Spotify vs. Apple Music: A Candid Comparison

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Clara Sorkin

A look at one of the features of the Apple Music app

Clara Sorkin, Staff Writer

Amidst the chaos of the COVID-19 quarantine, listening to music can be a fun and relaxing activity to indulge in. However, the widespread debate over choosing a streaming platform can be overwhelming for those simply trying to listen to some tunes.  

In order to compare apples to apples, I must specify some details about Spotify. Spotify is comparable to any other automated music-recommendation internet radio service, like Pandora or iHeartRadio. For free, Spotify will make radio stations from genres, singers, and even songs that are similar. By upgrading to Spotify Premium, you have a more customizable and personalized way to stream your music. 

Spotify and Apple Music are two of the largest streaming platforms for all genres of music, and they are quite similar to each other. One of the major differences between the two platforms is that Apple Music (like the name suggests) is only available on Apple products. 

On the other hand, Spotify is available on both Apple products and other brands of electronics, such as Samsung or Google Pixel. While this may add a point to Spotify’s scorecard, keep in mind that, as of 2020, Apple Music is available in 167 countries, while Spotify is available in only 65 countries. Aside from this, as of June 2019, Spotify had 108 million listeners worldwide, and Apple Music had a little over half that, at 60 million listeners worldwide. 

The next topic in this rivalrous face-off: price. Spotify and Apple Music’s subscription packages are identical. Each platform offers individual plans for $9.99/month, family plans (for up to 6 users) for $14.99/month, and a discounted price of $4.99/month for students. These homogeneous price ranges make it difficult to tell which platform is worth the cost, and so does the fact that both streaming platforms have a whopping 50 million songs in their respective music libraries. 

Another of the biggest differences is one of Spotify’s most well-known attributes: the Discover Weekly playlists. These playlists are refreshed every week based on what kind of music you’ve been listening to. It gives you recommendations of other artists or genres to try based on your listening habits. If you’re on the hunt to expand your music taste, this could certainly be a deciding factor.

The bottom line is that Spotify and Apple Music are very similar. Both streaming platforms offer a substantial amount of music at a fair-ish price. Most of the debate between the two platforms is just a fun rivalry, but who doesn’t like a little competition? Which team are you on?