Apple Music Vs Spotify: Who takes the lead In 2023?

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If you’re a fan of streaming music, then you’ve probably heard of the two heavyweight contenders in the ring: Apple Music and Spotify. These platforms have been battling it out for years, vying for the top spot in the world of digital music consumption.


Music platforms like these have become so popular that platforms like Spotify are playing a crucial role in marketing!


Both have their ardent supporters, with passionate debates raging on about which one reigns supreme. So, if you find yourself torn between these two giants and are wondering which service is truly the cream of the crop, you’ve come to the right place.


Apple Music vs Spotify


In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of Apple Music and Spotify, dissecting their features, user experience, music catalogs, and more, to help you make an informed decision about which streaming platform suits your musical tastes and preferences.


At the end of each section, we will also share our opinion on which music platform is better and even declare a winner. But do note that every app experience is subjective and you may disagree with our opinion. And that’s perfectly alright!


So, get ready to put on your headphones, crank up the volume, and let’s find out which is better!


Difference in features


Apple Music and Spotify, while both popular music streaming platforms offer distinct features that set them apart from each other.


Apple provides a sleek and intuitive interface, featuring a clean design that emphasizes album art and artist imagery. The app offers a “For You” section, where personalized music recommendations are curated based on your listening habits and preferences. It also includes a comprehensive library of music videos, allowing users to enjoy a visual experience alongside their favorite tracks. Apple Music stands out with its integration of iCloud Music Library, which enables you to seamlessly access your personal music collection across devices.


'For You' Section in Apple Music

                                                                                                                                                ‘For You’ Section in Apple Music


Spotify, on the other hand, focuses heavily on personalized playlists and music discovery. Its user interface is vibrant and easy to navigate, with a prominent “Home” tab that provides tailored recommendations based on your listening history. Spotify excels in its algorithmic playlists, such as “Discover Weekly” and “Release Radar,” which consistently deliver fresh tracks matching your musical tastes. The app also features collaborative playlists, allowing users to create and edit playlists together with friends in real time.


Spotify Discover Weekly Feature

            Spotify Discover Weekly Feature


Now if you prefer app integrability, then Apple Music may be the choice for you. It is better when it comes to being in the Apple ecosystem which gives a seamless user experience. However, Spotify is the clear winner when it comes to app usability features. Spotify is simply packed with features that Apple Music’s simple and intuitive design may not provide.


Hence, in our opinion, Spotify takes the lead in this area.


Apple Music vs Spotify: Comparing Specifics

Apple MusicSpotify
Student Plan$5.99 / £5.99 / AU$5.99 per month$4.99 per month
Offline Mode$10.99 / £10.99 / AU$12.99 per month$9.99 per month
Starting Price$10.99 / £10.99 / AU$12.99 per monthFree
Family Plan$16.99 / £16.99 / AU$25.95 per month, 6 accounts$15.99 per month, 6 accounts
Annual Plan$109.99 per year$99 per year
Exclusive FeaturesWorks with Siri on the HomePod/HomePod mini; Apple Music 1 Radio; Cloud music locker; spatial audioAvailable on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One; Spotify Studios podcasts


Please note that prices may vary based on currency and region. However, you’ll get a good idea of how these two music giants compare when it comes to basic features.


Which Has A Larger Music Library?

When it comes to music availability, both Apple Music and Spotify offer vast catalogs, but there are some differences worth noting.


Apple boasts a library of over 75 million songs, including exclusive releases and live radio stations like Beats 1. It also seamlessly integrates with the iTunes Store, allowing users to purchase and download music directly.


On the other hand, Spotify’s catalog is equally impressive, with over 70 million songs, and it excels in its extensive collection of user-generated playlists and podcasts.


While Apple may have a slight edge with its exclusive releases, Spotify’s focus on user-generated content and its strong emphasis on discovery makes it the winner in terms of music availability.


But all in all, Apple Music wins the battle in this one, mainly because Spotify is not uniform in its music distribution internationally. For example, none of the Warner Bros. music is on Spotify’s India version, due to some legal issues.


Podcasts: The New Audio Frontier


Podcasts on music platforms

Podcasts on music platforms


Apple Music features a wide selection of podcasts, including popular shows across various genres. You can browse through categories, subscribe to your favorite podcasts, and receive new episode notifications. Apple Music’s advantage lies in its integration with the overall Apple ecosystem, allowing for seamless synchronization of podcast subscriptions across devices.


However, Spotify has emerged as a dominant player in the podcasting space. It boasts an extensive library of podcasts, ranging from popular shows to exclusive content. The platform’s recommendation algorithms analyze your listening habits and provide personalized podcast recommendations.


Even the world’s largest podcast; The Joe Rogan Experience has become Spotify Exclusive, the platform should receive a reward! Podcasts in themselves have grown somewhat due to Spotify’s influence.


In terms of podcasts, Spotify takes the crown with its vast collection, personalized recommendations, and seamless integration with music streaming.


Spotify vs Apple Music: Which Has A Better Interface (UI)?


Apple vs Spotify UI

                                                                                                          Apple Music vs Spotify UI


After Apple Music got a major makeover for iOS 10, it kinda looks similar to Spotify in many ways. They both use big images in a tile-like layout, and you’ll find a navigation bar at the bottom for easy access to your music library and search.


You could say that this is an improvement on Apple Music’s previous, more raw look.


The real distinction between them is mostly about dark and light themes.


Apple Music goes for a light, bright, and white appearance with high-contrast text, while Spotify has stuck with its darker black/grey theme, spiced up with pops of neon green.


If you prefer not to use mobile apps, Spotify has you covered with its web player. Although not as user-friendly as their desktop app, it provides a quick and lightweight way to access your music. Apple has taken a cue from Spotify and launched its web player in beta, which also allows you to see the song lyrics.


While Apple Music offers an outstanding music service, it comes with a catch – you need to fully embrace Apple’s ecosystem, including their smartphones, tablets, computers, and streaming devices, to fully enjoy its features.


On the other hand, Spotify gains an advantage here due to its user-friendly interface, widespread availability, and the ability to integrate with various third-party services. This makes Spotify the clear winner for having a better user interface.


Does Apple Music Have The Best Audio Streaming Quality?

The answer would be yes…but no.


In simpler terms, here’s the breakdown of the audio quality for Spotify and Apple Music:


Spotify has a free version where the web player streams at 128Kbps. If you use their app on your device, the streaming quality adjusts based on your connection, ranging from 24Kbps to 160Kbps.


However, if you upgrade to Spotify Premium, you’ll get even better quality. On the web player, it goes up to 256Kbps, and on the app, you can enjoy four quality levels, with the highest being 320Kbps.


But despite promises, Spotify doesn’t offer a lossless tier yet.


So what about Apple Music?


Well, they have stepped up their game by offering free audio quality upgrades to all their subscribers. They now provide lossless audio for all their 100 million songs. They use ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec), ensuring the music retains its original high-quality sound.


In terms of streaming quality, Apple takes the lead, supporting up to 24-bit/192kHz, making it a top choice for audiophiles. However, there’s a small catch: to enjoy this hi-resolution lossless audio, you’ll need a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and quality wired headphones or speakers. This means you can’t play music while working out or exercising. For many people, that’s the whole point of listening to music.


So overall, it should be a draw between the two platforms, but we’ll declare Apple Music as the winner of this category, simply because it still takes the edge in lossless audio.


How Much Do They Cost?

Spotify is one of the best free music streaming services you can try right away with some ads.


They offer three paid plans: Standard for $9.99/month, Duo for $12.99/month (meant for two accounts), and Family for $15.99/month (with Spotify Kids). If you’re a student, you get a special deal at $4.99/month, and it even includes access to Hulu and Showtime.


On the other hand, Apple Music doesn’t have a free plan. Their cheapest plan, Apple Music Voice, starts at $4.99/month with some limitations. The standard plan is $9.99/month, and their Family plan is $16.99/month. At least students can get it for a discounted price of $5.99/month.


So clearly, Spotify wins in pricing.



Again, this is our opinion, and it’s subjective.


We have simply looked at the overall picture and gathered data on the most common pain points of the users. Based on that, we believe that Spotify is an overall better audio streaming platform than Apple Music.


Do you disagree?

Let us know in the comments!


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Pratyush is a versatile writer with experiences in all major fields. As he's constantly reading and thinking, writing comes naturally to him. He may go to the gym in his free time or read books on ancient sciences and astrology with his only addiction; a large cup of coffee. Specializing in SEO, Pratyush makes sure that all his write-ups are applauded by Google.

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