Spotify Vs Apple Music: What’s The Best Music Streaming Service
They’re both good streaming music services, but which is better? We find out.
Spotify and Apple Music are the two biggest players when it comes to music streaming services. Both companies offer more songs than you could listen to in a lifetime, available to stream or download on almost any device.
But choosing between Spotify and Apple Music is no small task. We’ve compared the key features of each service below to make the decision as easy as possible.
Best Music Streaming Service For 2021
With new features like podcasts and spatial music, competition between Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music is keener than ever.
Despite the talk of a vinyl resurgence, streaming is still the most convenient and popular way to listen to your favorite songs. Streaming can sound great too, especially on services that include lossless and spatial Dolby Atmos audio.
There are a lot of different music services to choose from, and considerations such as the monthly cost and even compatibility vary quite a bit. Though prices have been more stable than with live TV streaming — with most costing $10 a month — there have been some big changes recently, especially as most now offer lossless audio for no extra charge. Most of the offerings have music catalogs of over 60 million songs, and let you stream from your phone, computer or other device, though each has its own unique pros and cons.
I’ve checked out the biggest names, including Spotify, Apple Music, , and YouTube Music, as well smaller contenders like Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer and Pandora Premium to see how each platform stacks up for your subscription buck. It’s worth noting that in this roundup I’ve purposefully left out services which can only play music in a radio format and don’t allow you to select your own songs. Streaming should be about choice, for example, people do want to be able to listen to whole albums at a stretch!
Services typically charge $10 a month and don’t have a contract,
What Devices Can You Use It On
Spotify’s strength is that it’s available on practically any device you could think of, regardless of whether they have a screen or they’re a smart speaker like Nest Audio or Amazon Echo.
- Amazon Fire tablets
- Many smart TV platforms – LG, Samsung, Roku, Apple TV and Android TV
- Garmin watches – some models offer offline Spotify music playback
- Apple Watch – streaming only, no offline playback
If your TV supports casting/chromecast you’ll often find you can also play music through it using Spotify Connect, which allows you to control other devices playing your Spotify account from any Spotify app logged into the same account. It’s pretty clever.
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Apple Music Vs Spotify: Availability
Both services have worked on widening their availability in recent years. In addition to the expected devices like phones, tablets, PCs and Macs, Spotify content can be played via your games consoles. That goes for the most recent PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, as well as older consoles like the Xbox One series and the PS4. Early in 2021 Spotify also launched the Car Thing, a small touchscreen device you can install in any car to play music and podcasts from.
Apple Music has its own automative solution in Apple CarPlay, though this needs to be built-in to the car itself you cant just add CarPlay to any old clunker. Still, Apple Music also claims an impressive breadth of supportive devices, from the Apple HomePod and HomePod mini to the Apple TV 4K and Apple Watch.
Spotify also works on smartwatches ranging from Fitbit and Garmin models to more fashion-minded Samsung and Google Wear OS wearables. Its getting better in this regard too, as Spotify is getting offline listening on Wear OS devices as well as the Apple Watch.
Either way youre spoiled for choice, through thanks to its bonus games console support, Spotify edges this one. You could perhaps also call it a negative that Apple Music lossless won’t work with a lot of headphones and speakers, though that will eventually be true of Spotify HiFi as well.
Apple One Apple Watch App And Music Library
Three things will keep me using Apple Music over Spotify and, for me, they are a pretty big deal.
Starting with Apple One, I think is more convenient to pay one subscription for a lot of services rather than paying only Spotify for one service. With the Apple One Family plan, I have 200GB of iCloud storage, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and Apple Music, and I can share all of these services with my family. For $19.95 a month, I have way more benefits instead of paying $9.99 per month for Spotify individual plan or $16.99 for a family subscription that only includes the music service.
Another big deal is the Apple Watch app. Im used to exercising without my iPhone nearby and the Apple Music app is way more useful. I can easily select my playlists and search among all the artists, albums, and songs that I have. I can even download playlists and albums for offline listening, which is currently unavailable on the Spotify Apple Watch app.
I also found the Spotify app a bit clunky. After two years without offering an Apple Watch app, Spotify still needs to make some improvements over its recently-launch app.
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I Switched From Spotify To Apple Music For 1 Month Heres What Happened
About a month ago, I decided to leave Spotify and start using Apple Music. Here’s what happened and why I’m sticking with Apple Music for good.
After years and years of being a loyal Spotify user, this writer recently ditched the service and migrated to one of its fiercest competitors Apple Music. That’s a decision that didn’t come lightly. Spotify has access to almost every song imaginable, tons of exclusive playlists to discover new favorites, and offers some of the best personalization features compared to any of its competitors. Pair that with a functional app and availability on virtually every smart device, and there’s little reason to outright hate Spotify.
But that’s not to say the experience is perfect. Throughout those years of using Spotify day after day, certain things have become regular annoyances. Take podcasts, for example. In recent years, Spotify’s pushed to be just as big a player in the podcast space as it is for music. That’s resulted in podcasts becoming increasingly prevalent when using the app. As someone that exclusively uses Spotify for music, it makes the whole thing feel bloated, messy, and unorganized. Similarly, the business side of Spotify’s podcast operations hasn’t always been fun to watch. Whether it’s making podcasts exclusive to its app or paying $100 million for a show whose host creates distrust around life-saving vaccines, giving money to a company like that doesn’t always feel the best.
Who Offers Better Features
Spotify certainly has the upper hand in terms of stream quality and with third party music integration, Playstation compatibility and Spotifys tried and true algorithm, it sure isnt short on extra features that sweeten the pot.
Conversely, the extra features of Apple Music do a lot to set it apart from a sea of bare-bones services. With flashy additions like Siri integration and Apple Music Connect, there is no doubt Apple is banking on these features to sell subscriptions.
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Can You Listen For Free
You can try out either service for free. Spotify offers a one-month free trial while Apple Music stretches it out to three months. Still, when that trial ends, Spotify is the only service that lets you keep listening for free on its ad-supported tier.
Listening to ad-supported Spotify means:
- Adverts appear in the app and play after every few songs.
- It’s not possible to download music for offline listening.
- Mobile users can only listen in shuffle mode, with six skips per day.
Music Lockers: Your Mp3s In The Cloud
Amazon was one of the first services to offer uploading your MP3 collection into the cloud, but this was officially discontinued in 2018. Meanwhile, the Apple and Google services listed either allow you to combine your personal music collection with the streaming catalog, though tagging and organization can be a time-consuming challenge . Still, if you’ve invested money in digital music over the years, those two services offer a patch to continue enjoying that music online.
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Spotify Vs Amazon Music: Sound Quality
Amazon Music offers decent quality music. Amazon has not notoriously disclosed its bitrates yet, but it’s at par with 320 kbps of Spotify. Amazon flourishes in the audio department with HD and Ultra HD settings that allow up to 850 kbps and 3730 kbps, respectively.
Spotify competes for head to head with Amazon and provides utmost audio quality up to 320kbps. Free users can only enjoy up to 256kbps. Much like Amazon, Spotify also comes with five different audio settings to manually adjust in the settings. All five modes are displayed below in the chart.
Speakers And Voice Assistants Compatibility
As an Apple Music subscriber, you can use Siri as a personal DJ to control song playback, queue up songs, find song facts, add songs to your library, play your favorite playlists, or even play something new. This is a big advantage Apple Music has over Spotify, which requires a more complicated solution using Siri Shortcuts to get Siri to play nice with the Spotify app, and even then it lacks many equivalent features.
Apple’s HomePod speaker is essentially made to be used in conjunction with Apple Music. In fact, one of the main reasons for Siri on HomePod is to control your Apple Music collection. There are Siri voice commands for accessing content like playlists, genres, moods, liking or disliking songs, playing more music based on something you’ve heard, starting a new radio station, and much more. None of these functions will work with a Spotify subscription — you can stream audio to HomePod from a device running the Spotify app, but that’s it.
On the plus side, Spotify supports lots of different third-party devices, from game consoles to smart speakers. And if you own an Amazon Alexa-enabled speaker you can link it to both Apple Music and Spotify, but check your region first as support can vary depending on where you live.
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Verdict: Which Is More Worth It
For the same price point, youre likely to get more out of a Spotify subscription. You get access to Spotifys entire content library, with no cap on the number of songs youre allowed to save. Aside from offering more plan options, such as Premium Duo, you also get access to additional streaming services like Spotify Kids, Hulu, and SHOWTIME.
If you have kids, youre on a tight budget, or just want to make the most of your money, Spotify is a good way to go.
However, Apple Musics lossless and spatial audio offering is a deal no one should shrug off. For anyone who values listening to high-quality music above any extra perks, Apple Music triumphs over Spotify.
The Discover Weekly And Release Radar Features Are Amazing
The Discover Weekly feature uses data from the music you normally stream and makes a playlist of songs for you that you may like. It is updated every week so you can easily discover new music, kind of like the Daily Mix. Also, do you struggle with knowing when your favorite artists release new music? With Spotifys Release Radar feature you are notified when your favorite artists that you listen to release new music. The Release Radar is also updated every Friday with music from artists you listen to and also just new music that has been released in the past week.
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Social Sharing Is A Win For Apple Music
Spotify codes can be scanned with the camera to share playlists.
Both services let you follow your favorite artists to keep up to date with their posts and latest releases.
You can also follow friends. On Spotify, you can see what song your pals are listening to in real-time on the desktop app.
Spotify Codes are a way to share tracks, albums and playlists among friends. It’s kind of like a custom QR code that you can scan with the camera in Spotify if you’re listening in the same location, or share through messages if you’re apart.
Many popular musicians seem to be more active in posting updates on Apple Music and it’s easier to find that content than it is on Spotify.
Naturally, you can also follow your friends and see what they’re up to across both platforms. While it’s much easier to find profiles on Apple Music than it is on Spotify, you do have to already have your friends in your contacts list to follow them.
Spotify has Group Sessions that lets two or more Premium subscribers control music playback and collaborate on a shared playlist.
Winner: Apple Music
Apple Wins The Cloud Game But What About Device Support
In terms of pure volume, Spotify wins the device support competition pretty handily. Spotify has apps basically anywhere you can get apps, from Android and iOS to smart speakers, smart TVs and even the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It’s hard to beat ubiquity.
Apple Music is no slouch in that regard, either, as it’s available on Android and Windows PCs as well as Apple devices. Since Apple’s hardware and software ecosystem is one big, happy family, Apple Music will work well for people who own and religiously use multiple Apple devices.
If you have an iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and HomePod, you might as well keep it in the family and use Apple Music with them.
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Spotify Helps You Discover New Music Based On What You Already Listen To
Something unique about Spotify is that it compiles all the music you listen to and creates personalized playlists for you based on your music taste. Spotify will introduce you to similar artists that you may like, thus expanding what you listen to. Spotifys system will take all the artists and songs you listen to regularly and combine them into playlists you may like e.g. Daily Mix 1, 2, 3, etc.
Apple Music Vs Spotify: Comparing The Top Music Streaming Services
Here’s how to choose between the biggest names in music streaming based on price, catalog, features and more.
Apple Music and Spotify are the two biggest names in music streaming. They have the same monthly subscription fee so it can be tricky to know which one best suits your needs. Do you want lossless and spatial audio support? Apple Music is the one. Love podcasts and want a smart music player for your car? Spotify is your jam.
Part of the choice also comes down to how you listen. If you’re enjoying music at home smart speaker support is key, but music discovery and stream quality can be as important for keen music lovers. This comparison is updated periodically with new information.
Subscriptions And Price Plans Similar
An individual Apple Music subscription costs $9.99 per month in the United States, with slight price variations in other countries and territories. Likewise, an individual Spotify subscription or “Premium” plan costs $9.99 per month, with some regional variations. In addition to its paid plan, Spotify also offers a free ad-supported service that allows users to shuffle-play songs, although premium features remain off limits.
Both services offer student and family plans for $4.99 per month and $14.99 per month, respectively. Spotify’s student offering currently includes additional access to an ad-supported Hulu TV plan and unlimited access to the SHOWTIME streaming service. Apple Music and Spotify family plans meanwhile are very similar. Up to six people can access the services using a personal account for each family member, with the exception that Apple Music members can also share iTunes purchases in addition to catalog content. Apple Music does, however, require all family members to use the same credit card for App Store purchases.
Both Apple Music and Spotify memberships automatically renew each month, but you can cancel renewal at any time and your subscription will run out at the end of your current billing cycle. A canceled Spotify premium subscription reverts your account to the free, ad-supported service at the end of the current billing cycle.
Apple Music Vs Spotify: Which One
If you’re just looking for a free music streaming service and you don’t mind ads, Spotify is the obvious choice. However if you’re willing to pay, choosing between Apple Music and Spotify gets tricky. If you’re already invested in the Apple ecosystem then the decision should be easier, given Apple Music’s hardware integration and its ability to import your existing iTunes music library. But if these aren’t considerations, Spotify is certainly a strong alternative, thanks to its excellent music discovery and personalization features.
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Spotify Integrates Better With Third
Although Spotify does not have built-in workout functions any longer, if you connect it to other applications, Spotify will curate workout playlists for you based on your preferred workout. Spotify connects better with more third-party apps so they can provide playlists that can even match how fast a person is running or walking.