Spotify is the biggest service of its kind but Apple Music offers exclusive releases, so we thought we should help you decide
Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Apple Music and Swedish music streaming service Spotify are without a doubt the two biggest players in the online music market. Spotify boasts 55 million users with more than 20 million paid subscribers to the service. Apple Music, on the other hand, racked up 13 million paid users in April earlier this year, and both services offer monthly subscription for $9.99. Both services have their merits and unique selling points, so let’s evaluate them and try to reach an unbiased, fair decision (as if!)
Spotify’s biggest merit over Apple Music is its free offering. It offers users the chance to use the service on desktop as well as mobile without paying a subscription fee, but naturally, it withholds some features like unlimited skips and having your playlists available offline. Still, a free Spotify account allows the user to stream his music from Spotify’s library that contains more than 30 million tracks, with some limitations that do not feel out of place for a free account.
Apple Music’s biggest selling points over Spotify is its celebrity endorsement and exclusive releases. The biggest example of which is one of the most influential artist of today’s pop culture, Taylor Swift. It deals other streaming services a deathly blow to see that Taylor Swift’s music is available exclusively on Apple Music, and looking at her huge fan following, subscribing to Apple Music doesn’t seem too bad if you can listen to your favorite artist wherever and whenever you want to.
Another point that gives Apple Music a leg-up over Spotify, is its integration of the iTunes library. Many of us have a lot of our music on iTunes as it is a major player in the music industry today, and Apple Music is the service, not Spotify, that gives the user streamlined access to personal iTunes library as well as the iTunes streaming library.
Both Spotify and Apple Music offer the chance for the user to discover music from their 30 million plus track library. Apple Music’s curation of playlists is done by its team of experts, according to Apple, and its Beats 1 radio is another jewel in Apple Music’s crown. On the other hand, Spotify also features a variety of playlists that cater to a listener’s interests, as well as other genre-based playlists like Jazz, R&B, Pop etc. Spotify also includes its radio service based on genre but Apple Music’s offering is much more streamlined.
Spotify’s radio lacks behind not only Apple when it comes to radio, but other services as well like Pandora. Plus, it is one area where Apple reigns supreme with its expert-handled radio division easily trumping other competitors through sheer force and quality. As we move towards the individual experience of using both services and their apps, we come to find that Apple Music is nothing of an absolute mess when it comes to user interface. Fortunately for Spotify, this is one area where the Sweden-based service excels. Apple hopes to right that wrong soon though, with the iOS 10 update bringing wholesale changes to Apple Music.
In conclusion, both Apple Music and Spotify have their merits and demerits and both have reasons for developing a loyal user base that thrives off their offerings. However, in our opinion, Spotify holds the trump card in the face of its ad-based free service. 55 million users listen to their favorite artists and Spotify’s playlists by virtue of its free service, and it is there that Spotify hopes to convince users to move to a paid account. Apple Music doesn’t offer a free tier, but its family account options make it easier to run multiple accounts for a minimal fee. Spotify’s free account is unmatched though, and it takes the cake for our preferred streaming service.