The two world music market leaders compete in innovation and user acquisition, sound quality and music library size. But who is the winner in this competition?
In terms of catalog size, Spotify confirms that it has about 70 million tracks, while Amazon Music has about 70-75 million, although the streaming service does not give exact information.
With the exception of the free Spotify subscription, the other features of both services offer high-quality streaming. There are some differences in the format used for audio compression that can change the perception of sound in terms of quality, especially when using high quality headphones.
The maximum quality offered by Amazon Music is 320 kbps in AAC format. This speed may vary depending on the quality of the internet connection and may drop to 24 kbps in the worst situations. Spotify offers the same top speed and format, 320kbps in AAC format, although the lowest compression rate is 96kbps.
Spotify’s advantage over Amazon Music is that it has an audio equalizer that can optimize streaming on simpler mobile phones. The Swedish streaming music service has announced a Hi-Fi subscription that aims to bring the premium sound quality on this streaming platform closer to that of Tidal, which is considered the market leader in premium sound quality. But so far, this option is only available in a few countries, in particular, in the United States.
Now an Amazon curiosity: Only in the United States does HD mode offer 850kbps in “high” mode and 3730kbps in ultra mode. Amazon Music HD uses the FLAC format, which is the most accurate and least compressed in relation to others such as MP3 and AAC itself. But listening to such high-quality music requires corresponding high-quality playback equipment, which costs a lot of money. Otherwise, there is simply no point in spending extra money and getting high-quality sound that the user will not be able to appreciate in any way.
Both services have web browser versions, Windows and Mac apps, and compatibility with Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire Stick TV. Spotify, in turn, has some other add-on devices such as select smart TVs from Samsung and LG, as well as consoles like the Playstation and Xbox One with the full app.
Spotify has a much larger selection of songs than its direct competitor in the national segment of its huge media library. This makes it very popular not only in the English-speaking environment, but also in individual countries, artists from which post their songs on this platform.
Spotify has a presence on the social network because here you can follow friends (and they will follow you). This way, everyone stays up to date with what everyone else is listening to, and it’s a good way to discover new music through your class’s recommendations.