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Apple Music vs. Spotify Buyer’s Guide

Apple Music and Spotify overwhelmingly dominate the music streaming space, but the two services offer surprisingly different experiences despite their competitive pricing, so which is best?



While Spotify has been around for longer than ‌Apple Music‌, both services are now very widely adopted. ‌Apple Music‌ and Spotify have similar libraries with over 100 million songs, with features like personalized playlists, live lyrics, collaboration, crossfade, and SharePlay support, making it all the more difficult to choose between them. Read on for a detailed comparison to help you choose the music streaming service that’s best for you.

‌Apple Music‌Spotify
Advanced library management, allowing users to curate a collection of music with a wide range of sorting optionsNo “library;” add songs to a playlist of liked tracks instead
Basic music discovery algorithmAdvanced music discovery algorithm
Limited personalization comprising “New Music Mix,” “Get Up Mix,” “Chill Mix,” and a personal radio stationPersonalized mixes including “Release Radar,” “Discover Weekly,” and “Tastebreakers,” in addition to thousands of algorithmic playlists that are tailored to the user
Emphasis on human-curated playlists, with limited use of algorithmic playlistsEmphasis on advanced algorithmic playlists
Occasionally offers exclusive releases from major artists
Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos for a virtual surround sound experience with supported songs
Lossless Audio up to 24-bit/192 kHz
Apple Digital Masters specification
‌Apple Music‌ 1, ‌Apple Music‌ Hits, and ‌Apple Music‌ Country radio with live DJs, interviews, specials and show archive
In-app music videos
In-app podcasts and audiobooks
‌Apple Music‌ Classical app based on Primephonic
‌Apple Music‌ Sing karaoke experience
Limited social sharing optionsComprehensive social sharing options, such as the ability to see what friends are listening to in real-time
‌Apple Music‌ Replay year-long retrospective experience with limited social media supportSpotify Wrapped end-of-year retrospective experience with better social media support
Closely integrated with the Apple ecosystem, including Apple TV, HomePod, Vision Pro, Siri, and Apple Fitness+
Available on all Apple devices and Android, as well as some games consoles and TVsAvailable across a wide range of devices, including non-Apple ones, but no support for ‌Apple TV‌ and Vision Pro
Known for user-friendly, cross-platform design
Ability to control Spotify on one device from another
Integration with existing iTunes libraries, allowing users to merge a personal music collection with the streaming library and upload and stream tracks that aren’t in the ‌Apple Music‌ libraryAbility to play local audio files
Listen to ‌Apple Music‌ 1, ‌Apple Music‌ Hits, or ‌Apple Music‌ Country for freeFull library access and shuffled playlists with ads for free
Individual subscription: $10.99/month

Student subscription: $5.99/month

Family subscription: $16.99/month
Individual subscription: $10.99/month

Student subscription: $5.99/month

“Duo” household subscription: $14.99/month

Family subscription: $16.99/month
Included in all Apple One subscription bundle tiers

Both ‌Apple Music‌ and Spotify boast extensive music libraries, sophisticated personalization features, and comparable subscription models, but the nuances of their offerings cater to slightly different audiences. When choosing between the services, you should decide which of the two following groups you fall into.

‌Apple Music‌ touts a seamless and feature-rich listening experience for Apple device users, offering particular advantages to those who are heavily embedded in Apple’s ecosystem. The service is particularly appealing to audiophiles and those invested in high-quality audio, thanks to features like Lossless Audio and Spatial Audio. ‌Apple Music‌’s exclusive content, such as live radio shows and the ‌Apple Music‌ Classical app, provides unique value to those seeking more than just a vast music library. ‌Apple Music‌ is the preferred choice for users who appreciate the convenience of ‌Siri‌ integration, conventional library management, the ability to merge their own music library with the streaming service, and who are possibly already subscribed to other Apple services, making the ‌Apple One‌ bundle an attractive proposition.

Spotify, on the other hand, excels in music discovery and social sharing. Its sophisticated algorithms that power features like Discover Weekly and Release Radar are unmatched for surfacing new music tailored to the listener’s tastes. Spotify’s cross-platform design and compatibility with a wide range of devices make it a versatile option for users with a diverse range of hardware. The service’s superior social features, such as the ability to see what friends are listening to in real-time, enrich the music discovery process. Spotify is the go-to choice for users who value these social and discovery aspects highly, as well as those who appreciate the option of a free, ad-supported tier.

Which music streaming service do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments.

This article, “Apple Music vs. Spotify Buyer’s Guide” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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