Are you familiar with the music streaming apps your teen uses? Find out what's hot on our list.

Gone are the days when parents need only look at a CD cover, and check to see if it had an explicit warning, before approving of their child’s purchase. 

These days, music streaming apps have made music more accessible than ever -- you don’t even have to click or press a button, your voice can queue a song -- making it more difficult for parents to stay on top of their child’s music listening habits. 

And those parents who wish to screen or filter the music their children listen to are often out of luck, with many music streaming apps lacking explicit lyric filters. Let’s take a look at some of the top apps on the market today.


The Most Popular Music Apps Kids Use

Pandora

Pandora is a music streaming app that allows users to create custom channels, specific to their music tastes. A thumbs-up or down rating system helps Pandora offer listeners additional music suggestions. Parents should note that Pandora doesn't censor all explicit content or album cover art, so parental supervision is recommended for younger users.

Spotify

Spotify is a social music streaming app that allows users to search their favorite artists, albums, and songs. The social aspect of Spotify allows users to follow friends and musicians to stay up to date on the latest music and receive music recommendations. User profiles are set to public by default, but can be changed to private in the app settings. It’s important to mention that Spotify doesn't contain a filter for explicit lyrics.

TIDAL

TIDAL is a high fidelity music streaming app, made for music aficionados, with the added bonus of music video streaming. In addition to the pricey monthly subscription, users should invest in a good pair of headphones to use the TIDAL app. It’s important to note that TIDAL doesm't censor all explicit lyrics or music video content, so this app is likely best for older teens.  

YouTube Music

YouTube Music is a dedicated music and video streaming app that allows users to stream music related to a specific artist, album or genre, in addition to sampling playlists suggested by the platform.  Because the app does not feature content filters, children can easily be exposed to music with explicit lyrics, themes containing sex and substance abuse, as well as music videos with adult content.

Amazon Music

The Amazon Music streaming app allows users to listen to individual songs, from a catalogue of millions, in addition to curated playlists, channels, and personalized recommendations. Amazon Music differs from other streaming services, as it allows users to integrate music they’ve purchased through Amazon, import music purchased through iTunes, and upload music from mp3s. Unfortunately, Amazon Music does not have an explicit lyric filter.

Google Play Music

Google Play is a music streaming app that allows users to play from their own music library, sample new artists, as well as listen to channels based upon artists they already like. A thumbs-up and down rating system allows users to rate the music they’re being served, allowing the app to further personalize the music it plays. Google Play offers limited parental controls, which blocks a child from being able to purchase music with explicit lyrics, but not the ability to completely block access to explicit content.

I Heart Radio

I Heart Radio allows users to stream live radio, in addition to creating custom playlists from over 18 million songs in their catalogue. Users have the ability to select stations from categories, on I Heart Radio, or create custom stations based upon a favorite artist. Unfortunately, I Heart Radio does not have any content filtering capabilities.

Soundcloud

Soundcloud is a social music streaming site, filled with user-generated music files, and great for budding musicians to build followings. While Soundcloud does not have a built in profanity filter, it provides users the ability to flag or report offensive language (resulting in a take down).


New Streaming Music Apps to Know

Deezer

Deezer is a music streaming app, perfect for mix-tape fanatics. Offering the ability to create unlimited music playlists, Deezer also offers live radio broadcasts, podcasts and audiobooks. For those subscribing with a Family Plan, Deezer offers the ability to create child profiles, setting them to deliver content appropriate for children 12 years and younger.

Slacker Radio

Slacker Radio features a music streaming concept similar to Pandora, but instead of an algorithm curating channel/station music, stations are curated and created by people. Slacker Radio users have the ability to listen to stations that genre specific, but Slacker offers more detailed stations which include a collection of an artist’s best music and a mix of their influences. Slacker Radio does provide a content filtering option, allowing users to bypass any music that contains explicit content. 


About Lauren B. Stevens

Lauren B. Stevens is a writer, editor & digital parent, whose pieces have been published across the internet and featured in several print anthologies. Lauren lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and son, and enjoys spending her family time hiking and traveling.

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