Music streaming services are considered an essential item on the mobile devices we know and love today, and they have evolved greatly from the days of purchasing a single song for $1.29, or ripping tracks from sites such as Youtube. With streaming services surging ahead from the old systems of music consumption we used to use there comes to a fork in the road, involving which platform you use and why. This question weighs heavy on some, as individuals have learned to love the applications that hold all of their favorite songs to which are accessible by just the touch of a finger. Of the multitude of streaming services that exist today, the largest rivalry lies between that of Apple Music and Spotify.
Apple Music has a strong reputation among all competitors, coming up with a revolutionary way of downloading and listening to mobile devices in the early 2000’s using iTunes, which has since evolved all streaming platforms into what they are today. That being said, why does Apple have anything close to competition?
This info graphic explains some of the essential features found only on Apple Music. Those already in the apple ecosystem will find a smooth transition to working with old and new music through Apple. “Apple Music has an advantage for users who have a library of their own music files that they’d like to listen to on the go. With Apple Music, users can sync files to the cloud and listen from other devices with a feature called iCloud Music Library. You can’t upload music to Spotify’s servers and listen to it elsewhere. (Consumer Reports) I spoke to Kevin Dunn, a Senior at Penn State University who gave me some insight on his choice for using Apple Music. “I bought the first ipod that ever came out when I was a kid. All of those songs and files have stuck with me since then, and Apple Music allows me to continue using the platform I know best. The layout is simple and easy to work with on the go, plus I can listen to more than just music I’ve downloaded. Sometimes I listen to talk radio in the car with my Dad because I know its what he likes, and its awesome I can do that through Apple Music.” While Apple does not support ad free listening without subscription, they still make a killing in the market against the competition and hold true to the support they’ve had from consumers over the years. Apple Music also has a leg up on the competition with their overall amount of music. With over 60 million songs available, they double the initial music found on Spotify during its release, and still dominate the amount of songs available to the public on any streaming platform.
On the other hand, Spotify is a relatively new streaming service that has exploded on the market, partially due to its free music streaming with ads. Spotify allows subscription free users to create playlists and browse as well, only including limited song skips and frequent ads. This service is still appealing, especially to those who want to try the service before they decide to sink $10 a month into it. A feature unique to Spotify that provides even more of an in depth experience is its social features. “Spotify’s social functions allow subscribers to follow friends (if you’re both on Facebook and connect your Spotify accounts) and see both what they listen to and who they follow. It also gives users the ability to share or recommend playlists, along with the ability to publish their listening history to Facebook, which then gives their Facebook friends an opportunity to like or comment on the activity.”(Digital Trends) I took a Skype call with a colleague Rachael, who makes a lot of Spotify playlists for her friends and overall really enjoys the app. “I had iTunes like all my friends back when I was younger, but switched to Spotify probably 5 years ago. Being able to use it for free persuaded me to buy it eventually and I haven’t turned back. The friends thing is for sure my favorite, I follow my friends playlists and they follow mine, we constantly make these for each other too. Its a fun way to find new music.” Spotify’s social features drastically helped it become as popular as it is today, and is a distinct feature that keeps its users loyal to the brand.
While Apple Music has a strong following, Spotify finds even more support through its use of free streaming by quite a landslide. This leads us to wonder, what might be influencing users to try Spotify over sticking with Apple Music, who has had their foot in the door much longer. Spotify seems to have a slight edge on cross platform use. The desktop and Mobile version of the app are slightly altered, as Apple Music is not. Spotify also features more solutions to finding new music while also creating personalized playlists without the user having to lift a finger. The differences between both streaming services don’t seem to be significant enough to validate a switch from one platform to the other, especially if you already have existing music, playlists, or other forms of audio bound to your current service.
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