The fierce competition in the music streaming market is forcing streaming platforms to introduce new features and new offerings that attract new users and turn them into paying subscribers.
The main competition is between market leader Swedish music streaming service Spotify and American Apple Music. By the way, both streaming services together own a music market share that exceeds 60%.
Apple Music is a global success, especially in the United States, where Apple’s service is used the most. On the other hand, Spotify, one of the first applications to become popular for this type of service, has taken a leading position in the market all over the world.
Although they are very similar in their main task (playing music), they do have some significant differences.
Determining a winner in any software interface comparison is usually very difficult, especially if both are well built – as is the case with the interfaces of Spotify and Apple Music.
Let’s start with the main playback screen, which displays album art, a navigation bar for selecting a specific piece of music, and basic controls in any music playback app, such as fast forward/rewind and play/pause.
Both apps change the background color of the player depending on the cover of the currently playing song, making it look less monotonous. The big difference between the two in this part is the number of options and controls available to users.
Spotify has options to listen to a song, enable shuffle playback, or control the repeat of a track or album. On the other hand, it takes an extra step in Apple Music to access the kind of controls that are available in the menu that shows the playback history and next songs.
Instead of these very useful options, the Apple app has a volume control, which, in fact, is not needed at all in this case.
Access to lyrics is also different: while in Apple Music they can be shown by pressing a button, in Spotify they are located at the bottom of the player, which makes the product design heterogeneous. The main menus of the two applications are completely different, although they have almost the same functionality and achieve the same results. This difference is mainly due to the organization, since the software separates its content into specific tabs very well.
Both apps have curation that recommends songs according to the user’s taste (which takes into account factors such as play history and songs liked), as well as a more general one that isn’t as user-specific (it also shows current releases).
Another very important thing to think about when subscribing to a music streaming service is the sound quality, which can be a deciding factor for those with more sensitive ears.
This time we started with Spotify, which offers subscribers four different levels of audio quality. Storing your songs in AAC format, the service allows – on mobile phones, tablets and computers – users to listen to your songs at different bit rates.