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Difference Between Apple Music and Spotify

There is no denying it: Online streaming has revolutionized the way how people consume music and right at the center of all the action is the many music streaming services that have shaken the music industry for good. Spotify is the undisputed leader of the music streaming arena and competing with it is yet another big player, Apple Music among others. Both are subscription based music streaming platforms that are battling for the top spot. Let’s see how the two stand up to each other.


What is Apple Music?

Introduced in 2015, Apple Music is the Apple’s own music and video streaming service that works much like Spotify, iTunes, Beats Music, and others. It is an app that is built into the iOS and offers users up to four ways when it comes to interacting with music. The music service costs $9.99 per month if you are an individual user, but for families with up to six people, it costs $14.99 per month. Apple Music uses Apple ID to log in to the service, but you can also use it offline provided you have an Apple Music subscription.


What is Spotify?

Spotify is Swedish music streaming service headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. It first launched in 2008 as an invite-only service in selected European countries, offering free streaming of millions of tracks in exchange for listening to a few ads in between. However, the phenomenon soon gained momentum on the other side of the Atlantic and the number of songs streamed online by the users in the United States increased by a whopping 50% between 2013 and 2014. Today, Spotify is the undisputed king of the music streaming arena.


Difference between Apple Music and Spotify

Music Library

– While both are the most recognized names in the music streaming world, Spotify is the undisputed king of the on-demand music streaming service offering a compelling mix of music streaming and live radio. Spotify features a massive music library of more than 35 million songs, and couple this with the fact that it adds over 20,000 new songs every day. The library is a catalog of your saved artists, songs, albums, podcasts, and more. Apple Music is home to around 50 millions songs, which is superior to the Spotify’s figure.


– While both Apple Music and Spotify are subscription-based music streaming services, they offer a free limited trial period after which you have to pay for the services. Apple Music costs $9.99 a month for individuals and $14.99 a month for families up to a maximum of 6 users. Besides access to its massive music library, it offers offline listening when you are not connected and combines all your music in one place. Spotify subscription plan is based on two main tiers: Free and Premium. Users can enjoy all the basic features with the free plan, while to enjoy the additional features such as offline access, Spotify Connect, and more, they have to opt for the premium plan.


– Apple Music is a subscription based streaming model similar to the paid version of Spotify. However, Apple Music is ad free, whether you are streaming your favorite playlists, album, or music video, you won’t be interrupted by ads. Spotify, on the other hand, though provides access to millions of songs but you are likely to be interrupted by the annoying ads every now and then, if you go for the free plan. Spotify Premium, on the other hand, removes all the adverts from the tracks so that you can enjoy a smooth, ad-free listening experience.

Streaming Quality

– The sound quality on Apple Music is slightly better than Spotify, thanks to Apple Music using a 256 kbps AAC bitrate and it switches automatically to adaptive streaming techniques when streaming over cellular network. Spotify, on the other hand, uses Ogg Vorbis format with 160 kbps bitrate on your computer by default. But you can always opt for the high quality streaming option which max out to 320 kbps, which of course, is reserved for the paid subscribers. If you choose to listen on the web player or via Chromecast instead, you get a 128 kbps bitrate in AAC for free users and 256 kbps for the premium users.

User Interface

– Being the Apple’s dedicated music streaming service, Apple Music’s mobile interface is pretty intuitive featuring a neat look complimented by a menu-led approach. Spotify is all black across its apps. Coming to the music player, both the interfaces did a good job highlighting their cover arts. Apple Music however, chooses a white color scheme, while Spotify goes all dark with its dark theme. Spotify offers better functionality though, with more options accessible from the player itself. Apple Music, on the other hand, is inspired by the Google’s Material Design. The discovery feature in Spotify is truly amazing for a quality user experience.

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Comparison Chart


Summary of Apple Music vs. Spotify

Spotify has a committed fan base and a huge number of Spotify blogs, services, and apps can actually help you make the most of Spotify while Spotify itself is busy on what it does best: delivering music to you. Spotify has shaken up the music industry pretty good, revolutionizing the way we listen to music like never before. Well, Apple Music has also made some serious strides, thanks to its extensive music library of over 50 million songs, its new discovery playlists, its intuitive user interface, and more. If you don’t want to go premium, Spotify reigns supreme in the free model. If you want solid integration with Apple devices, then Apple Music is your only option. Besides that, both are subscription based music streaming services that help you experience music like never before.


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1 Comment

  1. This is a biased, poorly written comparison.

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References :

[0]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/iphone-apple-music-music-mobile-1168505/

[1]Image credit: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spotify_logo_with_text.svg

[2]Gilmour, Kim. Spotify for Dummies. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print

[3]Breen Christopher. The iPod & iTunes Pocket Guide. Berkeley: Peachpit Press, 2005. Print

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