Apple Music vs Spotify: A Comparative Guide

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In 2019, Apple Music exceeded Spotify’s subscriber count of 26 million with an impressive 28 million subscribers. These numbers only reflect subscribers located in the US alone!

With so many people hooked on these two massive platforms, it’s easy to wonder which is better, Apple Music or Spotify?

Does one platform outperform another with specific features and if so, what are these features?

The comparison between Apple Music vs Spotify reveals what subscribers are truly looking for in a platform and how that platform delivers.

Apple Music vs Spotify At Glance

One basic distinction between these platforms is that Apple Music is connected to former Apple music platform iTunes. In contrast to its music streaming counterparts, iTunes was built for purchasing music.

By association, Apple Music still encourages the idea of paid music since it doesn’t offer a “free with ads” subscription like Spotify.

In contrast, Spotify simply allows you to stream and listen to music at no cost, unless you want to get rid of ads and upgrade to other premium features.

For some users, the sheer size of each platform’s song library is a significant determining factor.

In this case, it’s a number’s game. While Spotify offers more than 50 million songs in its catalog, Apple Music boasts 10 million more songs in its library.

If you’re one of those music fans who wants exclusive bonus music tracks from their favorite artists, Apple Music may be the best platform for you. It’s been known to strike deals with artists so that Apple Music becomes the only exclusive platform to feature their content.

Music Personalization and Discovery

The ability to have personalized music and discover new music that fits your taste is a perk that most music platforms attempt to provide.

Spotify is most notable for this feature and offers playlists such as Discover Weekly and Release Radar help users navigate new tastes and recently added tracks.

While Discover Weekly exposes users to any track outside of their inner circle, Release Radar allows users to see new releases that fit their tastes.

Since Spotify claims that it adds more than 40,000 new songs every day, a playlist to navigate all these tracks comes in handy.

The “best” music platform isn’t always determined by superior algorithm performance. Apple Music boasts that it offers playlists curated by live DJs, which gives it a more intuitive edge in the song selection process.

Live DJs know the music scene better than any algorithm so you may find better playlists from these DJs. Apple music also has live radio 24 hours a day.

Cost

Apple Music and Spotify both offer subscriptions for $10 a month. While these costs are fairly reasonable, the free trial periods are also generous

You have a 3-month free trial before you have to learn how to cancel Apple Music if you so choose. During this time, you can test out features and see how the service performs on all your devices.

With Spotify, you’ll only get 2 months free with a Premium membership trial. However, Spotify does have a significant marketing advantage over Apple Music because it lets you listen to music on a “completely free with ads” basis.

You won’t be charged a penny, but you will have to contend with ads constantly. This ultimately drives listeners towards the Spotify Premium membership.

Apple Music doesn’t have this same entry-level free option. So, if you want to use the platform at all, a paid subscription is definitely required.

Some free trials and subscription perks are also available through phone services. When you partner with AT&T you can get an included Spotify subscription.

Family plans are also available with each platform and they allow up to 6 users at a time on each account.

Usability

When it comes to streaming music, usability and overall user friendliness can make or break the listening experience.

For subscribers, especially paying subscribers, the ability to play your music wherever you want and however you want contributes to this usability factor.

Apple Music has demonstrated a monstrous ability to provide its users with millions of songs in a library that simply tops Spotify’s.

Added to this, Apple Music allows you to download a whopping 100,000 songs at time. Not only is this wide range available, but you can also download this number of songs on 10 separate devices. Note that Apple Music welcomes iOS and Android or PC users alike so you have your pick of devices for download.

Spotify still maintains an impressive downloading library capacity at 10,000 songs. However, this is significantly less space. You’re also limited to half the number of devices for download than Apple Music. The usability features for Apple vs. Spotify are, therefore, slightly superior.

Most consumers likely require just three devices such as a phone, laptop and perhaps a smart TV for downloading songs. However, the 10 devices for download capacity accommodates subscribers with multiple users on their account.

If you have a family plan subscription, each user may want to download on more than one device. More space simply means it’s easier to download on multiple devices without having to worry about reaching capacity.

Social Features

Friends Weekly is one Spotify feature devoted to social engagement. It functions as a playlist that you follow to see the tracks most recently played by your friends.

This makes it easier to keep with your friends’ activity. Previously, users could visit their friends’ profiles and look at the Discover Playlists if their friends made the playlists public.

However, the Friends Weekly playlist consolidates all your friends’ recently played music in one place and updates regularly.

Apple Music’s social features don’t exactly measure up to Spotify’s social features. The platform simply encourages you to create a profile to make yourself discoverable by your friends. After doing this and connecting with your friends, you can see their played tracks.

Integrations

Apple allows you to integrate iTunes, which means that any previous music library you’ve had through Apple can be imported to your Apple Music library.

Spotify also offers integration beyond the traditional phone, computer, tablet, or T.V. For instance, you can stream Spotify from gaming consoles and smart speakers. Apple Music does not include this ability, largely because it’s such a niche platform.

Spotify also exclusively integrates with Google Cast. However, both Apple Music and Spotify may be integrated with voice control devices such as Amazon’s Alexa.

Apple Music vs Spotify

When it comes to Apple Music vs Spotify, you should choose each platform based on the features you enjoy the most.

Overall, Apple Music is a platform that’s built to capture the spirit of the music scene through its live features and exclusive fan access. However, Spotify simplifies the process of sharing, navigating and exploring music all in one place.

Know which one’s right for you yet? Feel free to look at some more tech content for other guides on platforms and gadgets!

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