets are available the day before general release.
With more and more illegal ticket selling going on online, various resale websites have sprung up to help tackle this and sell tickets safely.
Get Me In, as previously mentioned, is one of them. Viagogo is another. The site allows you to sell on tickets you have already bought as well as buy them. However, sellers set the price of the ticket themselves, so you may find you end up paying more than the face value.
Rachel Robson highlights four ways to save money as you shop!
That said, if you’re desperate to find tickets for a sold-out event, this is a great place to look because the website ensures the tickets in question actually exist and you’ll easily be able to track your order. What’s more, in the event of any cancellation, you will get a full refund.
Seatwave also allows individuals to sell their tickets online as well as buy them. Again, the website guarantees you’ll receive your tickets in time for the event or your money will be refunded.
Note that you will also need to account for booking/delivery fees for all of the websites I've just mentioned. So make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully.
5. Music Magazine
If searching through all of the websites above to try and get the very best price sounds like a lot of effort, pop music website, The Music Magazine, might have the answer. In a bid to fight back against ticket touting, the website has launched its own tool to help you find tickets to major sell-out events. The tool scans the prices from many of the agencies and resellers I’ve mentioned above to help you get the best price and save you time.
Not all gigs are currently listed, but there are plans to keep building up the site until the whole market is covered, so it's certainly worth a look.
6. Barclaycard Unwind
If you’re a Barclaycard customer, Barclaycard Unwind is well worth a browse. The website is designed to help its customers get access to top tickets for music concerts up and down the country.
The website’s ticket reserve service gives you seven days to buy a selection of tickets that have been put on hold exclusively for Barclaycard users. You also get access to some of the best seats in the house and if you’re attending a gig at Wembley Arena, you can also become a VIP!
7. O2 Priority
Alternatively, if you have a mobile contract with O2, you may want to take a look at the O2 Priority website.
The website allows you to get priority access to thousands of gigs across the UK up to 48 hours before general release. There are 15 O2 Academy venues in the UK so there’s a good chance there will be one fairly near you!
A word of caution
Finally, whether you’re buying your tickets in person or online, it’s well worth checking to see whether the company selling the tickets is a member of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR).
This will mean you have independent means of redress through a recognised self-regulatory body should anything go wrong. For further tips on checking whether a website selling tickets is genuine, read This scam will ruin your summer.
Get help from lovemoney.com
For great how-to guides, explaining everything from how to cut your mortgage costs to how to make money in every room of your house, head over to our Guides section.
If you need help with a specific issue, why not see if your fellow lovemoney.com users can help by asking a question in our Q&A section?