Apple Music vs Spotify: Which is Better?

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When it comes to streaming music, two names often come to mind: Apple Music and Spotify. These giants have been at the forefront of the digital music revolution, offering vast libraries of songs, playlists, and podcasts. However, choosing between them can be a daunting task. Each service has its own unique features, pricing structures, and user experiences that cater to different tastes and needs.

Apple Music, launched in 2015, quickly became a strong contender in the streaming world. It leverages Apple's ecosystem, offering seamless integration with other Apple devices. On the other hand, Spotify has been around since 2008 and boasts a massive user base thanks to its innovative features and extensive music catalog. Both platforms have their pros and cons, making it essential for users to understand what each one brings to the table.

In this article, we'll break down the key aspects of Apple Music and Spotify to help you decide which service is better suited to your preferences. We'll explore their music libraries, sound quality, user interface, pricing, and additional features. By the end, you'll have a clearer picture of which streaming service aligns best with your listening habits.

Music Libraries

The size and diversity of a music library are crucial factors for any streaming service. Apple Music offers over 75 million songs, while Spotify claims a library of more than 70 million tracks. Both platforms cover various genres and include a mix of popular hits and lesser-known gems.

Apple Music tends to focus on exclusive releases from major artists. For example, Taylor Swift's album "1989" was initially available only on Apple Music. This strategy can be appealing if you're keen on accessing new releases from top artists before anyone else.

Spotify excels in curating playlists and recommendations based on your listening habits. Its Discover Weekly playlist is renowned for introducing users to new music they might enjoy. Additionally, Spotify offers an extensive range of podcasts, including exclusive content like "The Joe Rogan Experience."

Sound Quality

Sound quality is another important consideration. Apple Music streams at 256 kbps using AAC (Advanced Audio Codec), which provides excellent sound quality without consuming too much data. In June 2021, Apple also introduced lossless audio and spatial audio with Dolby Atmos for subscribers at no extra cost.

Spotify uses the Ogg Vorbis format with adjustable bitrates depending on your subscription tier. Free users get up to 160 kbps, while Premium subscribers can enjoy up to 320 kbps for higher sound fidelity. However, Spotify announced plans to roll out a HiFi tier in 2021 that will offer CD-quality lossless audio.

User Interface

The user interface can significantly impact your experience with a streaming service. Apple Music's interface is sleek and integrates well with iOS devices. The app's design is intuitive, making it easy to navigate through your library or explore new music.

Spotify's interface is equally user-friendly but has a more customizable feel. Users appreciate its dark theme and the ease with which they can create and share playlists. Spotify also includes social features that allow you to see what your friends are listening to in real-time.


Both Apple Music and Spotify offer various subscription plans:

Plan Apple Music Spotify
Individual $9.99/month $9.99/month
Family (up to 6 users) $14.99/month $14.99/month
Student $4.99/month $4.99/month
Duo (2 users) N/A $12.99/month
Free Tier No (3-month trial available) Yes (with ads)

Both services price their individual plans competitively at $9.99 per month. However, Spotify offers a Duo plan for $12.99 per month, catering specifically to two users who live at the same address—a feature not available on Apple Music.

Additional Features

Apple Music offers seamless integration with other Apple services like Siri for voice commands and iCloud for syncing across devices. It also provides access to Beats 1 Radio (now called Apple Music 1), featuring live shows hosted by popular DJs and artists.

Spotify shines with its playlist curation algorithms and social sharing capabilities. The platform allows you to follow friends and artists to see their latest playlists and activities. Additionally, Spotify Connect lets you control playback on various devices directly from the app.

The choice between Apple Music and Spotify ultimately depends on your priorities as a listener. If you value exclusive releases, seamless integration with Apple devices, and high-fidelity sound options like lossless audio and spatial audio, Apple Music might be the better choice for you.

On the other hand, if you prefer personalized playlists, an extensive range of podcasts, social sharing features, and a free tier option with ads, Spotify could be more suitable for your needs. Both platforms offer robust music libraries and innovative features that cater to different types of music enthusiasts.

No matter which service you choose, both Apple Music and Spotify provide excellent value for music lovers worldwide.