Issue 5 Magazine Opinions

Which Should You Choose?

From online polls to arguing with friends, one of the most popular debates lately is whether Spotify or Apple Music is better.  After viewing many polls and holding my own, Spotify always came out as the winner by a landslide. The majority of these people thought about the sound quality when they voted without paying close attention to other details. Although, it’s not easy choosing a music streaming service these days. So here are some key facts and differences between Spotify and Apple Music to know about that will help you find which music app suits you best.

Subscription wise, Spotify offers a free version of the app.  This version of Spotify has limited functionally when it comes to listening to music compared to the premium version and includes ads. Apple Music does not allow you to even have a limited function of listening to music unless you buy the premium version or you buy a song or album on its own, which is frustrating.  Both Apple Music and Spotify offer student plans for $4.99 a month, individual plans for $9.99 per month, and family plans for $14.99 per month – so pricing would not make much of a difference when it comes to subscriptions. 

For the recommendation system, I’d argue that Spotify’s is much stronger. They easily do a better job at finding or making music recommendations for the user than Apple Music does. For example, every Monday you receive a new “Discover Weekly” playlist that contains 30 songs shuffled that are similar to music or artists you’ve recently listened to or liked.  You also get a couple ‘Daily Mix’ playlists which are similar to Discover Weekly, but are sorted by genre. Although Apple Music do have a few recommendations for you, Spotify simply has more features when it comes to recommendations, even including playlists they think you might like to expand your taste in music.

Although, an area where Apple Music beats Spotify is its user interface.  Saving songs in either Spotify or Apple Music means that you can later access them in your library without needing to go through the trouble to look up or search the artist or song again. Apple Music’s plus side when it comes to an artist’s page is that it is much easier to navigate it and is much cleaner than Spotify’s. On the other hand, Spotify sort of dumps the songs you save from an artist into its own playlist with no clear separation of when a new album starts or ends. Being able to browse an artist’s page on Spotify requires an internet connection to work, which defeats the purpose of downloading or saving music to your library, but Apple Music doesn’t require this.

Both apps have a “radio,” although Apple Music is the winner in this aspect.  For Spotify, you’d be better off making a playlist or using discover features.  This is because the radios on Spotify that fit your taste tend to get very repetative and usually doesn’t offer many new things.  While Apple Music has the same sorting style of radios as Spotify, they have much more variety.  In addition, Apple Music also offers live radio stations with live DJs picking out and playing songs.  This feature gives a more personal, human element to Apple’s radio.