There are many details within streaming services that make or break a listening experience. These minor changes have led to an interesting corporate rivalry in the music industry: Apple Music versus Spotify. The student price is the same, $4.99. So, what exactly has created the contrast between the two, and which one is truly better?
As mentioned before, Spotify and Apple Music can offer college students their services for the same price. But college students are notoriously broke, and maybe some cannot afford even the $5 every month. One perk of Spotify is that there is a free version anyone can use without having to pay a dime at any point. Although the ads are annoying and there are some limitations, Apple Music is not accessible to those who do not pay unless they are on a limited free trial. Spotify is also good for students, as they have a deal to get Hulu, Showtime, and Spotify Premium all for $4.99. Hulu is usually an extra $5.99, and Showtime is normally $10.99. Many Apple Music users are waiting for them to offer up a similar bargain for those who appreciate TV and music.
Many users appreciate Apple Music solely for its aesthetic. The design seems to be a bit less chaotic than Spotify’s, as Spotify recommends a lot of different playlists for the user, so there is a lot to look at. On the other hand, the darker design and setup of Spotify is widely appreciated. It is similar to dark mode, so it may be easier on the eyes of the user as they mainly use dark greys as their background.
Apple Music has a mainly white setup and it is overall lighter and brighter. It all depends on personal preference, but many seem to prefer dark mode for apps. Spotify also provides the “Friend Activity” bar, where users can watch what other people are listening to.
For multitudes of people, Spotify has just been around longer, and that is why they stick with it. Gillian O’Neill, 19, stands by that: “I’ve used Spotify since middle school because it came before Apple Music so all my playlists and liked songs are on there.” Spotify launched its app in July 2011, while Apple Music came out in June 2015. Many users began using Spotify and organized all of their music and playlists a certain way, therefore leading them to not switch platforms.
Bethany Simon, 19, believes that throughout time, celebrities have also made an impact on which app people lean towards. “I think the divide between the two comes from the recognition it gets from celebrities, when an artist hits the top charts on Apple it’s more of a big deal,” she claims. This has some truth to it, as many fans of Taylor Swift turned against Spotify when she removed her music in 2014. She has since returned her music to the streaming service.
Spotify and Apple Music both claim to have over 50 million songs currently in their library. They also both continuously add new music from assorted artists. Although there is a lot to listen to, one thing that many people appreciate about Spotify is the Daily Mix concept. “I use Apple Music more frequently but I personally like Spotify better. They make a lot of playlists curated for you and stuff you might be interested in, and it’s easier to find playlists made by other people,” Simon observes. Apple Music provides some playlists specifically designed, but only about four or five different ones, but it seems that Spotify offers more and keeps them more updated. There are usually six different Daily Mixes for users, as well as discovery playlists and playlists of songs users have had “On Repeat.”
Overall, it is difficult to decide which is better when both services have their pros and cons. It is up to each individual to decide which fits their lifestyle and preferences best. Make sure to tweet us at @VALLEYmag and tell us which streaming service you prefer!