Apple Music vs. Spotify

Which Is the Superior Streaming Service?

Graphic+by+Taylor+Rohleen.
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Apple Music vs. Spotify

Graphic by Taylor Rohleen.

Graphic by Taylor Rohleen.

Photo Credit Graphic by Taylor Rohleen.

Graphic by Taylor Rohleen.

Photo Credit Graphic by Taylor Rohleen.

Photo Credit Graphic by Taylor Rohleen.

Graphic by Taylor Rohleen.

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Spotify had my heart, but it was stolen by Apple Music. After being a long-term Spotify user, I made the change to Apple Music about a month ago and have not been more satisfied with my streaming experience since! My main takeaway is this: Spotify serves as more of a social media platform for music sharing, while Apple Music is more about the actual artistry.

 

In a pecuniary sense, they’re equals: The price per month is the same among student, individual, and family plans. There is a free version of Spotify, but it’s a nil factor in this debate; between the ads and constant reminders to upgrade, regular Spotify is a poor streaming experience. I will say that the free version is slightly better on a computer, though. As for the subscriptions, both programs are accessible on Mac and PC. They’re pretty equivalent, as each is an expanded version of their mobile app.

 

The visual experience, however, is anything but equivalent. Let’s be real: Spotify’s black and green color scheme is atrocious. It screams Halloween and not in a good way. I much prefer Apple Music’s white aesthetic. The white background complements the album covers and simplifies the process of locating songs—especially when trying to queue music quickly. While black technically goes with everything, the album covers tend to get lost in Spotify’s background, akin to a supermassive black hole: Everything tends to looks the same after prolonged viewing. Apple Music, however, has a diverse overall layout. For genres, each gives a breakdown of hot tracks, new releases, essential albums, and, of course, several playlists (both general and artist types). If you’re exploring a new genre, I’ve found that the essential albums category can be extremely helpful when it comes to versing yourself on years of missed music. I started listening to hip hop/rap about two years ago (late to the party, I know) and my brother has tried to educate me on all that I have missed. His efforts have certainly helped, but the essential albums category has filled in the gaps.

 

Along with essential albums, Apple Music generally has better curated playlists. The groupings of songs and playlist themes seem to make more sense than Spotify’s: After using Spotify for four years, it still feels like there’s too many playlists to navigate, and it becomes all too confusing.

 

But, some love Spotify’s playlists and their features, and that is why they stay subscribed. Because of this, I feel that Spotify is more geared towards the social aspect of playing music. While both have the ability to follow others and their playlists, Spotify has an ubiquitous culture on sharing them—collaboratively or otherwise. Everyone can tell how many followers you have on each playlist, but no one can see exactly who is following it. This all ties back to the gratification of getting likes and follows on social media.

 

Beyond the social implications, one of the most important distinctions between the services is queuing songs. For Spotify, you swipe right to queue and are able to adjust the desired song order in a separate motion. This process is rather seamless, and it’s helpful when you seek to queue straight down/up a playlist but want to omit a few songs. For Apple Music, you hard press and hover over one of two options: play next or play later. This streamlines the order of the queue in a way that Spotify cannot. If you wish to fine-tune the order, is it possible to do so in a separate motion. You can also rearrange playlist orders on a mobile device, which is a feature that Spotify does not have.

 

While I adore Apple Music, the one thing I will miss is Spotify Wrapped, the personalized year in review. I love the stats on how much music I streamed, my most played genres, and my top songs playlist. But, even with this quirky feature, I still believe that my daily experience with Apple Music is more fruitful and thus the clear victor. If you haven’t given the streaming service a try, I would highly recommend doing so.