Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which Music App Is Better?
Suppose you are stuck between opting for an Apple Music or Spotify paid plan. Well, you’re in luck because, in this guide, I will discuss the benefits and disadvantages of both digital music streaming platforms, thereby helping you save money and make the best purchasing decision.
Music is such a massive part of our lives that it’s almost impossible to cope with the ups and downs of our modern society without it. Tasks like cooking or laundering get easier and faster with our favorite songs playing on the home speakers. A good playlist makes a long flight seem short. And when you have to wait for a friend in a public space, you’ll never feel lonely with good songs and an earpiece.
Instead of buying a CD for $13.79, you can stream your favorite songs by subscribing to a streaming service as low as $4.99. Streaming platforms don’t just give you access to millions of artists’ catalogs; they also offer a personalized and curated music experience. How many times have you had to switch CDs because your mood changed? There are curated playlists dedicated to each mood and mental state with streaming services.
Apple Music is the primary music and video streaming platform for iPhone and Mac users. However, Android users can access Apple Music services by downloading the Google Play Store app.
This streaming platform is trendy for its expert-curated playlists and free radio service. Instead of banking on machine recommendations, Apple employs experts to curate its playlists.
Over the six years, old DSP boasts of broadcast stations hosted by “the most respected names in music” like Morgan Wallen, Pat Green, Willie Jones, Luke Bryan, etc. These broadcast stations include Apple Music 1, Apple Music Country, and Apple Music Hits.
Aside from official radio channels, listeners can also create custom stations by choosing from the vast music catalogs accessible on the streaming platform. The Apple Music radio station is the best go-to if you want to discover new music. You can save the aired songs on the go without halting your radio experience.
When you mention Apple Music, the first thing that comes to mind is music streaming, but the behemoth DSP also ventured into video streaming and original video productions. Its myriad of exclusive video shows includes Vital Signs, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Planet of the Apps, amongst many others.
Apple Music users also get exclusive music videos once in a while. In 2015, Apple Music exclusively streamed the music video for “Hotline Bling” (by Drake). So also, Taylor Swift’s tour documentary titled The 1989 World Tour Live.
Apple Music is very popular for doling out exclusive music content to its users. For instance, they signed a deal with Frank Ocean which gave them the license to stream his album, Endless, on its platform.
They almost got Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, to drop his eleventh studio album, Donda 2, for about a hundred million dollars. The deal fell through because both parties could not reach a feasible agreement.
So yeah, if you want the exclusives, Apple Music is invested in offering a unique user experience for their users, and they would go as far as shelling hundreds of millions to do that.
How extensive is Apple’s music library?
With over 90 million ad-free songs available on Apple Music, there is possible to max out the music-library limit.
Apple Music lets premium users (unlike free users) stream music and download it for offline usage. While many people won’t have to bother about that, it’s safe to enquire about the limits of the Apple Music library.
According to an Apple Inc report, no user can have more than 100,000 songs in their music Libraries. However, you should note that your memory storage is also a limiting factor. Every 100 songs saved on your music library takes up 1GB of your phone storage.
Going by that logic, 6,400 songs would take 64GB. To successfully max out your 100,000 song limit per your music library on Apple Music, you need at least 1TB of storage. That’s probably too much for many people.
How much does Apple Music cost?
You don’t need an Apple Music subscription to access its radio station services. However, you will need to subscribe to Apple Music to enjoy premium features such as access to its 90 million songs and videos, spatial audio, HiFi lossless audio, sync with Apple devices or services, playlisting, custom radio channels, and more.
You can sign up for only Apple Music and get a free 3-month trial as a new user. Below are the pricing options available at Apple Music:
- $4.99 every month for college students through ID verification and school email.
- $9.99 monthly for individual users.
- $14.99 per month for a family of six.
You can either pay monthly or purchase a one-year license. Apple Music won’t need your approval to renew your monthly payment; hence you need to proactively cancel the payment if you are no longer interested in the streaming service.
Browsing for discounted iTunes gift cards is the bee’s knees for people interested in the free or discounted stuff. That’s been a problematic venture since Apple launched the unified gift cards.
Another way to save money on your Apple Music subscription is by purchasing an Apple One bundle. An Apple One bundle packs three Apple services in one tier, namely Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV+, and iCloud music library.
You will save $6 every month by opting for the Apple One bundle instead of purchasing the three services independently. The most used hack among teens is getting a group of friends or colleagues interested in joining your family plan. Then, every member can save 44.95 on every purchase.
Exclusive benefits of Apple Music
As stated earlier, Apple Music is keen on creating a unique music experience for its listeners. In the past, they have acquired the right to house exclusive album releases from artists like Drake, Frank Ocean, Future, Taylor Swift, and Britney Spears.
If you are an audiophile who cherishes immersive music experience, Apple Music is your best go-to for lossless audio, spatial audio, and Dolby Atmos. This feature puts you in a “musical trance” and recreates the near-studio feel experienced by the actual creators during production. There used to be a time when Apple Music artists could connect with fans using the Apple Music Connect feature, but Apple discontinued the part probably due to low user turnout.
The Apple Music software lets users control the type of songs shown on their listen now tab. By interacting with the system by liking, disliking, or saving songs to the music library, you can help the Apple Music algorithm understand your music preference.
Currently played songs can be fast-forwarded, back-forwarded, or skipped using the icons on the “now playing” bar.
To discover more music from your favorite artists, you can search for their stage names or song title using the search bar. Clicking on their artist’s name in the search result would take you to their artist page, where you can binge their songs and learn more about them in the bio section.
Five primary tabs exist on the front end of the Apple Music app, namely “Listen Now,” “Library,” “Radio,” “Browse,” and “Search.” An Apple Music offer comes with lossless and spatial audio (a type of format with high audio quality), shuffle mode, the ability to sync downloaded music from iTunes with Apple Music, and other Apple Music features.
Listeners can access their yearly data via the Replay feature on the “Listen Now” tab. You can view your most played songs, artists, and records with this feature.
Spotify is an audio-only streaming platform, unlike Apple Music, which features excellent audio quality and video content. The Spotify app is accessible to both Spotify and iPhone users.
Available in over 184 markets, Spotify attracts more users than Apple Music partly because of its freemium subscription model. You either pay for an ad-free music experience or endure the ads-filled music experience with little control.
Free tier users can’t skip songs or access the latest songs from top artists for about two weeks before release. To fully enjoy the Spotify streaming service, you need to opt for their paid subscription.
Before, it was impossible to access your Spotify services using Siri commands, but that changed in 2019 after a series of lawsuits and public accusations from Spotify. Spotify gives artists and fans great control over the way their streaming services are being consumed.
Although Apple product users can download music on the iTunes app and sync the downloads with their Apple Music service at no extra cost, Spotify users have no choice but to stream songs without purchasing audio downloads continually. Pre-2013, Spotify had an option to buy pieces but removed them for unknown reasons.
Two of Spotify’s greatest assets are its advanced algorithm-driven recommendation system dubbed BART and its playlisting community. The playlisting community on Spotify is so big that there are independent services that offer playlist inclusion for a fee, even though such practices go against Spotify guidelines.
The best algorithm is designed to solve the cold start problem (a problem caused by a lack of data on a new user) and help users discover new music quickly.
Apple Music’s algorithm is not as advanced as Spotify’s algorithm. Its ‘stations for Spotify’ service are nowhere as rated compared to the Apple Music radio stations. Spotify radio station service is not available to users outside the United States.
Custom radio stations (as opposed to a traditional radio station) are created for users based on the songs they like. Still, there is no option to dislike a song (as discussed under the Apple Music review). Users automatically unlock the “My Favorites” when they like 15 of the songs on a radio station.
This radio service won’t be around for long as Spotify notified the public that they would shut it down on May 16, 2022. The Swedish streaming company maintained that users with “Stations by Spotify” accounts would be given a chance to move their stations into Spotify.
How Big is the Spotify music library
Spotify has 8 million songs less than Apple Music, but it makes up for what it lacks in music records in podcasts. Spotify has been expanding into the podcast niche since two years ago. It splurged out 200 million dollars to keep the Joe Rogan Experience podcast exclusively on its platform.
It also signed an exclusive deal with Barack and Michelle Obama, the ex-president and first lady of the United States. Spotify has over 3 million active podcasts, 2.5 million more than Apple Music.
Pre-2020, Spotify users could not add more than 10,000 songs to the music libraries. However, this cap was removed, leading to an unlimited number of songs you can add to your Spotify music library instead of Apple Music’s 100,000 caps.
While many users would probably not care about this feature, DJs, playlist curators, and music curators should care because they browse for music more than the average listener.
How much does it cost?
Spotify offers a free three-month trial for its plan like Apple Music, and its service is accessible to unpaid subscribers. However, the free version has many restrictions and will be bombarded with ads from time to time. It is a usual practice for colleagues and friends to share the same Spotify family plan, but the Swedish platform is cracking down on the course and ensuring all six members using this plan share the same address.
With any premium Spotify subscription, you can completely get rid of the ads, download songs for offline use, and skip songs you don’t like. These basic features are missing from the free plan. Below are the pricing options available on Spotify:
- $4.99 every month for students with means of verification and school email. This package caters to Hulu (ad-supported) plan, SHOWTIME access, and unlimited ad-free music streaming services. If you are new to Spotify paid plan, you will be given one free month trial.
- $9.99 per month for the “Individual” plan. It comes with a three months free trial.
- $12.99 monthly for the “Duo.” This plan works best for couples, and it comes with a one-month free trial for users who have not bought a Spotify premium subscription before.
- $15.99 monthly for a family of six. Exclusive Features of this app include censoring explicit lyrics and designating a separate app just for kids.
Spotify is designed to bring new music to your attention. Its Bart algorithm is efficient in satisfying your music needs. If you just stumbled into an indie band on the Release Radar playlist (or Discover Weekly), and you want to discover more related artists, you must go to the artist page. You will see more recommendations at the bottom of the page.
The only platform you can get an up-to-date Joe Rogan podcast is Spotify. If you are really into podcasts, Spotify is the best option because the streaming giant is interested in the podcast niche.
Internet connection is an essential factor for streaming to be possible. Spotify has a low-data mode that requires less internet connection and caches audio if your mobile phone loses signal.
Some would argue that CD quality is better than streaming quality. However, with advanced multimedia frameworks like Ogg Vorbis format, spatial audio, and lossless audio, music discovery via streaming platforms like Spotify and apple music will improve.
When it comes to interactive user experience, Spotify is the clear winner. Spotify has a friendly user interface and an algorithm whose essence is to recommend the best type of songs for every mood. With the aid of your data, the Spotify music streaming platform and its algorithm will bring you the best songs.
The data uses include your listening habits, the number of times you play music, listening history, listening preferences, songs saved to the Spotify library, including offline listening habits. While Spotify may not have a gadget ecosystem like Apple Music, it is compatible with the home pod, computers, voice-activated car gadgets, or mobile phones.
Virtual assistant feature
To rival Apple’s Siri, Spotify created its voice assistant, which is activated by saying the keyword, Hey Spotify. The functions attainable using this virtual assistant include creating or removing custom playlists, starting or pausing songs on Discover Weekly, and creating broadcast stations. May 2019 saw the initial entry of Spotify into hardware manufacturing.
The first gadget introduced by Spotify is the Car Thing. Car thing offers music, news, entertainment, podcast, and talks, but it requires an extra fee.
Instead of streaming music from your phone, you can also stream directly from your speaker or music system using Spotify connect. Also, in a case where you left your phone in your bedroom and you are in your working space, you can always play music from your Spotify desktop app.
Apple Music is well-designed for people deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem (Siri, airplay, iCloud, iTunes library, Apple TV, apple car play, apple homepod, apple watch, MacBook).
Although users can access Spotify via Apple products, Apple Music is a better option for those interested in cutting costs via Apple One Bundle.
The best thing about Apple Music is that you can enjoy its radio services for free without subscribing. Guess what? You’re free from any ads. On the other hand, Spotify offers its services for free if you don’t mind annoying ads and feature restrictions.
Spotify is heavy on podcasts, while Apple Music is yet to step up to the task. However, if you are interested in exclusive video content like the Livestream of Kanye West Donda, Apple is your best option.
Regarding its music library size, Apple Music has more music than Spotify. But you would barely notice as the gap is fading as the years go by. Apple Music has 90 million songs, while Spotify has 83 million songs.
Apple Music limits the number of songs a user can save to the music library to 100,000. On Spotify, there is no limit to the number of songs a user can add to their music library.
If you are a student who likes Apple Music’s services plus Hull and Showtime free access, Spotify is your best option. For just $4.99, Spotify will give you access to its music streaming service, Hulu (ad-enabled), and Showtime.
FAQ: Apple Music vs. Spotify
Should I Switch from Spotify to Apple Music
Three types of listeners should switch from Spotify to Apple Music:
- Listeners who have interests in Apple One Bundle.
- Music lovers that prefer expert curated recommendations to algorithm-based options. However, if music discovery is a priority, you should stick to Spotify.
- Audiophiles like lossless audio or spatial sound or Apple’ fanboys’ who mostly use Apple products like
- Apple Watch, iPhone, and MacBook. In addition, Apple provides high streaming quality.
Is iCloud Music Library Free?
Although iCloud Mbrary is not free, it comes with your Apple Music subscription at no extra cost. If you ask about a free trial, Apple Music offers a three-month free trial. You can enjoy Apple Music radio stations if you don’t mind listening to random music curated by DJs.
Which is better on android: Apple Music or Spotify?
The edge platforms like Spotify and Apple have over a static CD or vinyl player. They’re not accessible anywhere, whether on a mobile phone, desktop browser, car, or internet-enabled televisions. These over-the-top streaming platforms owe their existence and dominance to the Web 2.0 internet. They make mobile applications and social media fertile ground for the streaming economy.
Spotify app’s design is both android and iOS friendly. However, the same is not feasible in Apple Music. Even though Apple Music is available for Android users, the app does not function the same on android and iOS. As an Android user, you do not have access to its voice control feature and family plan tier. The most significant turnoff is that you can’t access the local music already stored on your device from Apple Music.
If you are an android user, you will be better off using Spotify app than Apple Music. A Spotify subscription allows you to create playlists, repeat songs, and save them without stress. The best option between Spotify and Apple Music varies for every user. When comparing Apple Music vs. Spotify premium, you must consider your music preference, gadget, current subscription across tech ecosystems, etc. Regardless of which one you are about to opt for, both Apple Music and Spotify are great.