Spotify or Apple Music?



Spotify is a music streaming service used by approximatetly 422 million users worldwide (June 2022). With a variety of plans, users pay from $0-$15.99 a month.

With about 72 million subscribers, Apple Music continues to serve people with the sound of Music. Subscribers pay from $4.99 to $14.99 a month. (GOOGLE IMAGES)

As many decide which music streaming app is a better fit for their listening needs a prominent question often arises: Spotify or Apple Music? With Spotify, users can choose between a free plan with multiple limitations or a premium plan with no restrictions. Apple music users are freed from restrictions such as ads; however, they do not have the choice of a free plan. Like Spotify’s premium plan, all Apple Music users are charged each month unless they acquire a free trial.

Spotify offers four plans. Users can create an account for free; however, while listening to music they will receive ads as often as every 30 minutes and do not have on-demand playback or unlimited skips. Starting at $4.99 for student accounts and $9.99 for individual accounts, Spotify premium users are not bothered with repetitive ads or the worry of running out of skips and being incapable of choosing which song to play on demand. One way the structure of Apple Music’s platform differs from Spotify is the lack of a free version. Unless provided with a free trial, users must pay from $4.99 to $14.99 a month. 

“Even with free Spotify, it’s still pretty good, it’s just a bunch of ads,” Tamia Anderson (11) said. “But, you get used to it pretty much.”

Each service has a different way of recommending music to its users. Spotify users can discover songs and artists through personalized radios, “Daily Mixes,” playlists and surfing the home page. Apple Music, however, has a browse page for users to scroll through and find new artists and playlists similar to the ones recently added to their library. 

“If you’re done with a playlist [on Spotify] it will play radio based on such-and-such, and it will play other artists that are just like that,” Anderson said. “Even when you don’t have premium you get the radio, so it will play audios just like that, and most of the time, if you like that artist, you’ll like the other one in the radio. So you’ll listen to a song and you’ll be like, ‘Oh, who’s this?’ and you’ll search them up, you’ll get all their music and stuff too.”

Madelyn Butler (9) has used both Apple Music and the Spotify free plan and declares her experience with Apple Music more enjoyable. Butler decided to continue using Apple Music over free Spotify because of the constant ads and strict shuffle-only feature on free Spotify, and because she believes Apple Music is more accessible.

“It’s very convenient,” Butler said. “You can do a lot of stuff with it. It’s easier to make playlists … there’s no limit, and it’s just better.”

Competing against Apple Music’s convenience and accessibility, Anderson argues that Spotify has a variety of user-friendly content that Apple Music lacks. One popular feature is Spotify Wrapped, which is released at the end of every year and reveals the user’s most played artists and songs. In addition to this, Spotify also has pre-made playlists carefully curated for any mood or genre of music and allows users to make playlists from templates such as the relatively new Dream Band feature. With the Dream Band feature, users choose three artists to be in their “band” and the app will randomize a playlist with songs from each of the three artists.

“It’s a really customer-friendly app, but I feel like Apple Music is more of just a business app. All you can do is really play music,” Anderson said. “Everyone’s always hype for Spotify Wrapped at the end of the year, and I don’t ever see that with Apple Music.”

Despite experiencing music through different platforms, one thing both Apple Music and Spotify users have in common is the opportunity to connect with others through music. Many people align their music taste with their personal style, hobbies, interests and friend groups.

“If you’re at a concert or something, you can make friends from concerts because they have the same music taste as you, and a lot of people do make friends from concerts or just talking about music and stuff,” Anderson said.  “Music brings everyone together.”