A Comprehensive Comparison of Spotify vs. Apple Music in the Internet Era

There’s been an eternal debate between the two, Apple Music and Spotify, which one edges over the other. I am pretty familiar with the topic but I ain’t here to settle the debate.

In the dynamic world of digital music streaming, these two giants stand out. Each platform boasts its unique strengths, sparking endless debates among users and enthusiasts about which one reigns supreme. As someone who has extensively used both services, I bring a hands-on perspective to this ongoing discussion. In this detailed comparison, we’ll examine key aspects like pricing, sound quality, and content library to see how Spotify and Apple Music stack up against each other.

From Spotify’s vast array of songs and podcasts to Apple Music’s superior audio quality and expansive library, this exploration aims to provide a clear, unbiased view. Whether you’re a casual listener or an audiophile, understanding these differences is crucial in choosing the service that best suits your musical needs and preferences. Let’s dive into the details and unravel the unique offerings of each service, helping you make an informed decision in the Spotify vs. Apple Music debate.

Since I have used both of the music streaming services, I can safely say that I can choose which one is better than its counterpart based on specific factors. Spotify was launched in 2006, now established as the default choice for many melophiles with millions of songs to play along with podcasts.

Whereas, Apple Music offers the best audio quality out of all the music service providers with a much larger music library. But does it make Apple Music better than Spotify? Or vice versa? We will find out.

But to experience the best of any streaming services, you might need a fast and reliable internet connection. While I was testing both of the platforms, I was using Mediacom to stream and download playlists for offline services and it did a great job without any buffers in my endless music listening.

Anyhow, let’s dive right into the factors that make one better over the other. At the end of the day the decision is solely yours, but hear us out before you make your decision final.

Source: mashable.com

The Price?

Before July 24, 2024, Spotify used to take an edge over Apple Music when it came to price. But after the said date, Spotify increased its premium price and now it’s the same as the competitor i.e.; $10.99 a month for the individual plan.

Apple Music and Spotify both follow an almost similar pricing structure but the latter offers streaming for free. The only downside to the free version is ads that might churn you or not depending on your tolerance of ad interruptions between your listening. The ad plays when you are finished listening to a song.

Barring the individual plan, Spotify offers a Duo and a Family Plan for $14.99 and $16.99, respectively. A student plan offers the same premium individual plan features for just $5.99.

Apple Music, on the flip side, doesn’t offer a duo plan. Just a family plan for just $16.99 and a student plan for $5.99.

Yeah! What? Are they copying each other in prices?

Anyway, Apple Music doesn’t offer a Free version. Either it’s a paid subscription or you can’t listen to any music.

The Sound Quality?

Apple Music saliently takes the win here. It has better sound quality when thrown against Spotify.

Spotify can play a maximum of 320kbps of audio which is termed very high in the Spotify app. There are other tiers too of the sound quality: 24kbps (low), 96kbps (normal), and 160kbps (high). The lower ones are particularly useful when you have limited data or your internet connection is slow.

In contrast, Apple offers a maximum of 24-bit/194kHz of supreme audio quality. It’s like a jackpot for geeks who love music. To play music of this quality you will need a high-quality headphone. So, for most people, it comes as no fruit because very few people will dedicatedly buy a headphone to enjoy the fullest of Apple Music.

The other two audio quality options are 16-bit/44.1kHz and 24-bit/48kHz. If you, someday, are really short on data then you can play music in 256kbps.

With a cherry on top, Apple Music also provides you with Dolby Atmos’ Spatial Audio Feature that can create a cinematic experience while listening to your favorite music.

All in all, Apple Music offers better sound quality.

Source: library.unc.edu
(Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

The Content Library?

Let’s start with the Apple Music. It offers a huge library of music, consisting of about 100 million songs. Live radio broadcasting may (dunno about that) also be added as a plus for Apple Music. Some of the exclusive live videos can also be available to watch exclusively on Apple Music.

Whereas Spotify offers a lot more diversity when it comes to the content. 82 million songs from artists all around the globe coupled with the feature to play podcasts from top creators and worth listening audiobooks can make Spotify a great option.

Why does this diversity put Spotify back in the tie? Podcasts and audiobooks are the type of content that most people want to listen. But Apple Music’s radio feature? Nah! Not so much.

With Spotify, you can listen to podcasts and audiobooks with the same premium plan. With Apple, Apple users want to stay in the Apple ecosystem. That ecosystem may cost them more as they would need to buy Apple Podcast or Apple Books subscription to be able to listen to podcasts and audiobooks.

Summing Up

You might be disappointed if you are thinking that I will declare a winner here. Really, I can’t, I won’t. Because in the end, it all comes down to your preference. If you need the best sound quality then go with Apple Music or if you need diversity in the content then go with Spotify. It’s you who can declare which one is the winner for you.