The Swedish streaming service Spotify is considered the undisputed leader in the global music streaming market. But Apple Music is only slightly behind the leader. So, which of these music streaming services is better and what are their differences, we will understand below.
Let’s start with some statistics. In mid-2021, the Swedish green giant officially announced 150 million paid subscribers. In total, the number of monthly users of the service is 380 million people around the globe. Spotify’s global streaming market share, according to various estimates, ranges from 31 to 35%.
As for Apple Music, the Cupertino corporation does not disclose the statistics of its users. According to music industry experts, Apple Music’s market share ranges from 19% to 24%.
The cardinal difference between Spotify and Apple Music is that Swedish streaming has a free version, while the music platform from Apple does not have a free version in principle. The only element of Apple Music’s loyalty program is a three-month period during which new subscribers can try the app for free. It should also be noted that Apple’s streaming platform periodically and in different countries holds promotions for new users, for example, giving them the opportunity to use a free trial version for six months.
An important factor when choosing the best of these two streaming services will be the size of the media library of each of them. Spotify has a somewhat larger music library than its nearest competitor, though Apple is updating its music pool more frequently.
Initially, both services play on all devices and are compatible with all operating systems. But it is Apple Music that is best suited for the gadgets of the Apple ecosystem.
The differences in playback quality between the two services are mostly not too noticeable. Spotify offers playback at a maximum resolution of 320 kbps in the open OGG Vorbis format. Apple Music, on the other hand, offers a maximum bitrate of 256 kbps in the proprietary AAC format.
Spotify, however, has an advantage over Apple Music in two ways: in the app we find not only music, but also podcasts, and we also get a lot more recommended playlists and compilations. Apple Music benefits from a library of radio stations and the ability to conveniently upload your own music. Spotify makes it easy to switch playback between all devices on the same network, or control playback on one device from another. For example, on your phone or watch, you can control playback from an app on the computer that your speakers are connected to. Apple Music does not allow this. However, it should be taken into account that according to statistics, in developed countries, about half of the population use gadgets from Apple. Consequently, most Apple Music subscribers are in these countries, while Spotify is very popular in developing countries, although it is used in developed countries too.