Spotify vs Apple Music

You have options when it comes to where you get your music. But with so many options, there seems to be two prominent apps that are dominating the market: Spotify and Apple Music.

Have you wondered what’s the difference? Does one offer more than the other? Am I missing out?

Let’s go over the basics regarding to each platform.


  • $10/mo and $5/mo for students
  • Compatible for up to 6 people ($15/mo)
  • Free with ads
  • Trial for 3 months at $0.99
  • Stream quality up to 320kbps Ogg Vorbis, or ACC
  • 50 million songs 

Apple Music

  • $10/mo or $5/mo for students
  • Compatible for up to 6 people ($15)
  • No free tier
  • Free trial for 3 months 
  • Stream quality up for 256kbps AAC
  • 50 million songs


If you’re looking for one the cheapest option, you’ll find that both of these are almost exactly the same in price. $5/mo for students (with valid proof of college), $10/mo for regular subscription and $15/mo for family plans. The only slight difference here is Spotify charges $0.99 for the 3 month trial.

With Spotify, you can choose the premium option which allows you to stream any song on demand and listen offline. Also, if you’re a student, you can access Hulu and Showtime (with ads) as part of the premium subscription. Unlike Apple Music, if you don’t want to pay for premium, there is a free ad-supported subscription. It’s not as convenient however, because you will have to “shuffle” mode on any playlist or album rather than choosing your song on demand. Limited to 6 skips/hr.

If you go with Apple Music, the only free option you have is to stream Beats1 Radio.

Sound Quality

Spotify uses the Ogg Vorbis format. This is customizable up to 320kbps, which is convenient if you’re worried about using up too much data. Desktop playback is at 160kbps or 320kbps for premium users.

Apple Music streams at 256kbps AAC files.

If none of this makes sense to you, no worries. A quick Google search on streaming quality will clarify any questions. The truth is, unless you’re serious about your audio, you won’t notice the streaming quality when comparing the two platforms. So, this won’t be a dealbreaker for most people.

Music Selection

Both have a massive amount of songs – about 50 million. You won’t have trouble finding your favorites on either of these platforms.

Where can you listen?

Both platforms are available on iOS and Android. Both also have desktop apps for Windows and Mac. You can also listen to both Apple Music and Spotify in your browser.

Both allow you to stream any audio to a bluetooth wireless speaker: Airplay, or Chromecast.

In addition to Amazon Alexa speakers, Spotify is also available on and Google smart speakers. And, if a device is certified as Spotify Connect compatible, it means you can use the Spotify app as a remote to control playback. Spotify is also available across a wide range of other devices like Xbox and PlayStation.

Discovering new music

Both Spotify and Apple Music do a great job of exposing you to new music based on what you already like and listen to. Spotify has tailored play likes like Discover Weekly and Release Radar that are automatically updated each week. Apple Music has New Music Mix.

It seems like Spotify’s recommendations are more on-point in terms of what you like and are listening to. This is a big reason that many people go with Spotify.

It’s hard to know exactly which one will best suit you. You may want to try both of the trials to see which one you groove with better. While both are fantastic streaming sites, they aren’t the only ones. You have many options like Amazon music, Tidal and more.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.