Spo­tify or Ap­ple Mu­sic? We'll Help you De­cide

BAT­TLE OF THE MU­SIC STREAM­ING SER­VICES

iPhone Life Magazine - - Front Page -

Whether you use Ap­ple Mu­sic or Spo­tify, you can stream mil­lions of songs on de­mand to your iPhone. How­ever, not all mu­sic stream­ing ser­vices are cre­ated equal. Here, iPhone Life CEO and pub­lisher David Aver­bach and fea­ture writer Con­ner Carey go to bat­tle to de­ter­mine which ser­vice of­fers the best set of fea­tures and user ex­pe­ri­ence.

CHOOS­ING A SER­VICE

Con­ner: I worked at iPhone Life when Ap­ple Mu­sic de­buted, so I orig­i­nally got it to write tips, but—

David: I see. So you had to get it. In­ter­est­ing.

Con­ner: But as it's im­proved, I fell in love.

David: I started us­ing Spo­tify years be­fore Ap­ple Mu­sic came out. One of the core ad­van­tages of Spo­tify is that it has so many years of devel­op­ment ex­pe­ri­ence over Ap­ple. Ap­ple's catch­ing up; but in my opin­ion, Spo­tify has stayed con­sis­tently ahead as far as fea­tures go.

FA­VORITE FEA­TURES

Con­ner: I re­ally like Ap­ple Mu­sic's Beats 1 Ra­dio. I like be­ing able to store mu­sic in iCloud or on my de­vice. In terms of mu­sic dis­cov­ery, I love the weekly playlist I get based on what I reg­u­larly lis­ten to (Spo­tify has its own ver­sion of this). Ap­ple Mu­sic is right on. I down­load at least 75 per­cent of the songs.

David: Spo­tify does a great job with dis­cov­er­abil­ity. Both plat­forms have an in­sane amount of mu­sic. So much so that when you log in, you don't re­ally know what to do. For a long time, Spo­tify has had a fea­ture called Dis­cover Weekly. It an­a­lyzes all of your mu­sic as well as peo­ple who lis­ten to sim­i­lar mu­sic and uses re­ally ad­vanced ma­chine learn­ing to come up with 30 rec­om­men­da­tions for you each week. Spo­tify also has some­thing called Re­lease Radar that sends you a playlist ev­ery Fri­day of new mu­sic from your fa­vorite artists. And you don't have to tell Spo­tify who your fa­vorite artists are. It just knows from your lis­ten­ing habits. Ap­ple has come out with some­thing sim­i­lar, but it con­sis­tently hasn't been re­viewed as well.

“I’VE DIS­COV­ERED SO MANY NEW BANDS AND NEW MU­SIC IN GEN­RES THAT I LIKE BE­CAUSE OF SPO­TIFY’S DIS­COV­ER­ABIL­ITY FEA­TURES.” -DAVID

“SPO­TIFY CAN’T COM­PETE WITH THE FACT THAT AP­PLE MAKES AP­PLE MU­SIC, SO IT HAS IN­TE­GRA­TIONS THAT SPO­TIFY JUST DOESN’T HAVE.” -CON­NER

UNIQUE FEA­TURES

Con­ner: A big draw of Ap­ple Mu­sic is that it's part of Ap­ple's ecosys­tem. That means you can use it seam­lessly with Siri, the Ap­ple Watch Se­ries 3 with Cel­lu­lar, the HomePod, or a CarPlay sys­tem like the one I have in my car. No headaches there. I like that. Also, I al­ready had a bunch of iTunes mu­sic, so it was re­ally easy to trans­fer when I joined Ap­ple Mu­sic.

David: I love how in gen­eral Spo­tify has a huge va­ri­ety of playlists. Spo­tify makes them, but it's re­ally the users that make a huge num­ber of playlists that they make pub­lic. Also, Spo­tify's so­cial fea­tures are bet­ter. You can see re­ally quickly what your friends are lis­ten­ing to and col­lab­o­rate on playlists, which you can't do with Ap­ple Mu­sic. Spo­tify's also cross-plat­form so it's very easy for any­one to use.

LI­BRARY SIZE

Con­ner: Ap­ple Mu­sic has 10 mil­lion more songs than Spo­tify. Spo­tify also has a song col­lec­tion limit of 10,000 songs com­pared to 100,000 on Ap­ple Mu­sic. This could be a prob­lem if you're a die-hard mu­sic fan. I'm at 5,000 right now. If I used Spo­tify, I think it would be an is­sue for me in a cou­ple more years.

David: I don't find Spo­tify's 30 mil­lion songs to be lim­it­ing to me.

Con­ner: You mean that's not lack­ing? You need those other mil­lions!

EX­CLU­SIVE CON­TENT

Con­ner: There is a lot of ex­clu­sive con­tent on Ap­ple Mu­sic that you don't get on Spo­tify.

David: Ap­ple spe­cial­izes in do­ing ex­clu­sives, and I do think that mat­ters. For in­stance, when Tay­lor Swift re­leases a new al­bum, Ap­ple will have a pe­riod of ex­clu­siv­ity of­ten­times. While I don't think it's good for lis­ten­ers as it frag­ments the au­di­ence, it's an ad­van­tage if you're an Ap­ple Mu­sic subscriber.

PRICE

Con­ner: As far as monthly, stu­dent, or fam­ily sub­scrip­tions, Ap­ple Mu­sic and Spo­tify cost ex­actly the same. But Ap­ple Mu­sic has a hidden an­nual plan. If you go into your sub­scrip­tions on your iPhone, you can se­lect the Ap­ple Mu­sic an­nual plan for $99 and save $20 a year. David: It's true.

FI­NAL AR­GU­MENTS

David: Just to get a lit­tle sappy for a mo­ment, Spo­tify re­ally has changed my life. I love dis­cov­er­ing new mu­sic, and I've dis­cov­ered so many new bands and new mu­sic in gen­res that I like be­cause of Spo­tify's dis­cov­er­abil­ity fea­tures. I love mak­ing playlists. I have hours and hours of playlists that I'll lis­ten to through­out the day. Con­ner: And re­ally good ones. I have to ad­mit.

David: So if dis­cov­er­abil­ity is what you care about, then Spo­tify is bet­ter.

Con­ner: I've dis­cov­ered a lot of new mu­sic with Ap­ple Mu­sic. I think it's just not as read­ily avail­able. Spo­tify puts that front and cen­ter. But Spo­tify can't com­pete with the fact that Ap­ple makes Ap­ple Mu­sic, so it has in­te­gra­tions that Spo­tify just doesn't have.

David: If your pri­or­ity is dis­cov­er­ing mu­sic, then go with Spo­tify. If your pri­or­ity is in­te­gra­tions, go with Ap­ple Mu­sic.

Con­ner: I might bring you to my side yet.

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