Apple Music is a single app that combines your music, a streaming service and a worldwide live radio station. Everything lives in one place, so you can stream anything choose or you can let Apple Music choose for you.
Spotify meanwhile, has long been the king of music streaming, with over 100 million paying subscribers and a great feature set. It is the most widely available music streaming platform that offers a huge range of songs at a reasonable price.
We've taken a deep dive and compared Apple Music and Spotify by price, availability, features, and more. Here's everything you need to know about Apple Music vs Spotify.
Apple Music offers access to millions of songs. It's designed to combine music you have bought - such as from iTunes in the past - with music you've saved from Apple's cloud services in the Apple Music library. The catalogue is extensive, it gives you access to music videos, along with some exclusive content from select artists. It also has the 24 hour Beats 1 radio station, which is a great place to discover new music.
The app has five tabs/features comprising Library, For You, Browse, Radio, and Search.
The For You tab serves up a mix of handpicked albums and playlists based on the music you like, while the Browse tab presents the week's newest tracks, videos and playlists selected by Apple Music editors, as well as recommendations by mood and daily hits. The Radio tab is where you'll find Beats 1, which is a 24-hour live global station led by DJs such as Zane Lowe, as well as other expertly-curated stations created by radio DJs.
Library is where you'll find all your music, whether it be songs you've imported from your computer, songs you bought from iTunes or songs you've added from Apple Music's servers. And finally, Search is where you, well, search for any music you want.
As you would expect, Siri works with Apple Music so you can ask her to play today's hits and she will do just that, and with AirPlay 2, you can send music directly from Apple Music to a compatible AirPlay 2 speaker. Once you've started playing a song, lyrics to the song that is currently playing will appear if you swipe up in the Apple Music app.
If the song you're listening to isn't in your library, you can add it, add it to a playlist, create a station of songs based around the one playing or share it with friends by tapping the three dots in the top right corner.
How much does Apple Music cost?
It's free to listen to Beats 1 without a subscription, but if you want to use any of Apple Music's other services, this is a breakdown of how much the subscription options cost:
- £9.99/month or $9.99/month, per user
- £14.99/month or $14.99/month for a family of six
- £99.99/year or $99.99/year
- £4.99/month or $4.99/month for students
Spotify boasts over 200 million users, 100 million of which pay for the service. The rest subscribe to Spotify's free tier, which limits music quality and plays adverts every few songs. The free tier also excludes users from using other features such as being able to use it with Sonos and Spotify Connect.
You can add your purchased music into Spotify using your computer, but you'll have to add them manually. You will be able to listen to tracks offline if you pay for the Premium version, but you can't download songs with the free tier.
Spotify gives you access to millions of tracks and ready-made playlists, along with new music suggestions, podcasts and Spotify radio. It will learn as you listen and through associations, will make recommendations based on your tastes. Spotify also offers Facebook integration so you can follow your friends to see what they're listening to.
Additionally, Spotify offers Chromecast and Chromecast Audio support allowing anyone to turn any speakers into smart connected players and Spotify Connect allows you to play the service through compatible speakers. Siri also supports Spotify, which it didn't originally.
How much does Spotify cost?
As mentioned, there is a free tier of Spotify that features adverts, though not all features are available. For all the Spotify features on offer, here is a breakdown of the subscription costs:
- £9.99/month or $9.99/month per user for Premium tier
- £14.99/month or $14.99 for a family of six (have to live at same address)
- £4.99/month or $4.99/month for students
Apple Music vs Spotify: Which should you try?
Both Apple Music and Spotify are relatively easy to use, priced similarly, and widely available - and they come with basic controls and plenty of options for finding songs and creating playlists. They even both offer the ability to play music when there's no service or Wi-Fi around.
Spotify comes with a free, ad-supported tier, which Apple Music does not, though Apple Music's Family Plan doesn't require all six users to live at the same address, which Spotify's family plan does.
Apple Music is also easier to add your own music to and it's a great service if you have Apple devices, while Spotify is available on almost every platform and has a number of discover, playlist and social features.
There are pros and cons to both services but ultimately, we use both and we enjoy the experience on both.