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Apple Music vs. Spotify in 2024? Comparing the Top Music Streaming Giants

apple-music-vs-spotify

When it comes to music streaming services, Apple Music and Spotify reign supreme. But if you’re trying to decide between the two in 2023, which app should you pick?

Apple Music and Spotify both offer expansive music catalogs, personalized recommendations, and unique features. However, there are some key differences when it comes to price, sound quality, platforms, curated content and more.

This comprehensive comparison examines the pros, cons, and crucial distinctions between Apple Music vs Spotify. Let’s break down how the two streaming giants stack up in 2023 so you can determine the best choice for your listening needs.

Apple Music vs Spotify: Key Feature Comparison

Price and Plans

  • Apple Music offers a standard $9.99/month individual plan or a $14.99/month family plan for up to 6 users. Spotify also has a $9.99/month individual plan. However, their family plan supports up to 6 users for only $15.99.
  • For students, Apple Music is $4.99/month while Spotify is $4.99/month as well.
  • Both services offer extended free trial periods. Apple Music has a 3 month free trial while Spotify has a 1 month free trial.

Overall, Spotify has more flexible pricing options, but both offer comparable individual plans. Family plans are slightly cheaper with Spotify.

Sound Quality

  • Apple Music streams songs at 256 kbps AAC bitrate which is near CD-quality. With Spotify, the max bitrate is 320kbps Ogg Vorbis on premium plans.
  • So Apple Music edges out Spotify when it comes to sound quality. However Spotify users can opt for Spotify HiFi to stream lossless CD-quality audio at extra cost.
  • Apple Music also offers Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos on selected tracks for a more immersive listening experience. Spotify doesn’t provide these premium audio formats.

Platforms and Devices

  • Both Apple Music and Spotify are available across iOS, Android, PC, Mac, smart speakers and various connected devices.
  • However, Apple Music has deeper iOS integration and enjoys native support across Apple devices like Apple Watch and Apple TV. Spotify has more limited capabilities on Apple devices.
  • Spotify Connect also allows controlling playback across multiple devices. Apple Music doesn’t have this multi-device streaming capability.

Overall Apple Music works better across Apple ecosystems while Spotify is less restrictive on platforms. Both offer broad device support.

Music Discovery and Curation

For discovering new music and curated playlists, Spotify excels with tailored recommendations and mood-based playlists updated regularly by algorithms and in-house curators. Apple Music offers human-curated playlists and radio stations, but Spotify surpasses it in personalized music recommendations and discovery.

Apple Music highlights trending artists and tracks in its Browse tab but Spotify’s customized playlists based on your tastes and listening habits are more advanced.

Offline Listening and Downloads

Apple Music and Spotify both allow downloading music for offline playback. Apple Music permits offline listening from your library, playlists, and albums. There’s no limit on downloads with an active subscription. Spotify also has unlimited downloads but restricts offline listening on certain features like Spotify Connect.

Overall, Apple Music and Spotify offer robust support for offline listening. Apple Music gives you more flexibility in terms of what content can be downloaded.

Other Notable Features

Apple Music offers live events and concerts in Apple Music TV. It also includes lyrics for songs in its library. Spotify has unique social elements like sharing playlists and following profiles. It also features threaded comments on music and playlists. For podcasts, Spotify has a much larger catalog encompassing both originals and exclusives. Apple Music has a limited, curated selection of top podcasts.

Both apps provide radio-style stations based on artists, songs or genres. Spotify’s Daily Mixes and algorithmic Autoplay provide a more radio-like passive listening experience.

Apple Music vs Spotify: Which Is Better in 2023?

With both streaming services evenly matched in many respects, which is better in 2023 – Apple Music or Spotify? For Apple ecosystem users, Apple Music integrates flawlessly across iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple TV. Seamless syncing across devices is a key advantage. The higher audio quality of Apple Music also appeals to audiophiles seeking a premium listening experience. Lossless audio and Dolby Atmos support set it apart from Spotify. However, Spotify still leads when it comes to music discovery and personalization. The algorithms powering its tailored playlists are superior. Spotify Connect also enables multi-device control.

Overall, Spotify appears better suited for users who want a service focused solely on music streaming. Apple Music is the smarter pick for those already embedded in the Apple ecosystem. Both offer similar core functionality like offline listening, radio etc. But Spotify’s social features, podcast content and cross-platform support give it an edge in certain areas.

For most users though, the two services are nearly on par in 2023 with the biggest differentiators being ecosystem integration and audio quality. The pricing and plans are very competitive as well. It depends ultimately on your usage patterns, ecosystem affinity and audio needs.

Apple Music vs Amazon Music

How does Amazon Music compare to Apple Music and Spotify? It trails behind in some respects but offers a few unique advantages:

  • Catalog size is smaller at 90 million songs vs Apple’s over 90 million and Spotify’s 82 million
  • No live radio or socially shareable playlists like Spotify¬†
  • Works across iOS, Android, Fire OS, PC, Mac, and smart speakers
  • Audio quality maxes out at 256kbps for songs
  • Individual plan is $7.99/month so cheaper than Apple or Spotify
  • Amazon Prime members get Amazon Music for free
  • Integrates with Alexa voice assistant
  • Limited podcast library compared to Spotify

So Amazon Music is a compelling option for Echo device owners and Alexa users due to the integration. It also appeals based on cheaper monthly pricing. However, Apple Music and Spotify still come out ahead overall based on features, platforms supported, and audio quality. But Amazon Music shouldn’t be overlooked entirely as a value-driven streaming service.

Conclusion

When evaluating Apple Music vs Spotify, Spotify wins for curated playlists, music discovery and podcast content while Apple Music offers better iOS integration and audio quality. Make your decision based on which features are most important for your listening experience. Try out extended free trials of both services to gauge the pros and cons before committing. For many users, it often makes sense to have both streaming apps since they each have unique strengths. Having access to Spotify’s expert playlists and Apple Music’s lossless audio gives you the best of both worlds!

The competition between Apple Music and Spotify will likely heat up further in 2023. But the good news is both services will continue getting better as they battle to attract and retain subscribers with new innovations and added functionality.

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