Apple Music or Spotify?

Both Apple Music and Spotify have become music streaming giants especially throughout 2018. Shown is the homepage for Spotify. (Photo Courtesy of Maddie Bimonte)

Streaming music is not a new concept and is easily accessible via smartphones, laptops and any other device. With the increasing number of options to stream, the two large streaming services Apple Music and Spotify offer a variety of payment plans in order to share and listen to music. As a person who has used both extensively, their are a variety of pros and cons that come with both streaming services.

Apple Music and Spotify have been competing for the number one music listening app throughout 2018. The website Statista highlighted both companies’ numbers in 2018. Spotify, which has been a top leading subscriber app boasts (as of June 2018) eighty-three million paying subscribers worldwide. On the other side, Apple Music now has (as of May 2018) fifty million paying subscribers worldwide.

Apple Music has been a relatively new platform for listening to music, launching in June 2015. The program has seen success, mainly due to the release of many new Apple products throughout the past three years. In fact, the growing number of users for Apple Music may surpass Spotify soon. Many tech based websites such as The Verge and Engaget have seen and reported on a drastic increase in US users of Apple Music.

However the real question is, what is the better program to stream music? To break it down, both programs have the same base starter fee ($9.99 per month). There is also offered student plans (college students) at $4.99 per month.

Spotify does, however, offer a free alternative, which has ads and the inability to play a certain song without shuffling. Apple Music does have a free alternative, however the music you listen to must be either bought through iTunes, or downloaded and transferred to the listening device. Apple Music does offer a free three month trial available to new users compared to Spotify’s thirty day trial. If you want to see which program fits for you, this option is a good one to take.

Apple Music and Spotify both do a good job in providing users with a large variety of artists to listen to. While originally, artists like Taylor Swift refrained from putting music on Spotify, with the release of her most recent album Reputation, that quickly changed. Spotify also offers exclusive songs to listeners referred to as “Spotify Singles” that tend to be covers of other songs as well as artists own songs uploaded exclusively on Spotify.

Both programs have their major flaws that play a huge role in deciding which listening app to go with. My frustration with Spotify relies in their free program. Spotify has ads that will run throughout the listening time that will offer “thirty minutes of ad free listening”. However if you listen to the ad, a majority of the time the ads will return within 15 minutes. The shuffling of music instead of being able to choose a certain song can be frustrating. Though Spotify does offer some playlists curated by them to listen to without shuffling. Also, if you use Spotify via a laptop, it is easier to bypass the shuffling rules.

Apple Music is not flawless either, and I had my fair share of problems while using the app. My main issue with Apple Music was its inconsistency with the workability of the app. Almost every month, my playlists and music get deleted off my account. This would continue to frustrate me for months and I also experienced difficulty with downloading many songs. Songs I would download either would not end up playing when I was outside a Wi-Fi network or crash my app.

Overall, while both programs have their shared pros and cons, I prefer to use Spotify and would recommend it more frequently due to its free option as well as the exclusive attributes on the app. Apple Music contains some software issues and while it does have a growing user list, Spotify has offered me a couple more features. The ability to have the free option, no matter how bad it may be, gives listeners at least some form of listening.

Even though my time using Apple Music was not the best, I would recommend people to at least take part in the three month free trial. Spotify has been a crucial role in my listening experience and if you are going to spend almost ten dollars a month, you should spend it on Spotify.

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