Spotify vs. Apple Music: Which will win over music lovers?



Eddie Brancale

For us college students, music is a necessity in our everyday lives. We use it for studying, walking between classes or just hanging out in our rooms. The last few years have been dominated by the emergence of music streaming services, which have taken the place of downloaded music. Starting with Pandora, these services have changed the way people listen to music. In recent years, Spotify has been the dominant company in the music streaming industry. While other applications, such as Songza and Pandora, have their loyalists, Spotify has made a name for itself as the premier service in music streaming. Over the summer, electronic juggernaut Apple launched its own premium streaming service, Apple Music. 

The Apple name carries significant weight, and many are curious as to how Apple could revolutionize the music streaming industry. With the emergence of Apple Music, Spotify now has a serious competitor. The question is, which is better?

Spotify and Apple Music each have their respective strengths. Apple Music was launched midsummer amidst much speculation and excitement. After its debut, many were excited with its multitude of features. After downloading Apple Music, users are asked about their music genre preferences and favorite artists, while also provided their least preferred genres and artists. Apple Music then curates specific playlists modeled after the user’s preferences. Each playlist is high quality, and Apple Music is able to create a playlist for different moods while also introducing users to new music suited to their taste. 

Spotify create playlists for specific moods while also having a “Discover Weekly” tab that recommends music for specific users. In addition to this, there is the ability to collaborate with friends on making playlists, while also being able to make them private or public. While this feature is  important, the quality of playlists created by Apple Music is enough to put them over the edge. 

In addition to its diverse playlist selection, Apple Music provides listeners with a great selection of radio stations, including Beats 1 radio. 

Last year, Apple acquired Dr. Dre’s Beats Company in one of the most lucrative deals in music history. Beats-quality audio is present on the groundbreaking Beats 1 radio, where multiple artists host their own radio shows, including “WRTJ” with Run the Jewels and “Time Crisis” with Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend. 

The real impact of Beats 1 radio, however, will be its ability to debut exclusively the latest music from top artists. Last week, Drake and Future premiered their collaborative mixtape “What a Time to be Alive” on Beats 1, while Apple was able to stream the mixtape exclusively on Apple Music. While Spotify has its own quality radio stream, it does not compare to the stations of Apple Music or the ability to exclusively premiere new music. 

In terms of pricing, Spotify is much more cost effective as far as college students go. Spotify has a free option, but it doesn’t allow for the full experience. Spotify Premium is $9.99 for regular users, but college students get a discounted price of $4.99 after a 30-day trial. On the other hand, Apple Music offers a price of $9.99, but also offers a 90 day trial. 

So far, there is no discount for college students, as everyone must pay full price. 

Overall, both services provide a quality listening experience. Spotify has a loyal following and has been the premier name in music streaming for several years. Being that it is a brand new application, Apple Music has some flaws and doesn’t provide as cost effective an experience as Spotify Premium. 

However, the services offered by Apple Music (including the potential for exclusive debuts and a high quality level of playlists) get the advantage.