You pay a monthly fee and you can access that massive music library on nearly any device. Either service should get you what you want but Spotify has a few features I want to see on Apple Music.
Very few services have exactly the same features and seldom presented in exactly the same way. Differentiation is a key component of good product marketing.
How do Spotify and Apple Music compare?
Price – the same; $10 a month for a user, $15 a month for Family, $5 a month for Students.
- Free – Spotify has a free tier that is ad-supported; think of it as internet radio. Apple has a free tier, too, but it’s only Beats1 radio.
- Quality – again, differentiation rules. Apple Music lives on AAC, Spotify uses both AAC and 320kbps Ogg Vorbis (difficult to differentiate with most ears).
- Library – both Spotify and Apple Music have around 50-million songs. If you can’t find what you want, you’re probably from a different planet.
- Streaming – this is a category comparison where Apple seems to rule with Music because everything is cloud-based, or stored locally.
- User Interface – I’ve used both and it takes a while to figure out where all the features and functions are, but once you know they’re about the same.
Here are features from Spotify that I want to see on Apple Music.
First, Apple Music on my iPhone needs a fade out timer. Set it to play music until a specific time or a specific amount of time. Yes, you can do something like that by using iPhone’s Clock app but it’s cumbersome to set up and use. Meanwhile, Spotify rolled out something better to Android OS earlier last year, and only now has something called Sleep Timer for iOS now.
Second, Apple claims to use human curators vs. Spotify’s algorithmic recommendations. Oddly, Spotify seems to find more recommendations for music I like– I’m old, so, you know, Oldies– than Apple Music’s people-based curators.
Of course, there is an ubiquity with Apple Music that is hard to ignore, but Spotify has earned its right to be and remain number one with Siri integration, and an Apple TV app.
A little competition is good, right?