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Age Old Debate: Apple Music vs. Spotify

Students give their reasons why they use one music streaming service over the other.
Image by Wejdan al Balushi
The debate over the two has been raging since Apple Music’s launch in 2015.

Since Apple Music’s launch in 2015, there has always seemed to be the question of whether Spotify or Apple Music is better.  

From a number’s perspective, Spotify is more popular. Spotify is the world’s number one music streaming service with around 551 million users. Apple Music is following behind with 88 million users. 

Third-year University of Minnesota student, Eshaan Patel made the switch to Apple Music from Spotify when he was in high school. He has been using it for his music ever since. After five years of using Apple Music, Patel has a collection of music within his account. 

“I don’t want to sit there and try to transfer over,” Patel said, referring to switching music streaming. “I’m not against going over to Spotify, It would just be that’s the barrier.” 

Apple Music is also convenient. In addition to having all of his music on the app already, Patel explained that because he uses Apple products, everything is synced with his Apple ID, making it one less username and password to remember. 

First-year University student Jabril Anderson expressed a similar sentiment when explaining why he switched from Spotify to Apple Music. It was easier for him from a payment standpoint to have Apple Music because he gets charged with his phone plan. 

Additionally, for Anderson, Spotify no longer seemed worth it after its price hike for an individual plan from $9.99 to $10.99 this past summer, which happened to be around the same time he bought an iPhone. 

“I told myself that I would switch to Apple Music before I even had an iPhone if they increased their prices like what was rumored,” Anderson said.

Apple Music was also the better option for Anderson because of  the sound quality.  

“Apple Music has lossless, which means that it’s the exact same as what they had [in] the studio,” Anderson said.

A second-year University student, Hao Tran, who uses Spotify, admitted Apple Music has better sound quality. However, Spotify’s personalization and interface are what brought him to Spotify over Apple Music. 

Tran said he likes the DJ feature, which is an AI guide that chooses your music for you based on what you have listened to previously. It feels more interactive than Spotify’s other personalized features because it provides human-like voice commentary. 

Spotify also allows users to interact with people they know who also use the app. Second-year University student, Rachael Gerszewski, uses Spotify’s blend feature with her roommate. This feature takes the music taste of both profiles and makes a playlist that combines the two music profiles. 

In terms of improvement, Spotify users Gerszewski and Tran both agree Apple Music’s interface could be better. 

“I switched from Apple Music to Spotify because I didn’t like [its] layout,” Gerszewski said. 

She added Apple Music’s interface felt too impersonal compared to Spotify’s interface. 

For Tran, Spotify has more casual features that Apple Music lacks. Tran said Apple Music has been promoting their spatial audio with Dolby Amos, which is supposed to enhance the music listening experience.

“Whenever I’m listening to music in my own free time, I don’t really care about any of that stuff,” said Tran. 

For Anderson, the personalization features Spotify has are not as important as the sound quality, especially since he still finds new music through Apple Music or through musicians’ social media accounts. 

Whether Apple Music or Spotify is the better choice depends on what you want from the app. For those who want a more interactive music listening experience, Spotify is the better choice. For audiophiles, who care more about sound quality, Apple Music will provide an arguably better sound experience.

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  • erny
    Nov 6, 2023 at 1:27 pm

    Are you looking for how to transfer your playlists/songs between spotify/apple music/amazon music/youtube music/etc )

    Try Musconvtool now, It just made my day!

  • Nicole Masika
    Oct 20, 2023 at 11:49 am

    Neither for me. I like Tidal because it is slightly better paying for the artists, and it has similar interface to Spotify. It also has excellent sound quality. Bonus- no Joe Rogan!

  • Gabe Tratz
    Oct 19, 2023 at 9:18 am

    Students should be aware of the Spotify Premium student deal. It’s only $6 a month and also comes with Hulu.