Yes, there are better free places to listen to Christian music online than YouTube (tired of pre-roll ads and poor sound quality?) – especially when it comes to new music discovery.
The following three online music sources are commercial-free options that also allow for favoriting tracks, creating playlists, and subscribing to new posts by others. They’re great for discovering new Christian music!
8tracks is all about people creating playlists of at least 8 tracks. Think of mix-tapes back-in-the-day. If you create an account you can create your own play lists and favorite and comment on others.
How do you find Christian music on 8tracks? You search (top right corner of the page) for “christian” or “christian rock” or whatever you’re looking for. Of course, if you know an artist/band/song then you can search for that there as well. The search results will include tags such as these (Christian Worship, Christian Indie, Christian Rap, Contemporary Christian, etc.) Click one of those for playlists that match the genre. You can then further focus your search by adding another tag to narrow the results down, or sort by popularity, newest, trending, etc.
Creating an account lets you favorite mixes, tracks, and follow other members (so you can be notified of when they post their next Christian mix!)
SoundCloud is a site where artists upload music (usually their own) allowing others to stream their songs, playlists, remixes and more. As with the other sites listed here, you can create an account to keep track of your favorite songs – and add them to categories or play lists. You can also ‘follow’ other members, to have their new posts show up in your feed.
To find Christian music, use the search box at the top of the page. You can search by artist or song – and also by genre. For example, type “christian” and then select “Groups” from the left sidebar to narrow down the search results. You now have a list of Christian groups created by other members – chock full of Christian music. Groups seems to be the way to go for music discovery. I found that the tags search (e.g. #christian) isn’t that accurate.
3. Hype Machine
Hype Machine links to MP3 files across the web (mostly from various music blogs) and allows you to search by artist or song title. You can favorite songs so you can listen to them at any time. Likewise, you can browse by various categories — a great way to discover new music. With an account, you can ‘follow’ certain artists and/or users to have new songs show up in your feed.
To find Christian music, aside from searching by artist or song title, you can use the tags feature. The easiest way I know of to get to these tag pages (e.g. “christian rock”) is simply to perform a Google search for “hypem christian rock” or remember to go to hypem.com/tags/christian+rock. Once you start looking at the songs listed there, you’ll see many songs tagged with other related tags such as Gospel. You get the idea.
One caveat with Hype Machine: I find that some tracks/artists are mis-tagged, so they appear listed as “Christian” when they really are not. Thus, you may have to weed your way through some non-Christian tracks to get to the songs you’re looking for. Hey, you discover new music either way.
Both Hype Machine and 8tracks can be hooked up to your last.fm account as well, if you would like to keep track of what you’re streaming.
Bonus: Streaming Radio
There are many Christian radio stations that stream online, giving you exactly what you would listen to on your radio (deejays, commercials, and such). However, there are some online streaming options for Christian music that have no (or few) commercials, and are free from deejay blabber.
ChristianRock.net – ChristianRock.net is a non-profit ministry that streams four Christian music channels: ChristianRock.Net (Christian rock); ChristianHardRock.net (Hard Christian rock); ChristianClassicRock.net (Classic Christian rock); and ChristianPowerPraise.net (Praise and worship music “with an edge”). If you find yourself listening to one (or more!) of these regularly, consider making a donation.
If you are interested, ChristianCafe.com has blog posts dedicated to Christian music and worship songs. Check them out at:
Katy Perry’s Christian Music
That’s our list of three (plus more!) places online that you can listen to Christian music (that you may have never heard of!) They’re also good choices to discover new artists and bands. Where do you listen to Christian music online? Share your favorites with everyone in the comments below. Thanks!