For music lovers like me, it is a privilege when there is a lot of music streaming services around. You are free to choose which streaming service you’ll subscribe. Besides, the fierce competition favours the customers. Each platform will want to woo more subscribers than the other. At present, there are lots of music streaming services around. In my opinion, Google Play Music, Apple Music, and Spotify stand out. It is unfortunate that you can only use one service unless you have a lot of money. Above all, for now, Spotify and Apple are commanding the market with subscribers.
First, Spotify is a Sweden-based platform. Second, it launched its services eight years ago as opposed to Apple which is now a year old. For subscribers, Spotify has more than 39 million paid subscribers. Besides, it has a colossal of more than 50 million listeners on its free, ad-based service. And, with some Spotify tricks, one can become a power use of it – which is cool! But, Apple customers have reached 17 million, and the number keeps increasing.
It is impressive that Apple music is squeezing at Spotify with paid subscribers. Look at the figures, bearing in mind; Apple music has been in the market for a year. Still, it is backed by one of the largest companies in the world. Also, its subscribers can access the entire iTunes library. Also, a 24-hour radio station helmed by BBC-alum Zone lower, and an extensive collection of curated playlists.
For this reason, Spotify vs Apple Music is a challenge on its own. So, the question stands, should I get Apple Music or Spotify? To help you answer this question here is everything you need to know. Remember, each has pros and cons.
Spotify boasts than 30-million songs catalogue. No doubt, you can listen to these songs for more than 500 years. Besides, this platform adds more than 20,000 new songs each day. Also, this service brings you exclusive live sessions and latest record releases. Moreover, it adds several new singles to its New Release tab each Friday. Besides, if you want to listen to the current popular tracks, you’ll find them on Spotify.
To start with, Apple seems to dominate this area. First, at present, Apple Music catalogues around 40 million tracks. This figure is huge for services like Jay Zs Tidal and Amazon’s new paid streaming services to reach. Still, this service has taken measures to secure more exclusives than its competitor. For instance, big names like Taylor Swift are not available on Spotify but available on Apple.
Still, both Apple Music vs. Spotify match when it comes to music libraries. Streaming music from both services is a little different depending on your location. For example, what you get in the UK or the US is somewhat different from what another listener gets in Canada – there are ways with which users can get American Spotify outside US, though. But, the bottom line is you’ll all get what you need on both services.
First, it uses listener’s data to select tracks for them. Second, its social features allow you to follow your friends. Besides, you’ll see what they listen and whom they follow. Third, it gives you the ability to share or recommend playlist.
Also, you can share tracks on the social media and send them to other Spotify subscribers. Still, you create a collaborative playlist. Finally, Spotify has an incredible discover weekly playlist. With this feature, you get 30 plus new tracks.
Is Apple Music better the Spotify? To answer that question, let’s look at special Apple Music features. One of the biggest features is the Beast 1 Radio Station. In the first place, Apple hired Zane Lowe to curate the station before its inauguration. But, regarding social components, this service doesn’t offer too much (compared to Spotify).
In fact, it has the Connection function feature which brings artists and fans together. Still, it serves as the gate-pass to your favourite bands. For this reason, artists can share with their fans unique information. For instance, straight backstage photos to an early cut of an upcoming event.
Furthermore, Apple Music allows users to Comment, like, or Share artist messages. And, the artist too can respond. Also, you can share the posts on Facebook and Twitter with the individual songs and album.
If you ask me the winner between Spotify vs. Apple Music for such features, in my opinion, it is a tie.
Interface and Mobile Experience
First, this service has both mobile and desktop applications. Let it be Spotify browser or the mobile app; both applications will provide you and other user’s easy way to access music playlists. Still, with the aid of the apps, you can listen to internet radio, browse music, and discover new music on any device you want.
At the same time, both apps have similarities. When you run on the left, you’ll find the program navigation bar. It’s broken into three sections namely; Main, Your Music, and Playlists. Next, each section has its sub-categories which give you easy access to many services.
The search function of Spotify operates like Google’s Search Engine. In summary, Spotify has a friendly interface and is easy to use.
Apple is not left behind, too. It has done several changes to its user interface. First, it streamlined the experience after the release of iOS 10. Second, the library is the homepage of the music app. Third; you can access the music you own through this tab. Besides, you can select tracks from Albums, Songs, and Playlists. Also, you can select artists, and Downloaded Music to save time and data.
Before these changes, Apple Music had Connect tabs. It has since removed and consolidated its features into the For You tab. Still, the For You tab got removed to create more space for the new library. So, if you click on the For You tab, it will display several different options.
Discover new tunes with the aid of the new My Music Mix and the daily themed playlists. Furthermore, the Browser tab offers options to explore traditional music, Apple exclusives, and videos.
So, if you are still asking yourself should I get Apple Music or Spotify? Read this and take your time before you make your conclusion. Apple Search tab allows easy searching of your personal library or Apple Music library.
At present, Apple has integrated with Siri with Apple Music. It has given Apple users a privilege to issue commands through their iPhones and Mac. For instance, if you ask Siri to play number one song from 2010 it would start playing.
But, Android users do not have Siri. In fact, Android Apple Music app menu is on the left side of the screen. But, you can pull the menu into view like you pull a drawer and browser it. Apple Music app for Android had several hiccups, but it’s now incisive and pleasurable.
If I were to choose between Apple Music vs. Spotify on the interface and mobile experience, Spotify would win.
The Apple Music or Spotify premium services are almost similar. Let’s look at each!
First, this service has three plans. A regular plan starts at $9.99 per month. A family plan costs $14.99 a month and a student plan that costs $4.99 a month. Second, Apple Music does not have a free plan but instead, it offers three months free as a trial. After three months, you need to start paying.
For the regular package, you get full access to the music library. Moreover, you access all the apps and everything that comes with the service. It is safe to say; the Apple Music or Spotify premium family package is the same (almost). For Apple Music, $14.99 a month, you can add up six users including you. At this point, you can enjoy unlimited access to the Apple Music from all the added accounts.
The major difference between Apple and Spotify was that is it offers a Student plan that costs $4.99 a month, now Spotify offers too, though – but with little different terms. So in other words, this is Apple Music student discount account. Even so, there is a catch. It has validation, so, it’s not easy for everyone to claim he/she is a student. Also, it’s limited to 48 months. Finally, after the expiry of 48 months, you account changes to a regular one.
Spotify offer three packages. It has a free tier, a monthly premium tier that costs $9.99, and a premium family tier that costs $14.99 per month. If you opt for a free level, you’ll have to deal with annoying ads. Besides, it limits features like saving music for offline listening. Also, song selection and skipping tracks are also limited.
If you go for $9.99 premium tier, you’ll enjoy unlimited access to Spotify music catalogue. Also, you’ll be able to save tracks to mobile apps for offline listening.
Finally, the Family tier is just a regular premium plan. Only that you can add five more members at the stated price. As a bonus now, this service offers a half-price discount to students under some conditions like after the eligibility test and only US colleges students can get it. With Spotify student package, you get to enjoy all of its premium features for $4.99 instead of usual $9.99.
Apple Music offers a 3-month free trial, but most users won’t subscribe after the end of the free period. For this reason, Spotify seems to stand out because of its free tier which has more than 55 million users. In my opinion, basing on this fact, Spotify wins.
To start with, Apple Music possesses two sounds options; natural and high sound. They work to around 128kbps and 256kbps – respectively.
Apple Music vs. Spotify sound quality is almost the same, as both are very professional providers. Although, Spotify offers three choices: High, Extreme, and Normal. They both come at 160kbps, 320kbps, and 96kbps – respectively.
If you listen to CDs or records, both services are pitiful. In my opinion, it’s hard to tell the difference. Only audiophiles can be able to do so.
Apple Music offers its listeners a unique look into the taste which you’ll admire. First, it has a selection of the radio stations that plays music based on the artist, genres, etc. Also, it offers Beast 1 Live radio which operates 24/7. Besides, DJ personalities such as Zane Lowe host some shows there.
Still, these DJs share playlists from their radio shows. Moreover, it invites some renowned musicians like Pharrell Williams for hosting the shows. No doubt, these are nuggets for subscribers. Apple Music also offers some generic radio stations. You can listen to classic rock, jazz, and even Top 40 hits. It has non-music channels such as ESPN and BBC News
It has a mood-based playlist and a comprehensive list of auto-generated radio stations. All these get powered by The Echo Nest’s algorithms. In my opinion, this service doesn’t offer creative discovery.
Choosing a particular artist on Spotify like Eric Clapton for instance, it brings a list of artists. It will list Gary Clark Jr, Steve Ray Vaughan, The Black Keys and more. But the focus was on Eric Clapton music. In summary, Spotify radio provides auto-curated and worthwhile listening experience. But, it doesn’t offer much outside the conventional box.
Comparing the two, Apple Music is the winner.
As a matter of fact, Spotify is available on every platform. For instance, it’s available on Roku, Android, Windows 10, iOS, and many others. With Spotify vs Apple Music with connectivity, Spotify has Spotify Connect. A technique like pushing audio to connected speakers.
Spotify Connect works with equipment from manufacturers like B&O, JBL, Libratone and many others.
Apple music depends on the AirPlay which supports music transfer from an iPhone or the iPad to a connected or stereo television. These services are available on the Apple TV, Mac, and unlikely on Android (because the AirPlay is not available there).
No doubt, it’s hard to find new music from Spotify library. But using playlists like Discover Weekly and Release Radar, it is easy to find the new music. Also, it has a 32 base genre from which you can choose tracks from. Still, it has a 20-30 selectable playlist from which you can choose new music.
The Discover Weekly feature with Spotify makes it a go for service. It’s added to your feed every Monday morning. Furthermore, it delivers a 2-hour playlist of personal music. Your recommendations base on your listening habits. Also, they consider users who listen to similar artists you love.
Tracks listed on the playlist are those which you haven’t heard before. Moreover, there will be tracks from artists you like. You can create, share and follow playlist of any kind including those shared by friends. Finally, Spotify has content and curated playlist for any mood or genre you’re in.
For Spotify vs. Apple Music discovery, Apple is a little different. Upon creating your account, you are prompted to select your favourite artists. The reason to this is because the service would like to get a sense of your taste. But, the music discovery interface of Apple is somewhat galling with a digital ball pit. Each digital ball pit represents an artist. Once you click on it, it shows the artist you like.
If you are on a mobile device, the experience is more annoying. The balls clog up the screen, and they bounce off each other making it hard to select more artists. Once you finish this process, Apple Music creates a playlist that suits your preference.
At this point, the playlist might base on a particular artist, a particular activity, or on style. The playlist gets created by a team of experts employed by Apple. Also, Apple Music’s Beast 1 Radio plays a vital role in music discovery.
If you compare the two services, I like the curated playlist of Apple as it’s from individual experts. But, the Discovery Weekly of Spotify makes it to stands out. In my opinion, it’s a tie.
Apple music vs. Spotify user views can help you on which service has the best social features. For Spotify, you can connect with friends and other users on the social media like Facebook. At this point, you’ll be able to tell the music they are listening to – in the real time.
If you use the application, you’ll be able to post your listening history on Facebook. As a result, this will give your Facebook friends a chance to like or comment. No doubt, Spotify has a solid social core.
Apple Music does not offer much apart from the Connection function. The interface of this feature lets musicians and fans interact with each other. Players can share videos and some personal information with their fans.
Moreover, it allows users to comment, share, and like artist texts. In summary, it’s same as Spotify. As the social features go, these services are equal.
Podcasts and Music Videos
Before Apple Music started to stream tracks, it had embraced podcast. But, at present, this service is supporting an ever growing library of concerts and videos. Also, it is working on TV Shows and other content to get broadcasted from Apple Music.
This service supports podcast too. Besides, it offers video content from broadcasters like BBC, The Comedy Network among others. Still, within its app, it will notify you about the nearby concert.
Should I get Apple Music or Spotify?
No doubt, both services are easy-to-use. The price is similar, and they are relatively available. Both have plenty of choices to find new tracks.
Without fear or favour, if I were to choose Spotify or Apple, I’d go for Spotify. First, the service is available on almost every platform. Second, it has more video content. Third, it offers quality sound. Finally, it has the best discovery, playlist, and social features.
Meanwhile, if you are an Apple fanatic, there is no way to convince you to the service. At this point, Spotify has the upper hand. But, the final decision will narrow down to personal preference.