Spotify and Apple Music have rich and similar music libraries, but their differences make it not easy to choose one over the other.
In this article, we discuss the key differences between Spotify and Apple Music to help you determine the better option if you’re considering choosing one as your music streaming service.
Which streaming service has better sound quality?
One of the key differences between Spotify and Apple Music is the sound quality. Spotify’s maximum audio streaming quality is 320Kbps (detected as Very High).
However, there are also lower quality options, including 24kbit/s (Low), 96kbit/s (Normal), and 160kbit/s (High), which you can enable if you want to save data. Despite the lag in adopting better sound quality, Spotify is working on adding lossless audio support from 2021 to a dedicated plan called Spotify HiFi.
Apple Music beats Spotify on streaming quality as it supports up to 24-bit/192kHz, making it one of the best music streaming services for audiophiles. The catch here is that you need a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and quality wired headphones or speakers to play Apple Music Hi-Res lossless audio on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
Other sound quality options on Apple Music include 16-bit/44.1kHz and 24-bit/48kHz. There is also a 256Kbps quality option available if you want to reduce the data used by Apple Music.
Apple Music also supports spatial audio powered by Dolby Atmos surround sound technology, which helps create a cinema-like experience.
Spotify vs Apple Music: Which Platform Offers the Best Content?
Spotify has diverse content in addition to a music catalog with over 82 million songs. You can also listen to podcasts and audiobooks. Unlike Spotify, Apple Music focuses primarily on music, with over 100 million songs on its platform. Its content library also includes live broadcast radio stations from around the world that you can tune into anytime.
There are also unique Apple-exclusive digital radio stations and shows, some hosted by artists and well-known radio personalities. Apple Music also has videos and includes live performance videos that you might not find anywhere else.
Music Search & Recommendations
You can discover new music on Spotify and Apple Music in different ways. Starting with Spotify, the service offers six Daily Mix playlists based on your music taste and your Top Artist, Genre, Mood and Decade Mix playlists.
There’s also a Discover Weekly playlist and a dedicated Release Radar playlist with new music from artists you may follow or like. The Home tab is populated with customized recommendations, but you can find personalized music in Spotify’s Made for You tab.
On the other hand, Apple Music offers personalized music in Listen now and Browse tabs. You’ll find Mixes, Playlists, Songs, Albums, and Stations (an endless mix of individual music). Apple Music’s personalized playlists include Favorites, Get Up!, Chill, and New Music Mixes.
Both platforms have great personalization algorithms, but many consider Spotify’s recommendation algorithm to be the best in the music streaming industry.
Spotify vs Apple Music: Availability
Both services are available on iOS, macOS, iPadOS, Android, and Windows. You can also stream via the web and many other platforms. However, Spotify has an edge over Apple Music as it is available on platforms ranging from Linux to smart TV OSes, game consoles, smart speakers and more.
As an early player in the industry, you are more likely to find Spotify on a certain platform than Apple Music which was primarily exclusive to Apple devices. Spotify, unlike Apple Music, provides a consistent streaming experience across all platforms.
How is the music streaming experience?
The streaming experience offered by Spotify is better than that of Apple Music. For example, on Spotify, you can use one device to control music playing on another device, thanks to Spotify Connect.
Spotify Connect also enables you to seamlessly transfer audio from one device to another. For example, you can switch from playing audio on your phone’s speakers to playing it on your TV, as long as they’re connected to the same network.
Even Apple Music can’t do this when streaming music using iPhone and MacBook. The only audio Handoff support on Apple Music is available between other Apple devices and the HomePod via AirPlay. With Handoff support, you can use other Apple devices to control audio on HomePod.
But unlike Spotify, music playback won’t be synced if you try to play music between different Apple devices simultaneously. Each session will be different, but you’ll get a history of listening.
Plus, Spotify offers better multiplatform support and streaming experience if you’re not a fan of Apple’s ecosystem.