Apple Music vs Spotify

Apple Music vs Spotify

Now that the dust has settled, let’s get back to talking about Apple Music and how it stands next to the trendy Spotify. After its release on June 30th, the public has had much to say about Apple’s long-awaited replacement for Beats Audio and iTunes Radio. Let’s take a deeper look into how it measures up to the hype of its release in this one on one match-up between Spotify and Apple Music.

The Facts

Apple vs Spotify

Music Catalog

One of the prime standouts is the advertised music library size that alone speaks loudly to music lovers who are in search of new artists. Spotify is doing a tremendous job in cultivating its users by having over 30 million songs available next to Apple standing at just 30 million. This is vital when Apple’s big idea was to connect its listeners to fresh tunes and upcoming artists.

In Apple Music, the Connect section serves as a social network for artists to share photos, videos, lyrics, song bits, and more with their fans. When fans follow artists they can also write short comments like; “Hey Taylor, can you write a song about my ex?” Or something along those lines. Apple has promised to be a place for up-and-coming musicians to publish and promote their music. So far all I have seen, and several of my peers have agreed, is that Apple’s music library is full of mainstream music whereas Spotify has pushed to feature original music that relates to their users listening patterns.

However, Apple claims it will get more exclusive tracks and music from unsigned artists that were not available at launch. Is this worth waiting around for, or something Spotify needs to watch out for?  This could mean a bright future for Apple Music once more content emerges from artists. Now, for those who enjoy mainstream music and listening to popular artists like Taylor Swift don’t have to look much further than Apple Music. It took a bit of going back and forth between Taylor and Apple but Taylor Swift’s catalogue is available on Apple Music – but you still won’t find her music on Spotify; this is a whole other discussion in its self, nevertheless artists want to be paid for their music to be streamed and Apple was able to pull that off.

Spotify is already winning with it being available to Android users, but Apple Music will be available on Android and Apple TV later this fall; so they say. But will this make much of a difference seeing as Android users have Android products for a reason… Personally, I am a huge Apple fan and will probably always own an iPhone and other Apple products making me more likely to use Apple Music. Though, I can’t say the same for Android lovers.

Discovering New Music

“I love Spotify. I feel that Apple Music repeats the songs too often. I personally like the flow and look of Spotify more;” words spoken directly from our Marketing Director, Brittney Harden. Something I have to agree completely with, and not just because she’s my boss. But every true music lover knows how annoying it can be when a radio station overplays a trendy song, and by the end of the week you’d rather eat sand paper than listen to it again.

The For You tab featured in Apple Music merely took the musicians saved to My Music and incessantly suggested their albums and playlists in which they’re featured. The recommendations lack imagination instead of offering you something fresh, like Spotify’s Discovery feature for example. My experience with Spotify’s song range is far from lazy; their suggestions are artists that I have never heard of, and lack the obvious mainstream selections.


Apple adds a more intimate feature with radio. Both Spotify and Apple Music have radio features, but function in different ways. Apple Music offers a live, 24/7 global radio station, streaming from London, New York and Los Angeles called Beats 1. They have added a human element by hiring DJs to run the stations promising to play hot music, provide worthy discussions, and offer exclusive interviews.

Apple users are dreadfully familiar with fresh products having glitches and new updates not functioning to its full capacity because of Apples increased unveilings. This brings us to Apples recent launch, Apple Music radio stations have experienced many technical issues – such as the app crashing or audio not loading.

Although Spotify doesn’t necessarily offer the normal radio feature, instead users start their own radio station by clicking the “Start Artist Radio” at the top of any artist page or just drag a track to “Radio” in the left sidebar. Spotify will then make a radio station of similar music.

One facet most tend to overlook but it is something that can make or break an app is its user interface and user experience. Spotify and Apple Music both have simple user-interfaces that look great, but differ in ease of use.

John Driscoll hit it right on the nail when he expressed that Apple Music’s interface is too complicated. “At first site, I thought it was going to be better and then I started navigating…” Yup, love at first site doesn’t always work out, unfortunately. Apple has put too much effort into making the app beautiful and fashionable that they forgot the most important element; navigation! This is when Spotify shines through with its easy to use music streaming mobile and desktop application.

Jason Martinez gave Apple Music a full week, fair enough, but… he’s not a fan. “The app is very complicated to navigate. The radio area is easy to use but the song choices are not great. Spotify is still better. Their interface is much easier,” Jason passionately voiced.

When It Comes Down To It

Now, we PhD Lab rats aren’t trying to be biased and push our readers in any sort of direction. We all love Apple and their products, and we can go on and on about how Apple surpasses many other products. However, we all seem to be Spotify fans. With Apple Music’s three month free trial it’s up to music lovers and our readers to decide for themselves.

On the surface, Spotify and Apple Music are very similar services. Just by looking at the chart above, both play music on demand, share recommendations, cost $9.99 per month, and are available for PC, Mac, iOS and soon Android. There isn’t one underlying difference in plane site that tip the scale for either. That decision is to be made by its users. Apple Music has a lot of room to grow and they have the advantage of making Apple Music into a powerful streaming service; whereas Spotify has already captured the attention of so many music lovers. For now, it is up to Spotify to stay ahead of the game because we all know how innovative Apple can be.

Robert Patrick

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Founder & Chief Architect Robert ("The One") started writing software at 12 years old, and founded PhD in the 1990′s at the age of 18. His philosophy is that working hard/playing hard, honesty and pursuing your true passion will lead to success and happiness.

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