What’s Better: Apple Music or Spotify?

Nicolette Visciano, Staff Writer

Does anyone remember the iPod shuffle?  No, not the Cupid Shuffle.  No, not the iPod Touch either.  The iPod shuffle.  No screen, no social media—simply buttons for playing, pausing, rewinding, and fast forwarding songs that you downloaded from your computer onto the tiny square that could clip onto the waistband of your Juicy Couture sweatpants.  

Clearly, technology has evolved greatly over time, and music lovers everywhere are singing hallelujah!  There are now multiple options for streaming your favorite music, and two popular competitors are Apple Music and Spotify.  Which is better?

Let’s start off with Apple Music—the newest of the two.  After taking advantage of the three-month free trial available for Apple Music, three plans to choose from are: Individual ($9.99/mo.), Student ($4.99/mo.), and Family ($14.99/mo.).  

The Individual and Student packages provide an overwhelming number of songs (in addition to everything from your iTunes library), ad-free music, and Beats 1 radio, as well as original shows, concerts, and exclusive content, that can all be accessed on multiple devices.  Plus, there is no commitment if you decide to test out the free trial and you can cancel your subscription at any time.

For those with siblings, the Family package would make the most sense.  This allows access to a maximum of six people, enabling each family member to have their own account, and capability to share iTunes purchases while maintaining all features of the Individual plan.

Within this app you can create playlists of your own or listen to ones assembled for you based on your music interests.  You can also create a profile and follow friends to share your music tastes, play all music offline, and listen to news and culture updates provided by Beats 1 radio.  You can even make a music request using Siri.   

Apple Music seems to be an easy choice since your iPhone already has the iTunes app downloaded, whereas Spotify creates a momentary hassel that will cost you about 30 seconds to open up the App Store, type the word “Spotify” into the search bar, and click the download button.  

Similar to that of Apple Music, Spotify offers multiple options including: the free version, Premium ($9.99/mo.), Premium for Students ($4.99/mo.), and Premium for Family ($14.99/mo.).  However, a 30-day free trial is offered before settling on that monthly fee.  

Let me just say, it is worth it to get Premium if you are an avid Spotify user.  Besides the standard creation of playlists and access to podcasts and radio stations, the only detail the free version and Premium have in common is shuffle play.  Once you enter the magical world of Spotify Premium, you are offered ad-free music, unlimited skips, offline listening by use of downloading, ability to play any track of your choosing at any given time, and high-quality audio.

As an add-on for students, that plan also includes Hulu, allowing access to the Hulu Limited Commercials Plan to watch streaming on-demand shows.

Premium for Family offers individual accounts for up to six people living at the same address.  Plus, you are able to keep your playlists since when you upgrade, your saved music and recommendations travel over.

A side note for gamers: Spotify is available on Playstation Music for both free and Premium memberships.

Personally, I am a loyal Spotify user, although Apple Music does sound intriguing.  As for which one is better, they both get the job done of providing customers with the music of their choice.  All that is left to be decided is which platform will be the most convenient for you while meeting your level of expectation.