Spotify and Apple Music are both good streaming music services, but which is better? Here’s a comparison to help you decide.
Spotify and Apple Music are the two biggest players when it comes to music streaming services. Both companies offer more songs than you could listen to in a lifetime, available to stream or download on almost any device.
But choosing between Spotify and Apple Music is no small task. We’ve compared the key features of each service below to make the decision as easy as possible.
Apple Music and Spotify offer a range of subscription plans at similar price points, with each service offering a standard individual plan for $9.99/month and Apple offering a discounted rate if you sign up for an annual plan at $99/year.
You can try out either service for free with a one-month free trial. However, when that trial ends, Spotify is the only service that lets you keep listening for free forever on its ad-supported tier.
Listening to ad-supported Spotify means:
Adverts appear in the app and play after every few songs.
It’s not possible to download music for offline listening.
Mobile users can only listen in shuffle mode, with six skips per day.
The cheapest Apple Music option is the Apple Music Voice plan, but this plan is severely limited and only lets you play music through Siri commands. So it’s only worth considering if you only ever listen to music through a HomePod.
Spotify vs. Apple Music: Library
Both Spotify and Apple Music have more tracks than you could ever hope to stream or download. Technically, Apple Music has a bigger library, with over 100 million tracks, while Spotify lags behind with 80 million. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any mainstream artists that aren’t available on both services.
Spotify also expands its music library with a huge selection of podcasts available directly in the app. All of the biggest podcasters are there many of them exclusively on Spotify making it easy to keep all your audio entertainment in one place. Spotify even uses your musical preferences to suggest new podcasts you might like.
Although Apple Music doesn’t offer podcasts in the same app, it’s much better than Spotify at handling local music files. Spotify keeps local files separate from the rest of your music collection and forces you to sync whatever you want to listen to from a computer.
In contrast, Apple Music integrates local files with the rest of your library. It also lets you upload to the cloud with iCloud Music Library, so you can stream or download local files from anywhere in the world like you would stream anything else. The same goes for any music you purchased in iTunes, which automatically appears in your Apple Music library.
Spotify vs. Apple Music: New Music Discovery
The best part of a music streaming service is discovering new music that you might have never found without it. Spotify and Apple Music each offer a range of tools to help you find new music, including curated playlists and radio stations.
Spotify and Apple Music both let you create “radio stations” inspired by certain tracks. But Apple Music also has live digital radio stations that are broadcast all over the world. Keep up with your local stations or check out Apple Music 1 to hear shows from the world’s best radio presenters.
The Search section in Spotify and the Browse section in Apple Music let you look for popular music by selecting a genre or mood that you like. But the best place to discover new music is in the Made For You section of Spotify or the Listen Now section of Apple Music.
Made For You in Spotify creates five Daily Mix playlists for you to listen to throughout the week, each angled around a different genre you like. It also creates a Discover Weekly playlist, which resets every Monday, and a Release Radar playlist with all the latest releases from your favorite artists.
Apple Music offers fewer personalized playlists to choose from, although each is significantly different from the last. You get New Music, Friends, Favorites, Get Up!, and Chill playlists to choose from. You can also find a New Releases section in the Listen Now tab, along with various suggestions based on artists or albums you listen to.
Although the curated playlist selections appear similar across both services, popular opinion suggests that Spotify is far better at finding new music that you might actually like. This is likely due to the fact that it’s been in the business and harvesting data for much longer than Apple Music.
Spotify vs. Apple Music: Lyrics, Credits, and Artist Information
Scroll to the bottom of the artist page on Apple Music to read a brief biography, including where and when the band formed. Popular albums even include a review or description at the top of the page, highlighting the best tracks.
Spotify takes this a step further by also giving you track credits, telling you how many monthly listeners an artist gets, and even selling physical merchandise in the app. You can also use Spotify to get alerts about the latest concerts in your area from your favorite artists, so you’ll never miss a show.
Both streaming services let you view the lyrics to a song as you listen to it, but Apple Music features lyrics for much more of its library. You can also use Live Lyrics in Apple Music to view karaoke-style lyrics, letting you tap a different line to jump to that place in the song.
Apple Music is the only service that lets you find songs by searching the lyrics, making you far more likely to find a song that’s stuck in your head if you don’t know who sings it.
Spotify Has More to Offer Than Apple Music
Apple Music and Spotify are both excellent streaming services. Spotify definitely comes out on top in most categories, but if you have a lot of local files in your library or want to listen to Dolby Atmos or Lossless audio quality, Apple Music is still the better option for you.
That said, most people are better off with Spotify, thanks to its free tier, superior curated playlists, broader compatibility, and exhaustive artist information. Whichever streaming service you decide to go with, it’s easy to transfer your existing library using third-party apps like SongShift, so you don’t need to worry about losing any music.