Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which Is Better?

Apple Music and Spotify both provide music streaming through your phone and other internet-connected devices. Apple Music has a larger catalog of songs at a higher audio quality than Spotify, while Spotify offers free limited service for life and better virtual assistant and recommendation services.

Both services have such a huge range of music that it would be tough to choose just based on which songs you prefer because they’re probably going to be available on both services, though some newer songs may be added earlier on either service.

I have used both and found them to be fairly equal depending on what I was doing or where I was using them. So follow along so you can decide which is better for you.

What Can Apple Music and Spotify Do For You?

Apple Music and Spotify offer a huge range of music options, and both say they add about 40,000 songs daily to their catalog, so by the time you read this, it could be many millions more than listed below.

Both can be accessed from a variety of devices, including your phone, smart tv, smart speaker, laptop, and even from your car if you can connect via Bluetooth. Apple is more limited in the smart assistant space and the third-party devices that have apps available for it.

Apple MusicSpotify
Song Catalog75 Million+70 Million+
Audio Quality24bit / 192kHz320kbps
Full Virtual Assistant SupportSiriAlexa, Google, Siri, and more.
Offline Listening
Free Option

Who Should Be Using Apple Music?

Apple Music is best for any true audiophiles that want the best quality music with the broadest range of songs available. No other streaming service can provide the quality of audio that Apple Music does, and if there are rare, unique, or uncommon songs that you want, Apple Music is your best chance at finding them.

Apple Music does slightly beat Spotify in the interaction from major artists and may have a slight advantage on when music is released and available, so if you need instant access to the newest popular songs, then Apple is the better option.

If you support artists rather than just want a streaming service, then Apple Music is the better option, with artists preferring it over Spotify due to the revenue they get between the two services and unfair practices from Spotify.

Apple Music Pros and Cons

Apple Music Pros
  • Most extensive catalog of music.
  • Best audio quality.
  • Faster access to music
Apple Music Cons
  • Limited virtual assistant support
  • Less native support on connected devices
  • No free option

Who Should Be Using Spotify?

Spotify is best for users who want a fully connected home and their music accessible through all of their devices. So if you want to play Spotify through your smart speaker or smart TV, then Spotify has more support as well as more support with virtual assistants like Alexa and Google.

If podcasts are a significant factor in your choice, Spotify has a much more comprehensive range of podcasts available within the app, with 2.6 million available and more being added constantly.

Anybody looking for a free streaming service will find that Spotify does offer a limited free service for life, so it is the only option for permanent free streaming music. 

Spotify Pros and Cons

Spotify Pros
  • Free option
  • Huge range of podcasts
  • Most smart devices and virtual assistants support them.
Spotify Cons
  • Does not provide lossless audio.
  • No support for your own music.
  • Access to new music may be delayed.

Apple Music Pricing Plans

Apple Music pricing is standard without a lot of upselling, you either get a very basic option just for use through the app, a student discount with the same features as an individual, or you can get a family plan which is a good deal to save costs across your family starting at two people and up to 6.

Apple does not provide a free option, but you can get a trial between 1 – 3 months long to ensure the service is right for you. Artists prefer Apple Music because they don’t offer a free option, which artists heavily disfavor on all platforms.

Free Option
Available Outside App

Spotify Pricing Plans

Spotify has a free plan that is not available on many large streaming services, so it is unique and a great option if you want basic music streaming for free. Spotify gives a slight price advantage if you’re a two-person family rather than an up to 6 person family.

With the free plan, you get streaming in a shuffled selection, and you can skip songs up to 6 times an hour, so consider the free option an alternative to radio rather than a full streaming service that you get for free.

Free Option
Available Outside App

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Pricing Comparison

Spotify offers a free music streaming option which is limited, but Apple Music doesn’t offer free at all, so for anybody not wanting to pay, Spotify is the clear winner.

Apple Music does offer a cheaper option for anybody just wanting streaming music through the app, and at half the price, it’s a good option if you don’t need music anywhere else. You can also get student discounts for both services.

The pricing between Apple Music and Spotify is almost identical except where you want a family plan with two people, and then Spotify gives you a price advantage, whereas Apple Music just gives you one family price up to 6 people but does beat Spotify by $1 there.

Apple MusicSpotify
Limited Individual (Voice)$4.99

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Reputation Comparison

Apple has a good reputation with a considerable fanbase that supports them in all of their products and services. They consistently provide outstanding products and services, though they are not known for providing anything for especially cheap. There have been concerns raised about how ethically they source the components for their products.

Spotify has a good reputation with consumers who love the price and access to music streaming on all of their devices. However, Spotify has a spotty reputation when it comes to the artists that create the music, with complaints they don’t pay enough, especially when Spotify offers a free service where nothing is paid to the artist.

Some artists temporarily or permanently pull themselves from the service, and in some cases, may delay the release to Spotify over other streaming services like Apple Music.

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Verdict

Based on my opinion, the overall winner and who I use is Spotify. I love that you can access Spotify from almost any device, and I often have Spotify playing on my smart TV while working around the house or cooking. If I wanted to steam Apple Music right now, I’d have to do it through my phone and have poor sound.

While Apple Music allows you to add your own music, it’s not as easy as most people would hope. I know my wife wants to add music from older CDs but just found Apple Music and iTunes too much of a hassle and gave up. She only uses Spotify due to the complexity and poor user experience from iTunes and Apple Music.

Apple Music is best for …

Apple Music would be best for people who want the fastest access to the most music of any streaming service and audio quality superior to all other streaming services.

Apple Music has the best access to artists and will often get the music before other services, and with the more extensive catalog of music, anybody looking for unique, old, or uncommon music will be able to search through more on Apple Music.

You can also get a three-month free trial of the service to ensure that it has everything you want, or just get free music for three months.

Click here to buy an Apple Music subscription.

Spotify is best for …

Spotify would be best for anybody that wants a good streaming service with a lot of music and podcasts that can be played on almost any internet-connected device, so it is perfect for any technology enthusiast or smart home owner.

With 2.6 million podcasts available and more being added constantly, you will find podcasts to match your needs, which is something you can’t do directly through Apple Music and need another app and service.

Whatever smart device you want to connect with Spotify, you will likely have luck; almost all smart TVs, speakers, and other devices have a Spotify app available so you can stream your music anywhere easily.

Click here to buy a Spotify subscription.