Battle of the streaming bands: Spotify Premium vs. Apple Music

A thorough comparison of the two best music streamers — no offense, TIDAL

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Supplied via Wikipedia

Fortunately, there are numerous music streaming services ready to blast the playlist of your choice at the tap of a screen. Unfortunately, there are so many seemingly similar services that picking just one can add some unneeded stress to your days off. To make it easier for you, I’ve tested the two most popular streamers, Spotify Premium and Apple Music (sorry, TIDAL), on a few fundamental categories to see which one is worthiest of your precious time and wallet.

Music discovery

One of the main draws of streaming is the different ways to find new music. Both Spotify and Apple Music use algorithms to come up with a weekly playlist of music it thinks you would like based on your listening habits. As well, both can fine-tune your musical taste based on your liking and disliking of songs. Although Apple Music features a vast range of playlists and radio stations for each genre, Spotify's range of playlists is one of epic proportions. Spotify features playlists for every mood, sub-mood, and sub-sub-mood on the face of the earth, making it easy to find exactly what you're looking for no matter what you're feeling.

WINNER: Spotify

Ease

The last thing you want is to be fumbling around trying to get the perfect song when in a moment so ease is an important part of judging streaming apps. Apple Music largely benefits from its integration with iTunes, a program that Apple has spent decades perfecting. As a result, Apple Music proves to be a welcome addition to the Music app on your iPhone and the iTunes app on your computer. 

Spotify's interface isn't necessarily complicated—in fact, it's exceptionally clean and well – spaced. Maybe it’s because I’ve relied on iTunes since the sixth grade, but Spotify's new set of lingo and sections seemed slightly more difficult to navigate in comparison.

WINNER: Apple Music

Catalogue Variety

This one is a clear choice. Another bonus from Apple Music's iTunes partnership is that it taps into their entire library—basically every song available for purchase. Though Spotify doesn’t miss out on anything too major, there are a few artists whose absences can be felt. You unfortunately won't find any of the full anthologies of Taylor Swift, Jay-Z, Garth Brooks, Beyoncé's Lemonade, and most importantly the High School Musical soundtrack. 

Apple Music is known for having artists release their albums onto the service exclusively for a period, such as Frank Ocean did with Blonde and Chance the Rapper with Coloring Book. 

WINNER: Apple Music

Price

Spotify Premium and Apple Music both offer student plans for $4.99 a month, and family plans for $14.99 a month. However, Spotify edges the competition in this category because they also offer a completely free version, albeit with some restrictions and vibe-shattering ads. Even so, if you don't have room in your budget to spend on a service, it beats nothing.

WINNER: Spotify

Final Verdict

Well, it would appear we have a tie. Or do we? I mean, we definitely do, but the best advice I could give you would be to prioritize what you want in a service. If your main priority is finding a seamless companion to your established iTunes library, or listening to some high-profile artists before the public, go with Apple Music. If your goal is to discover new music, or listen to whatever you want for free, Spotify is the more suitable option.

Overall, you can take comfort in knowing that no matter which one you choose, you won't likely be disappointed.

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