Which Music-Streaming Service Is More Worth It: Apple Music Or Spotify

Opinion Editor, Garrett Livingston, and Multimedia Editor, Annette Gonzalez, debate whether Apple Music or Spotify is more valauble to potential consumers. Garrett argues Apple Music is superior and Annette believes Spotify is more worth its price. Enjoy!

Apple Music:

Music streaming was first introduced into the mainstream in 2005 with the creation of Pandora Radio, a program that allowed users to listen to music for free based on their individual tastes. This model was built openly by different companies until Spotify was introduced to North America in 2011, allowing anybody to listen to a nearly endless library of music on demand.

Spotify revolutionized the music industry and according to the 2016 Nielsen Music U.S. Year-End Report, on-demand audio streaming has now grown to 38% of total audio consumption, making it the largest way that people consume music. But now, several years later, Spotify isn’t the only streaming service available and it certainly isn’t the best. Apple came out with Apple Music, Spotify’s chief competition, in 2015 and since then has been improving on the model that Spotify created.

Apple Music is the same price as Spotify, at $9.99 a month for the standard service while also offering a library similar to Spotify’s, but with many exclusive features like live sessions and Beats radio. While Spotify has about 30 million songs in it’s library, Apple Music has over 40 million songs, this wider selection offers many underground artists that Spotify doesn’t and can appeal to anyone’s tastes.

Apple Music’s application design is also very minimalist and uses mostly neutral colors resulting in a much simpler and sleeker format. The app also begins on the library page when it is opened, resulting in quick and easy listening. In contrast, Spotify uses dark hues and opens on a home page filled with playlists generated by Spotify’s algorithms. This format can make it more difficult and confusing to access your own music while also being difficult to navigate do to a muddy color scheme where nothing stands out.

One of the most crucial things that Apple Music does is that it pays its artists more. According to a study done by the Recording Industry Association of America, Spotify pays about $7 per 1,000 streams, while Apple Music pays $12-$15. This difference is very significant, especially for big name artists. This bonus is even more important in a time where a musician makes most of their money through touring due to their little revenue generated through streaming. Lil Uzi Vert got 1.3 billion streams for his song XO Tour Llif3, he only received about $900,000, this number is very insignificant considering the massive number of streams the song received.

Although the two services are similar in many ways, it is important to get your money’s worth. Apple Music offers a simpler and more user-friendly service that allows those that use it to listen to what they want, when they want, hassle-free. It’s also important that when money is being put into these services, that the money is put back into the artists that are being listened to. After all, without the artists there wouldn’t be any music to begin with.

Spotify:

Spotify is a digital music streaming service that serves tens of millions of both paid and unpaid users. It customizes radio stations and playlists specific to each person’s music taste and transforms the music streaming industry into a deeply personal experience.  

Spotify serves as the more inclusive platform being that any person can access Spotify through just downloading the app. On the other hand, its competitor Apple Music has made its platform virtually inaccessible to those without membership.

Spotify is available for free to the public with advertisements in between listening and without the ability to choose song order. There is also a limit of 10 songs a free user is able to skip in a given time period. However, if a user accesses Spotify through a computer there is no skip limit and the user can pick and choose whatever song they would like to hear in their order of choice.

Although some users might complain about the amount of advertisements they receive, Spotify has no obligation to make their platform free to the public. Advertisements are what makes free listening possible which is a privilege not offered by Apple Music.

Instead of just providing users with the lyrics to a song like Apple Music does, Spotify has teamed up with Genius, a site that finds the meaning behind a song’s lyrics to provide listeners with not only the lyrics to the song but the symbolism behind them.

Spotify also adds a personal touch to the users experience with their daily mix feature. The daily mix is a playlist comprised of a user’s favorite songs of a specific genre in addition to new songs that the user might be unfamiliar with. But unlike Apple Music, where a song’s popularity in a particular genre weighs more than the song’s flow and sound, Spotify ensures that every song on a daily mix playlist flows and fits in well with every other song in the playlist. The daily mix playlists are separated by genre and are filled with songs that Spotify has predicted the user will enjoy.

Apple Music on the other hand attempts to match Spotify’s personal touch with a section called “For You” where numerous playlists are recommended based on a user’s song history but more often than not the playlists are just several random songs belonging to the same genre that might not even correspond to each other. Apple Music fills it’s genre specific playlists with songs that are popular instead of focusing on the mood and similarities of the songs themselves.

Unlike Apple Music, Spotify also music offers an extensive and global listening experience that works to ensure that every listener’s experience is fine tuned to suit their personal preferences.

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