Battle of the best: Spotify vs Apple Music

Music is integrated into almost everyone’s lives in one way or another. According to an article called “30+ People Listening to Music Statistics,” over 315 million Americans listen to audio daily. With ongoing competition between all of the music-streaming services, two are always battling for the top spot, Apple Music and Spotify. Many people have trouble choosing which one reigns supreme.


Price comparisons

Price is a big influence in everything we do. Spotify wins the price factor over Apple Music. Recently, Apple Music has increased its price. The individual plan is now $10.99 per month, while Spotify is $9.99 a month. Furthermore, the student and family plans for Spotify are both cheaper than Apple Music. The majority of listeners are students. The student plan or discount, with student verification, for Apple Music is $5.99 a month and includes Apple TV+. Spotify student plan is $4.99 a month and is currently offering a great deal. The student plan ($4.99) also comes with access to Hulu (TV streaming service) as well as SHOWTIME streaming service.

Another difference is that Spotify offers a free plan. This comes along with many advertisements and limited abilities (few skips, inferior sound quality, etc). Apple Music doesn’t offer a free plan. There is no way for someone to try it out or even attain it without paying for a subscription. Because of this, it limits their users and even their opportunity for gaining more. With that being said, Apple Music is the more expensive platform. Spotify has always been cheaper so this is no surprise, but with the added amenities, it really gives Spotify a step up.


Availableness with devices

Availability is key, especially in today’s society. Apple Music is automatically downloaded on your Apple product. However, Apple Music is only available to those with the Apple products, more specifically, an Apple ID. Without this, you will not be able to access Apple Music. Spotify, on the other hand, is accessible with many more products. It is compatible with Apple products, Androids and Google. You just need to have an account to sign into. This is a big advantage as they can gain more users on different devices. 

“My family uses Spotify; it’s good for us as I have an Apple phone, but my dad has a Samsung. We like how we can all be on the same plan even with different phone brands,” Roosevelt High School junior Alyssa Lewis said. She explained that with inclusivity like this, people may want to join Spotify more and for easier access.


Listening & sound quality

Sound quality is crucial, as this is ultimately about music. Hearing the difference of sound between the two may not be prevalent at first. But when I tested this by listening to the same songs, on both platforms, one after the other, I heard the higher quality. Apple Music wins for sound, plain and simple. Interviewing various people, many of them expressed their disappointment in sound quality from Spotify. 

Apple has lossless and high-resolution audio. According to a CNN article called Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which music app is best for you,“Lossless audio essentially avoids a lot of the data loss that happens when songs are compressed from their original source, giving you CD quality sound from a digital file.” Apple Music upgraded this feature by also adding spatial audio with Dolby Atmos which basically gives the full experience of the music. It can sound more real, multidimensional, and around you, rather than normal audio or traditional stereo. Spotify converts their files and, in the process, it makes the content to a lower quality mp3.

“I just always liked the way that Apple Music sounds more clear. Sometimes I think the wifi or internet connection may be altering the way Spotify sounds, but I realized that Apple just has better quality,” a Roosevelt High School senior, Kayman Lewis said.


Searching the platforms

Exploration and discovery is hard to do on Apple Music. They don’t suggest songs or podcasts; instead, you really have to search for yourself. Spotify is the complete opposite. It seems as if it is wanting people to discover different songs, artists and podcasts. Their home screen is continuously making playlists based off of your music and suggesting things you can listen to. 

“Join Spotify; they make playlists and suggest songs,” former Sacred Hearts Academy student Sydney Shiroma said. It seems that many people who use Spotify love this feature, as it is always mentioned in this debate. Spotify knows your taste based on previous songs and playlists. Spotify splits up songs based on genre or artists or other factors. It also includes many new up-and-coming artists, which are easier to discover. Lastly, they have millions of playlists that you can choose from that are catered to your interests. Furthermore, they allow others to create playlists and share them with the world; playlists like this can gain tons of popularity, leading to the discovery of new songs or songs you know already and just enjoy.



Appearance is one of the biggest factors in this Spotify versus Apple Music competition. Although people have different opinions on the look, one remains favored. Spotify keeps their dark display, while Apple Music opens up to a brighter display. Additionally, between the information I’ve gathered from interviews, polls and websites, lyrics are a big downfall for Spotify. Both Spotify and Apple Music have on screen lyrics. However, Apple Music seems to be more pleasing to the eye. It highlights the lines or lyrics, which are being played, while the other lyrics are in a blurry effect. This can act as a mimic of a karaoke machine. 

“My favorite feature is the lyrics,” Academy senior Kalei Gamboa said. She adores the simple yet gradient look of the on-screen lyrics. It is definitely an eye pleaser, not too bold and not too light, just the perfect image. Piling up upon the appearance, Spotify looks as if they are more crowded while Apple Music is more spaced out, but then again, it can depend on how the user assembles the look they desire.


Spotify vs. Apple Music winner

I conducted a little survey at our Academy’s Winter Ball. Going through the crowd, I asked 22 students and 10 teachers the same question: Spotify or Apple Music? 12 out of the 22 students answered Apple Music, seven answered Spotify and three prefer a different music provider. Online, I also put an additional poll between the two and 55% chose Spotify while 45% agreed on Apple Music. From these two resources, it shows that there is really no solid and evident winner. With supplemental information from interviews, websites, and then personal trials, I evaluated the different topics and important features of the music providers and made my ultimate choice from there. Going off of research, multiple people’s testimonies, polls, and first hand experience–Spotify loses this battle. Apple Music reigns supreme as they won the listening & sound quality, presentation, and personal captivation, when Spotify fell short winning price, availability, and platform. Although both are great and of course, the best two music streaming services, Apple closes with the superior hand.