Apple Music vs Spotify: Which Is Best?

It’s time to take a closer look at Apple Music vs Spotify and how these two fan-favorite music streaming services stack up against each other.
Apple Music vs Spotify article thumbnail. Image shows both service logos separated by a headphones with a pink and blue backgroun.

You certainly don’t need us to tell you that music generates a multi-billion dollar industry. And the biggest players in the game? Apple Music and Spotify

However, there is more than meets the ear when it comes to streaming music. Apple Music and Spotify have similar features but differ in several key areas. Below you will find an Apple Music vs Spotify comparison to help you decide on the best streaming service for your music library.

If you are interested in checking other comparisons between Spotify and other platforms, visit our music platform comparisons page and find everything you have to know to get the right music streaming service subscription for you.

In a hurry? Here is a summary of the comparison between Apple Music vs Spotify

Although Spotify is the most known name in the music streaming industry, Apple Music is working hard to catch its competitor and take the lead in this market. While Spotify offers a free plan and social features as an advantage, Apple Music has a bigger music library and a better sound quality to offer to its users. Not just that, but it also contains some exclusivity among some big artists to stream their music. Furthermore, while both present similar pricing plans, when it comes to listening to a radio mode, Apple Music sets itself apart with the tunes mixed by DJs live. In our conclusion, Apple Music takes the lead for now in this comparison for offering a few advantages compared to Spotify, even though Spotify’s free plan is pretty appealing for when you are on a budget.

If you want to know more details about this ultimate comparison between these two giants in the music industry, keep reading.

Ease of Access

Once upon a time, not so many years ago, Apple Music was only available to those with Apple devices. However, now you don’t need to be an Apple owner to stream your tunes with Apple Music.

Both Apple Music and Spotify are available on Apple and Android devices. Apple Music and Spotify both offer desktop apps, as well. The iOS app for Apple Music is accessible through this link.

A huge bonus for both services is the option to download music for offline listening. This feature means there is truly nowhere you can’t take your playlist.

One point that must be mentioned is Spotify’s option to listen free of charge. This allows users who don’t mind the ad breaks to listen in without spending a dime.

When it comes to availability and ease of access, Spotify takes a little bit the head since it offers a free plan and some social features for easy account creation using your social media accounts.

Young Asian woman leaning on a yellow wall listening to music with wireless headphones from her smart phone


The next area where we will compare Apple Music and Spotify’s streaming service is the one that hits where it hurts most, our wallet. At first glance, you may feel that Spotify is the clear winner because they have a free plan, whereas Apple Music does not. 

Is it really that simple of an answer, though? Take a look at our side-by-side price comparison below.

Apple MusicSpotify
Price for offline mode, no ads$10.99/month$11.99/month
Student Price$5.99/month$5.99/month
‘Duo’ HouseholdN/A$16.99/month, 2 accounts
Family Package$16.99/month, 6 accounts$19.99/month, 6 accounts
Annual Plan$99/yearN/A
ExclusivesWorks with Siri on the HomePod/HomePod mini; Apple Music 1 Radio; Cloud music locker; spatial audioAvailable on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Xbox One; Spotify Studios podcasts
Table comparing prices between Apple Music and Spotify

The biggest difference in Apple Music and Spotify’s pricing is the option for a free plan. However, if you’re looking for uninterrupted streaming, you’ll have to pay $11.99 for Spotify, which is the same starting price for a subscription with Apple Music.

As for the pricing comparison, we will once again call it a tie between Apple Music and Spotify because they both offer the same, or comparable, pricing for their ad-free listening options. But, if your budget is tight, you might be better off with Spotify since they offer a free lifetime plan so you can listen to music without paying for it.

Music Library

Spotify earned its leading position in the music-streaming market with an impressive 82 million-plus song catalog and 4 million podcasts.

With more than 60,000 new songs added to the service each day, Spotify offers a library that would be overwhelming if it weren’t so awesome. The New Releases tab on Spotify’s service brings you all the latest releases, exclusive live sessions, and new singles each Friday.

Apple’s service boasts more than 90 million songs, higher than Spotify’s current figures (although Spotify has been steadily catching up). Moreover, Apple has secured many more exclusives because it doesn’t offer a free tier.

Apple’s attempts to monopolize the exclusivity market have caused tension with Spotify—which reportedly has altered search rankings for artists who release their music through Apple first.

Spotify music library on a mobile app

One of Apple Music’s biggest advantages over its competitors is integration with your existing iTunes library. Your purchases will appear in your Apple Music library, so you can freely browse your own music alongside the standard catalog.

Spotify has a separate tab for accessing local music. Still, you can’t perform broad searches on the service as you can with Apple Music.

Apple Music library dashboard on a desktop screen

Unlike Spotify, Apple Music allows you to search broad terms such as “songs about drinking” within your own music library as well as with songs you’re searching for using their platform. Spotify does allow broad searches such as “upbeat workout songs” when you’re looking for songs to stream or download, but if you’re searching in the separate tab that stores your local music, you are out of luck.

Apple Music excels in the library’s size and usability, making it the clear winner for this category.

The Social Factor

You can easily share Spotify content as Instagram and Facebook stories, post album art on Snapchat (which then links friends and followers to the song), or create links that make any messaging platform feel like a music discovery app.

While Apple Music allows you to share playlists with other registered users over AirDrop or create links that can be posted on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, its integration is nowhere near as robust as Spotify’s.

Although this isn’t a major qualm for most people, it is certainly worth considering when comparing Apple Music and Spotify’s streaming service.

Spotify’s social sharing features are some of the best on any music app, making it the clear winner when it comes to the social factor.

Apple Music social factor image on the app dashboard

Sharing Made Simple

It’s no secret that we live in an age of social sharing, and like so many other things, this has also been applied to how people listen to their favorite songs. Apple Music and Spotify make it easy for you to share music with friends and family.  

Two women and one man holding smartphones in a park.

Both apps let you share songs on your Instagram story or even send a direct link to social media, but Spotify has some features that make it stand out from Apple Music.

Spotify offers an innovative feature called Collaborative Playlists. Creating a collaborative playlist with your friends can make the perfect music mix for parties or road trips. If you need any tips and ideas on how to come up with a cool and fun name, Check Now for The Best of The Best Playlist Names Ideas.

Another phenomenal feature Spotify offers is Spotify Codes. You can share Spotify Codes with friends, which allows them to quickly listen to the songs or playlists you’ve shared. Apple Music doesn’t support collaborative playlists yet, but it does allow users to create and share playlists. 

Spotify outshines Apple Music in this category. They truly went above and beyond to make sharing simple. If social and sharing your music taste is a deal breaker for you, and now you want to move from Apple Music to Spotify, check out how to cancel Apple Music on all the main devices. It’s a detailed tutorial on how to get rid of an Apple Music subscription once and for all.

You can share the joy of music with others by using Spotify’s top-notch sharing features, but what happens if you want to switch from one service to another and move all your songs? 

What if you find the perfect playlist on YouTube but want to listen to it on Spotify? Or did you create a playlist that speaks to your soul on Apple Music, but after reading this article, you finally decided switch from Apple Music to Spotify

You no longer have to choose between staying stuck and spending hours moving your music manually because there’s a new way to transfer your songs from Spotify or Apple Music—and it works!

Tune My Music helps you move seamlessly between music services, like moving your playlists from Spotify to Apple, and keeping your music library intact.

Quality of Audio

We should also compare how the two services sound when streaming music. 

Emotional young man in headphones listening to music, singing song, using smartphone as mic on orange background. Millennial guy in headset pretending to be rock star, enjoying his favorite playlist.

Spotify’s free version streams 128 Kbps through its web player, while the mobile app adjusts streaming quality based on your connection—from 24Kbps to 160Kbps. The Premium subscription upgrade boosts quality to 256Kbps, but Spotify has yet to roll out a promised lossless tier of service.

In contrast, Apple has made significant strides in providing free audio quality upgrades for all subscribers. For example, the entire 90 million songs on Apple Music are now available in lossless format—Apple uses ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) so that the files stay true to their original state.

There are several levels of lossless audio available, beginning with CD quality, 16-bit at 44.1kHz, and going up to 24-bit at 48kHz. There is also a hi-resolution lossless format all the way up to 24-bit at 192kHz. In addition, Apple made a wide range of its library available in surround-sound spatial audio format last year. Enabled by Dolby Atmos coding, the new format gives music additional depth and compatibility with dynamic head-tracking–among other advantages.

Once again, Apple Music’s streaming service is the standout winner.

Tuning Into The Radio

Spotify has replaced its old Radio tab with an option to make a radio mode for any specific artist, album, playlist, or song.

You can create a new radio station by tapping the three-dot menu icon and then choosing “Go to Radio.” You can save your favorite stations as playlists in the library, so you don’t lose them.

The app also offers assistance while making playlists, giving you a more personal experience than simply using the radio.

A good example of Spotify’s assisted playlist feature would be if you wanted to create a playlist to accompany you on your evening runs. 

Using assisted playlists, Spotify will use the title you’ve given a playlist (like “Running”) and then pull from suggestions based on your past listening history as well as recommendations based on what others with similar tastes have added to their own “running” playlists. You can fill your playlists with tracks on your own, or Spotify will do it for you once you’ve chosen a few. Users can also search and preview songs before adding them to their playlists. 

Spotify mobile player screen

The music streaming experience is changing, and the days of channel surfing may be over.

In an era when technology is ubiquitous, Apple Music’s allegiance to living human interaction sets it apart. In the case of its radio station, Apple Music 1—which broadcasts music mixed by DJs in real time—this philosophy comes across loud and clear. These shows offer listeners an intimate look into the lives and tastes of their favorite artists.

DJ changing vinyl on a DJ-mixer with smoke around and colorful lightning.

Beyond Apple Music 1, Apple Music has some more generic radio stations (such as classic rock, jazz, and Top 40 hits) that are perfect for those who want to listen but don’t care what they’re listening to. There’s also an eclectic mix of non-music stations such as BBC News and ESPN—it’s hard not to love these options!

As you can see from the categories we’ve discussed so far, Apple Music’s streaming services—which continue to dominate its competitors like Spotify—have numerous advantages over other music-streaming platforms. 

Interestingly enough, Apple also wins this round.

Apple Music app dashboard on a desktop

The Final Winner Between Apple Music vs Spotify

For years, Spotify held the top spot as the world’s leading online music streaming service. But Apple wasn’t content to settle for second place and has worked hard to take over that position from its rival.

Ease of Access9590
Music Library8290
The Social Factor9585
Sharing Made Simple9585
Quality of Audio8098
Tuning Into The Radio7990
Integration With Tune My Music100100
Woman listening to music in a park using headphones

In the end, Apple Music’s lossless and spatial audio features make it stand out from the competition.

Because it offers the highest-quality sound and is no more expensive than Spotify’s Premium version, Apple Music wins on two fronts: great value for listeners who are willing to pay and excellent quality.

Subscribe to the Apple Music website and signup for a 1-month trial so you can better decide if it’s the best service for you. It’s pretty easy and simple.

Are you a life-long Apple Music or Spotify customer? Or did some of the key differences we pointed out in this article sway you to make a switch? Let us know!

Transferring music between Spotify, Apple Music and other music services

You worked hard to get your music library just the way you like it. Now you have another service you want to use but don’t want to re-create your music library again.

Can you imagine if you could copy and transfer music between any music platforms?

If you have more than one music service, it’s easy to get confused about what songs are where. It’s even easier to get overwhelmed when trying to move your playlists to a new platform. Tune My Music is a free service that introduces an array of features that can help with this problem, giving music fans of all types the opportunity to share their music library, keep them updated, transfer playlists, keep it synced between music platforms and much more. And if you’re still wondering how you could use a site like this in your everyday life, the answer is simple: you need never worry about losing your perfect playlist again. Bring it everywhere with you, no matter which streaming service you use.

The ease of use is some of the great advantages of Tune My Music. If you have a large music library and want to move platforms, keep them synced or use more than one without losing a single song, this tool is for you!

Tune My Music logo

And lastly, if you’re interested in making the switch and want to move your beloved catalog of playlists, albums, and songs, let us help you move it with no headaches. You can also move your liked songs, liked albums, and liked artists over as well. Making Tune My Music your secret weapon for never skipping a beat. The best of all, for playlists of up to 500 tracks, Tune My Music is entirely FREE! No account creation is needed, so no strings attached.

Tune My Music is a rare find – software that effectively simplifies a complex process. Are you ready to let Tune My Music simplify your life?

If you are still not decided on which service you want to go with, you can look at some other articles we have prepared for you that compare Spotify with Deezer and Tidal with Spotify. This way, you can make the most conscience decision and know you are giving your ears and music soul the best treatment they deserve.