How to choose between Spotify and Apple Music

In terms of subscribers, Spotify wins in a match-up between the two music streaming services, with over 100 million subscribers worldwide. Apple Music is hot on its heels though with 60 million. If you’re wondering which music streaming service is right for you, here are a few comparisons of the two to help you decide.

Both services are available on both Android and iOS, have around 50 million songs in their libraries, cost the same for a premium subscription and allow family plans, so there’s no contest there. The real fork in the road between the two comes down to the streaming quality and, most importantly for many listeners, what’s available for free.

Apple Music doesn’t have a free tier as Spotify does and that’s a major factor when deciding between the two. Spotify has a free, ad-supported option which allows you to listen to anything you want, with limited skips and the occasional ad break. However, for a three month trial period of their premium subscription services, Spotify charges $0.99, whereas Apple Music is free.

Both services allow you to follow friends as well as your favourite artists, but Spotify allows you to connect to Facebook and see what your friends are listening to in real-time. Another win for Spotify is that it is available on Playstation and Xbox, whereas Apple Music isn’t.

Spotify’s streaming quality is up to 320kbps with the Ogg Vorbis format and Apple’s is 256kbps AAC. When it comes down to it, there really isn’t much of a noticeable difference.

If you’re wanting to discover new music based on what you already like, both services have algorithms that do just that and will recommend songs for you to listen to. Spotify does seem a little more accurate though and it also has a feature called Discover Weekly which is a two-hour playlist designed especially for you, with music that you’re likely to enjoy based on your listening habits.

When it comes to interfaces it’s all about personal preference. Apple Music has a white background and Spotify has a black background. The difference has Spotify coming out on top again when listening to music at night. Spotify also has animations and short videos for some of the songs that you can turn on and off in settings.

Both services have lyrics available for certain songs but Apple allows users to search for a song by its lyrics, which is handy if you don’t know the name of a particular song. Both services are easy to navigate, but Spotify just looks and feels a little sleeker overall.


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Written by Taryn Hill


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