Music streaming service that reliably turns off explicit music

I have to admit here that I’m massively disappointed. Although streaming services say they have it, often it doesn’t actually work.

I’ve tried Apple music, but after two years with tech support being unable to fix the content restrictions arbitrarily turning themselves off, I’m done and the price hike has set me to find a new service.

Youtube music has a “restricted mode” that occasionally stops explicit content. But nearly every playlist I selected had explicit songs.

Can anyone recommend a family friendly streaming service. No explicit music.

Probably way more of a rabbit hole than you want/need but Roon has a filter for explicit content when you use its radio function (with Tidal and/or Qobuz subscriptions) I think you can also set it to always prefer ‘clean’ versions on searched tracks from Tidal/Qobuz as well.

You can easily fix this yourself. Don’t select rap or hip hop genres. Select instrumental music genres. Lyrics get in the way of the music anyhow…

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What’s your definition of explicit? I’d probably try Spotify, but we haven’t had trouble with Apple’s explicit filter so couldn’t say if Spotify’s will be more reliable for you.

Bad language.

We listen as a family and if the filter isn’t working our kids are exposed to inappropriate content.

If they are not completely isolated, they will be in school and public anyway!
So wouldn’t it be a better approach, to talk to them about the content, if they hear it on a stream, instead of letting them get in first contact with it, somewhere else?


That’s where I would disagree. They may hear it elsewhere, but we don’t want to listen to it in our own home.


From what I’ve read even Disney+ has explicit content these days (and parental controls). Many years ago a friend only allowed his children to watch content that had been recorded for them. Have you considered making your own playlists if you cannot find a service that meets your requirements?

We tend to create a lot of our own, but when you want to discover new music the streaming algorithms can be really good. Although I appreciate that with the changes in society and the music world our choices are ever shrinking.

It’s a shame that with such a rich vocabulary in the english language songs have to be filled with expletives.


You still haven’t defined “bad language” and “inappropriate content.” There may be content that I consider inappropriate for my kids that you encourage yours to listen to.

And that is the challenge that you will have in relying upon any “mass appeal” service to do the filtering for you automatically. If you’re going to ask for suggestions for more narrowly-scoped services here, you’ll have to get very specific in what you’re looking for, not just “I don’t want to hear bad words and ‘inappropriate’ content.”

when you want to discover new music the streaming algorithms can be really good

Perhaps you could seek out the new music without the kids listening by disabling/turning down the filters for yourself, then add items to your own playlists/library?

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I’m looking into starting my own retail business, so I have a similar use case (in-store music). A lot of the latest trending songs have explicit lyrics in them.

Just out of curiosity, would radio suffice?

Most of the streaming services have a variety of kids channels.

For pop music, it’s hard to beat Kidz Bop, which re-records pop hits, with child performers and lyrics rewritten to avoid salty language and more adult themes. It isn’t the same as listening to the originals, but it’s pretty much guaranteed to be safe (if full of ear worms and, well, pop music).

Fwiw, I know parents who have to opposite problem – they don’t mind the occasional curse word, and don’t want to prevent their older kids from hearing songs with the. that are big in popular culture, but would prefer to avoid the really raunchy stuff. A single on/off switch for all “explicit” content is a pretty blunt instrument.

Seems like there’s a market for two kinds of services:

  1. Finer-grained ratings that indicate why a particular song (or tv show, movie, game) might be explicit; hopefully the streaming services could incorporate it

  2. Premade playlists, including with new releases, tailored to different levels of family-friendliness, as it were. I assume there are ways to share playlists

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I came here to say the same thing. Kidz Bop is where it’s at. Other than that it really is a crap shoot.

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I am not sure about the situation in the US, but within Europe there are special companies to provide “In-Store-Music” as a service.

Radio would probably suffice in the US, where the FCC is still pretty vigilant about explicit lyrics.

As @Ulli points our, there are also dedicated services for this (“Muzak” was an early term, I’m guessing a brand name, but often used like a generic.)

Just be aware that at least in the U.S. there are pretty strict rules out there about paying royalties for music played in retail establishments, bars, restaurants, etc. I am most definitely not a lawyer, but I remember reading that it could be satisfied by buying a license, which tended to go by the number of speakers or the number of customers, etc., rather than keeping track of actual songs played. I’m sure things have changed at least a little.

I know of two companies that quickly learned about those rules when they “rolled their own” music on hold system by connecting a radio to their phone system.

Lyrics can be a wonderful treasure and source of learning. As you’re growing up, music will help you understand the world and that you are not alone in struggling with making sense of it all.

If you are a family that listens to music together, it provides unlimited opportunity for teachable moments. Basically every aspect of the human condition is covered somehow in great lyrics, great stories that add perspective on life from different points of view.

Of course, there are quite a few lyrics that are inappropriate for younger kids. I would focus on collecting playlists of the great ones instead.

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The major streaming services provide versions of their service for retail that cost more and cover the licenses for public performances. Typical cost is $30-50/mo/location. They have controls to filter explicit songs and to ban objectionable songs that make it through. Here’s Spotify’s, for example.

That’s exactly what I was looking for. What do the other major streaming services offer?

My first experience with Kidz Bop was hearing the song “Lips Of An Angel”, and I thought it was somebody’s idea of a parody/joke. Literally, it’s a song about a guy talking to his ex-girlfriend late at night and quasi-fantasizing about being with her again - while his current girlfriend is in the next room. And of course in the Kidz Bop version, being sung by kids.

I get the original song being on the radio. It’s just a WEIRD choice for Kidz Bop. :slight_smile:

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