Apple Music vs Spotify: Which is the best music app?

Alana Grace

Photography of a Woman Listening to Music
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Apple Music and Spotify are two of the most popular and widely used music apps, but which one is better? In this article, we will compare them in six aspects: price, library, sound quality, interface, compatibility, and extras.


Both apps offer a free trial period and a standard plan for $9.99 per month. However, they have different pricing options for students, families, and annual or bundle plans. Here is a summary of their prices:

AspectApple MusicSpotify
Student plan$4.99 per month with Apple TV Plus$4.99 per month with Hulu and Showtime
Family plan$14.99 per month for up to six members$14.99 per month for up to six members with parental controls and Spotify Kids
Annual plan$99 per yearNot available
Bundle plan$14.95 or $19.95 per month with iCloud, Apple TV Plus, and Apple ArcadeNot available


Both apps have over 70 million songs and exclusive content, such as podcasts, live sessions, interviews, documentaries, and playlists. However, they have different library offerings:

  • Apple Music has more exclusive albums and songs from some artists and more integration with other Apple services and products.
  • Spotify has more exclusive podcasts and shows from some creators and more integration with other platforms and devices.

Sound quality

Both apps offer high-quality sound for their streams and downloads, but they use different formats and bitrates. Apple Music uses AAC format, which streams and downloads at 256 kbps for all plans. Spotify uses Ogg Vorbis format, which streams at 96 kbps for free users, 160 kbps for desktop users, and 320 kbps for premium users, and downloads at 96 kbps for free users and 320 kbps for premium users. Spotify also offers an option to change the sound quality settings, while Apple Music does not.


  • Both apps have a similar interface that consists of a home screen, a library screen, a search screen, and a now playing screen. They also have similar features that allow you to browse, discover, play, pause, skip, shuffle, repeat, and queue songs. However, they have different interface design and functionality:
  • Apple Music has a more colorful and vibrant interface that matches the album art and theme of the songs. It also has a more intuitive and user-friendly interface that makes it easy to navigate and access different features. It also has more options to customize your library and playlists, such as adding artwork, descriptions, genres, ratings, and smart playlists.
  • Spotify has a more dark and minimalist interface that focuses on the text and icons of the songs. It also has a more complex and cluttered interface that may require more taps and swipes to find and use different features. It also has more options to customize your home screen and recommendations, such as adding podcasts, videos, daily mixes, and discover weekly.


Both apps are compatible with most devices and platforms that can play music, such as smartphones, tablets, computers, smart speakers, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and car systems. However, they have different compatibility and performance:

  • Apple Music is more compatible with Apple devices and platforms, such as iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, HomePod, CarPlay, and Siri. Spotify is more compatible with non-Apple devices and platforms, such as Android, Windows, Linux, Chromebook, Samsung, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Sonos.
  • Apple Music is more reliable and stable on Apple devices and platforms, as it is optimized and integrated with them. Spotify is more reliable and stable on non-Apple devices and platforms, as it has more partnerships and support with them.
  • Apple Music is more accessible and convenient on Apple devices and platforms, as it can be controlled and synced with them. Spotify is more accessible and convenient on non-Apple devices and platforms, as it can be streamed and casted to them.


Both apps offer some extra features that can enhance your music experience, such as lyrics, radio stations, podcasts, videos, social features, and personalization. However, they have different extra features and quality:

  • Apple Music has more accurate and synchronized lyrics that can be displayed on the screen or sung along with karaoke mode. Spotify has more limited and delayed lyrics that can only be displayed on the screen.
  • Apple Music has more diverse and exclusive radio stations that are hosted by celebrities or experts, such as Beats 1, Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country. Spotify has more personalized and algorithmic radio stations that are based on your listening history or preferences, such as Release Radar, Radio Xtra, and Spotify Stations.
  • Apple Music has more video content that includes music videos, concerts, documentaries, interviews, and original shows, such as Carpool Karaoke, Planet of the Apps, and The 1975: Live from The O2. Spotify has more podcast content that includes audio shows, episodes, playlists, and original series, such as The Joe Rogan Experience, The Michelle Obama Podcast, and The Ringer Network.
  • Apple Music has more social features that allow you to follow your friends or artists, see what they are listening to or recommend to you, and join live events or parties. Spotify has more personalization features that allow you to create your own profile, discover new music based on your taste, and get personalized playlists and recommendations.


Apple Music and Spotify are both great music apps that offer a lot of features and benefits for music lovers. However, they also have some differences that may suit different preferences and needs. In general, Apple Music is better for Apple users who want more exclusive content, integration, reliability, and customization. Spotify is better for non-Apple users who want more compatibility, performance, accessibility, and personalization. Ultimately, the best music app for you depends on your personal choice and experience. You can try both apps for free and see which one you like better.

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