Spotify or Apple?
If you’re a music lover or listen to music during your daily routine, you probably have a music streaming service. Spotify and Apple have paved their way as the top music streaming services with loyal customers on both services. The Spotify vs. Apple debacle seems just as intense as the iPhone vs. Andriod feud. Whether Spotify or Apple, users seem to have developed an unwavering loyalty towards their preference.
If you’re just now hopping on the music streaming service bandwagon, here is some insight. Today, I want to tackle this debate on a completely unbiased standpoint. We’ll take a look at the two services, provide the benefits and weigh the cons. Then you’ll be to decide for yourself which music streaming service is right for you. Let’s break it down to some important factors to consider when choosing.
When it comes to their pricing model, it is almost relatively the same. Both companies offer $9.99/ month for premium, $14.99/month for a family plan(up to 6 people), and $4.99/month for students. Spotify has changed the game by including Hulu and Showtime with the student pricing plan. So if you’re a student, this might be the better deal for you; a music streaming service and two tv streaming services, what a deal! With Spotify, you get a 30-day free trial with their premium service, while Apple offers a 3-month free trial. An advantage that Apple Music has with their pricing is that they offer a $99/year plan for a single subscription, which equates to about $8.25/month. You can save about $20/year if you decide to follow up with this plan.
Spotify claims to have over 35 million songs in their library for users to listen to, while Apple claims to have over 45 million. When it comes to size and collection of songs, Apple Music takes the cake for this category.
Let’s take a look at sound quality. Spotify offers an Ogg Vorbis format where you can choose which bitrate to stream in increments of 96kbps, 160kbps, and 320kbps. This is a great option for users who want to save on data on their cellular device. Apple streams at 256kbps, which is slightly better quality than Spotify’s 320kbps. But unless you’re an audiophile, most people can’t tell the difference.
Spotify puts a cap on the number of songs you can have in your library at 10,000 while Apple has a 100,000 limit. Again, if you’re a huge music lover and have a vast music library, Apple might be the one for you.
When it comes to streaming music on devices, Spotify is more open and device friendly. It is available for PC, Mac, Samsung Gear, Amazon devices, Alexa integration, Playstation, Smart TVs, Roku, etc. Spotify also has a web player that allows you to switch between devices seamlessly. Apple music is more restricted; it’s compatible with PC and Mac but requires the presence of iTunes. Apple has fewer devices you can access your music. It is generally only compatible with other Apple products like Apple TV, Apple Carplay, Apple Watch, and Homepod(another Apple product).
One feature I love about music streaming services are curated playlists. Spotify offers 6 Daily Mixes, Release Radar, and Discover Weekly based on your music preferences. These playlists constantly update each week to help you discover new artists and enjoy your favorite ones. At the end of the year, Spotify also creates a “Your Top Songs of the Year” playlist along with “Tastebreakers” which is a playlist of “songs or genres that you don’t normally listen to, but we think you’ll enjoy.” Apple Music has upped their game this year by adding a Favorites Mix and New Music Mix but nearly doesn’t compare to the number of personalized playlists Spotify has to offer.
The ability to share your favorite music with friends and family is an important feature I like to take note of. Spotify has Facebook integration that allows you to keep up with your friends’ listening habits and send links to songs effortlessly. Spotify’s web player also keeps you up to date with the songs your friends are currently listening to on the right side of the player. On top of that, Spotify allows you to follow playlists made by any Spotify user, while Apple doesn’t. Spotify’s collaborative playlist feature allows you and friends to add songs to the same playlist. Apple has included some social integration by including friends’ icons next to the albums their listening to.
So now that we’ve assessed some important features of Spotify and Apple, which do you prefer? If you’re a social butterfly and want to know what your friends are listening to constantly, maybe you should go with Spotify. If you’re a music hoarder and want to have an impressive and extensive library, maybe Apple music is right for you. It’s all based on your personal preferences and which features you hold to a higher standard than another. Either way, keep calm and rock on, music lovers.
By: Wendy Wang