When Apple Music launched it was with a massive marketing campaign and several celebrities touting how amazing it is, especially when compared to Spotify, another music-streaming service that was getting flak for not paying artists enough.
Now that time has passed, and the hype has died down, it's worth asking yourself: should you really subscribe to Apple Music over Spotify, which still leads the space in terms of paid subscribers?
Apple Music is an ideal service if you rely heavily on iTunes and have an iPhone. It combines your iTunes library on your computer, with any songs you add from Apple Music's cloud servers. 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.
Spotify is the current King of music streaming, with over 70 million paying subscribers. You can add your own music to your Spotify library, but it's not as simple and straightforward as Apple's offering. Spotify can be accessed on a wide range of speakers, soundbars and other home entertainment equipment via Spotify Connect.
We've taken a deep dive and compared the two services by price, availability, features, and more. Here's everything you kneed to know about Apple Music vs Spotify.
Apple Music is a service with access to tens of millions of songs. It has been designed to combine music you have bought with music you've saved from Apple's cloud services in the Apple Music library. 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 that have been selected by Apple Music editors. 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, Ebro Darden, and Julie Adenuga, 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've 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.
Siri has been programmed to work with Apple Music so you can ask her to play the best songs from 1994... and she will do just that. Once you've started playing a song, you can swipe up to reveal the next songs in the playing queue or lyrics to the song that is currently playing (you'll only get these features if you have iOS 10 or later installed).
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.
- £9.99/month per user
- £14.99/month for a family of six
- £99.99/year - save £19.89 over monthly membership
- £4.99/month for Student Membership
- Free to listen to Beats 1 without subscription
Conclusion: 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 boasts nearly 160 million users, 71 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'll be able to 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 Spotify radio. It will learn as you listen and through associations, will make recommendations based on your tastes. There is also a band merchandise storefront that will give you easy access to your favourite band's T-shirt, for example. Spotify also offers Facebook integration so you can follow your friends to see what they're listening to.
Additionally, Spotify teamed up with Google to offer 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.
- Free tier with adverts.
- £9.99/month for Premium tier
- 50 per cent off Premium with Unidays or NUS Extra for student
- £15/month for a family of five
- Microsoft Windows
- Openpandora OS X
- Samsung Smart TV
- Telia Digital-tv
- WD TV
- Withings Aura
- Home entertainment systems and cars via Spotify Connect
Conclusion: Spotify is the most widely available music streaming platform that offers a huge range of songs at a reasonable price.
Apple Music vs Spotify: Which should you try?
Both apps 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. But Apple is unique because it can be played using Siri. Spotify, though, at least comes with a free, ad-supported tier.
If you're going to choose one service to use though, Spotify is available on almost every platform and supposedly has more video content and more successful discover/playlist/social features. It also offers excellent sound quality. However, if you're an Apple diehard and just want to stay within its ecosystem, then there's really no convincing you to try Spotify over Apple Music.
Liked this? Check out What is Amazon Music Unlimited and how does it work?