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Apple Music VS Spotify: Which Is Better Streaming Music Service for You

Posted to Apple Music News & Tips & Spotify Music News & Tips by Laurence Bradley on March 23, 2018


Who is the king of streaming music service? Many users may use Spotify as answer. As of March 2018, Spotify has most users than any other streaming music services including Apple Music. However, Apple Music is growing quickly and will overtake Spotify in terms of US subscribers this summer. In this article, we will compare Spotify with Apple Music from all main factors including audio quality, file format, supported devices, supported countries, pricing, total amount of music library, music discovery and sharing, etc. to help you choose the one suits you better. We also introduce Apple Music Converter and Spotify Music Converter to help you enjoy them on iPod, PSP, Walkman, MP3 players and more.

Apple Music VS Spotify

When talking streaming music service, what will come to your mind? Spotify, Apple Music or some others? As of March 2018, Spotify and Apple Music are the top two streaming music services in the world. You may use both of them, but to most users, one streaming music service is enough. So which one should be chosen?

When choosing a streaming music service, there are some factors you may consider. Audio quality, file format and supported devices, supported countries, pricing, features of music discovery and sharing, etc. Depending on which you care most, you can choose the one that suits you better. In this article, we will compare Spotify with Apple Music in all main aspects.

Apple Music VS Spotify

1. Subscribers: Apple Music 50 Million VS Spotify 83 Million

As of July 2018, Apple Music has got more than 50 million paid users while Spotify as got more than 83 million paid subscribers. And, it's said by Eddy Cue that 8 million users are in the period of 3-month free trial. According to Spotify's press release, Spotify now has a total of 180 million active users. That is to say, Spotify Free and Premium users take about 50% respectively.

2. Apple Music Free Trial VS Spotify Free

Apple Music provides 3-month free trial to new users, any free trial users can fully enjoy all the songs and features, there won't be any difference between free trial and formal subscription. Meanwhile, Spotify provides free plan to all users, and there are many limitations and disadvantages compared with Spotify Premium.

3. Audio Quality: Apple Music 256Kbps VS Spotify 320Kbps

Apple Music streams at 256bkps, which is same audio qaulity as the songs you purchased from iTunes Store. Apple Music audio quality is same on all platforms including PC, Mac, iOS, Apple TV and Android.

As to Spotify, it depends on your account type and device you are using. On Windows or Mac with Spotify desktop app, Spotify Free is 160kbps and Spotify Premium is 320kbps. On web player, it's 128kbps for free and 256kbps for Premium. On iPhone, iPad and Android, Spotify Free could be 96kbps or 160kbps depending on your network and settings and Spotify Premium is 320kbps. When streaming Spotify with Chromecast, it's 128kbps for free users and 256kbps for premium users.

4. File Format: Apple Music Protected AAC (*.m4p) VS Spotify Protected Ogg Vorbis (*.ogg)

Downloaded Apple Music songs are protected AAC files with *.m4p file extension while downloaded Spotify songs by premium users are protected Ogg Vorbis files with *.ogg file extension.

Both downloaded Apple Music songs and Spotify songs are encrypted and can be only listened on supported devices with your account authorized. If you want to enjoy Apple Music or Spotify on unsupported devices like iPod Nano/Shuffle, Sony Walkman and MP3 players, you can use Apple Music Converter and Spotify Music Converter respectively, we will discuss the programs in this article later or you can click the links to view the details.

5. Apple Music Supported Devices VS Spotify Supported Devices

You need to meet the system requirements to enjoy Apple Music or Spotify on different devices. Please check the table below.

Supported Devices Apple Music Spotify
iPhone iPhone 4S or above, with iOS 8.4 or above iPhone 4S or above, with iOS 9 or above
iPad iPad 2 or above, with iOS 8.4 or above iPad 2 or above, with iOS 9 or above
iPod Touch iPod Touch 5 or above, with iOS 8.4 or above iPod Touch 5 or above, with iOS 9 or above
Apple TV Apple TV 4 or above, with tvOS 9.0 or above --
Android Phones Any Android Phones with OS 4.3 or above Any Android Phones with OS 4.0.3 or above
Android Tablets -- Any Android Tablets with Android OS 4.0.3 or above
Windows Windows 7 or later, with iTunes 12.2.2 or above Windows 7 or later
Mac Mac 10.9.5 or later, with iTunes 12.2.2 or above Mac 10.9 or later
Web Player -- Chrome, Firefox, Edge & Opera on PC or mobile

From the comparison table above, we know that Spotify supports more devices than Apple Music. Spotify is unavailable on Apple TV while Apple Music is unavailable on Android tablets. And Spotify can be directly played on mainstream web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Opera on Windows, Mac, mobile and tablets.

When choosing Apple Music or Spotify, make sure your device can meet the minimum requirements.

6. Apple Music Supported Countries VS Spotify Supported Countries

As of March 2018, Apple Music supports 115 countries or regions while Spotify only supports 51 countries or regions. You can check the full list of Apple Music Supported Countries or Regions in Apple's official website and check Spotify Supported Countries or Regions in Spotify's official website.

7. Music Library: Apple Music 45 million VS Spotify 40 million

Spotify first gained its dominant position with more than 30 million songs and it adds more than 20,000 new songs each day. As of March 2018, there are more than 40 million songs in total on Spotify. Apple Music has more than 45 million songs which is superior to Spotify.

8. Apple Music VS Spotify: Discovering New Music

For Apple Music, you can use Beats 1, "For You" section, New tab and "connect" features of musicians to discover new music. For Spotify, you can discover new music by using built-in Browse, Discover Weekly, User-made playlists, Radio stations, advanced genre search, related articles and following artists & friends.

9. Apple Music Pricing VS Spotify Premium Pricing

To enjoy Apple Music after 3-month free trial or enjoy Spotify Premium, you need to pay for subscription fees. Both Apple Music and Spotify provide Student, Individual, Annual and Family plans, and the prices are the same.

Price Apple Music Spotify Premium
Student $4.99 1 Month $4.99 1 Month
Individual $9.99 1 Month $9.99 1 Month
Individual Annual $99 1 Year $99 1 Year
Family $14.99 1 Month $14.99 1 Month

However, Spotify provides some other options. For new users, they can try Spotify Premium for free for 7 days on a mobile device. This automatically starts and ends, so requires no payment details. Spotify also offers longer trial periods which do require payment details.

10. Individual Plan's Simultaneous Device: Apple Music 1 VS Spotify 3

Though you can sign in an Apple ID on multiple devices and you can enjoy Apple Music on multiple devices, you can only play Apple Music on one device at the same time. If you want to play Apple Music songs on 2 or more devices simultaneously, you need to buy Family Plan.

With Spotify Premium, you can play the songs on 3 devices simultaneously. However, it's conditional. You can only play on one device online, you need to set other devices to offline mode by making playlists available offline on other device

11. Offline Downloads: Apple Music Unlimited VS Spotify 10,000 Songs

With Apple Music, as long as you have enough free space, you can download as many songs as you like.

With Spotify, you can only download 10,000 songs on one device, though you can download on 5 devices.

Apple Music Converter VS Spotify Music Converter

Apple Music Converter and Spotify Music Converter are decrypted programs to help you enjoy your favorite songs on all kinds of devices without any limitation.

Apple Music Converter can convert any downloaded and online Apple Music songs in iTunes library to MP3, M4A, AIFF, AU, AC3, FLAC and MKA with ID3 tags and 100% original audio quality. Apple Music Converter performs at 16X faster conversion speed and allows you to rename and sort converted songs by ID3 tags and characters in bulk. Besides, Apple Music Converter can also convert iTunes M4B audiobooks, Audible AA/AAX audiobooks and other iTunes compatible audio formats.

Apple Music Converter is available for Windows and Mac, fully supports latest Windows 10 and macOS Catalina 10.15. Below is the main interface of Apple Music Converter.

TuneMobie Apple Music Converter

Spotify Music Converter can download Spotify songs, albums and playlists to PC and convert to MP3, M4A, WAV and FLAC with ID3 tags kept. Spotify Music Converter supports both Spotify Free and Spotify Premium accounts. You can either drag and drop songs, albums or playlists from Spotify to Spotify Music Converter or copy URL from Spotify and paste in Spotify Music Converter. Spotify Music Converter performs at 5X faster conversion speed.

Spotify Music Converter is also available for Windows and Mac and fully supports latest Windows 10 and macOS Catalina 10.15. Below is the main interface of Spotify Music Converter.

Downloading Spotify Music

Which one is better for you, Apple Music or Spotify? Maybe you have got the conclusion. However, no matter which streaming music service you choose, you can break the limitations and enjoy them on any devices you like.