Spotify is a playlist application that was launched in 2008 with the intention to make listening to your favorite music easier than ever before. No CDs, no having to commit to a track/album by purchasing it digitally—you could seamlessly listen to your kind of music, whenever you wanted to, with freedom to change it up anytime you wanted.
Spotify had a little bit of a slow start, but eventually became popular, with over 75 million users by 2015. Today, there’s not much music that you can’t find on Spotify. Typically, if you know the name of the track/album, they have it available for you to listen to! Spotify also offers a premium version with several features, including no ads in between your music.
As you can imagine, Spotify has been doing very well. It was even announced last year that it became the world’s most popular music streaming app. With competitive plans and great service, this wasn’t a surprise. But although this was announced, will it continue to hold that position with the newly introduced Apple Music?
When Apple Music officially launched on June 30th of 2015, I’m not sure anyone realized the impact it would have on other music streaming applications. So far, Apple Music has reached over 13 million subscribers. With that number increasing with each passing day, it’ll be interesting to see just how they end up competing with Spotify.
So, how does Apple Music compete with Spotify? Apple Music has only been around for almost a year now, and the service is gaining traction, and fast. Does Spotify have what it takes to compete with Apple? Well, there’s a big shakeup happening in the music industry, and Spotify and Apple Music have a big part to play in that. Find out how they stack up against each other below!
Unfortunately when it comes to design, it seems to me that Spotify’s design is a little outdated.
It consists of darker tones, which can easily make the UI seem cluttered and uninviting, even though it’s pretty simple to navigate. The front page of the application gives you access to basically anything you need, from adding a playlist to upgrading to premium, viewing your music by tracks, albums, artists, stations, and more, but the easy interface is drowned out by the dramatic colors.
Here, I think that Apple has mastered color-marketing. They chose a color scheme that is currently relevant and popular, making the app fresh with it’s balanced contrast between white and bright colors. Like Spotify, Apple Music’s UI is simple to navigate, but the options stand out, rather than blending into the page.
Recently, Apple Music was released in beta to the Google Play Store. One of the big questions was, would they try and fit their Apple UI into Android, or would they create an entirely new UI for a closer match to Google’s Material Design? They ended up slightly changing the design to keep it familiar to Google Play users, and while they’re still working out the kinks, it looks like a tried-and-true, long-time Android app.
The features are what truly set these two apart. Some are similar, while others are exclusive between Apple Music or Spotify.
Apple Music’s premium features include access to Apple radio stations, over 30 million individual songs, offline listening, and more. With their free plan, you’ll only be able to access music that you already own, with access to Beats 1 radio station, and Connect. The app is also Siri compatible.
In comparison, Spotify’s premium version includes access to 20 million+ tracks, plus offline listening, completely ad free. While their free plan also gives you access to those 20+ million tracks (as opposed to Apple only allowing you your music + 1 radio station), it comes with strings attached. A plethora of ads, suggested songs in between your tracks, and more.
One of the features that Spotify doesn’t have is Connect. The world is always looking for ways to make a connection, and Apple is doing everything in their power to bridge the gap between the artist and the fan. With Connect, Apple Music users are able to interact with artists, and artists are able to directly respond to their fans, establishing a meaningful connection that has never been so accessible.
So what makes Apple Music different from, specifically, Spotify? The premium prices are nearly exactly the same, the only difference being the free trials. Both companies now offer 3 different premium packages to accommodate specific kinds of people. The individual version is $9.99 a month, the family (up to 6 people) package is $14.99 a month, and the student package is just $4.99 per month.
In addition to these base prices, these applications both have premium free trials. Spotify’s is in effect for 30 days before billing (or 3 months for $0.99 before June 30th this year), while Apple Music offers you 3 months entirely free before billing.
Overall, both Spotify and Apple are neat apps to use, with similar features. Although Spotify has come a long way since 2008, it took some time to get up and running, whereas Apple Music seems to be quickly racing to the top. They have more music, a more relevant design, and they’re problem solving, which leads me to believe that the subscriber numbers they’re seeing will only rapidly increase.
While Spotify was fantastic when it was one of the few music-streaming apps out there, I think that other companies will soon pass them up if they don’t begin to morph with the culture and implement new ideas (similar to Apple’s “Connect”). I think a design change will do them a lot of good, but they’ve also got to be creating new features and content to bridge gaps and problem-solve if they want to stay in the game.
What’s your take on Spotify and Apple Music—do you have a preference between the two giants? What do you think Spotify could do to stay as one of the leading applications for music streaming? Do you think Apple Music will ever pass Spotify up? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below!