Music has always been an important part of society, from classic rock like AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” to rapper Cardi B’s megahit “Bodak Yellow;” it represents the voices of different generations and has the power to influence an audience. As music changes throughout the years, so does the way we listen to it. Gone are the days of portable CD and MP3 players as the world of music streaming services emerges.
Apple Music and Spotify are two of the most popular music streaming services used today. They have revolutionized the music industry and are making it easy for people to access new music with the simple click of a button.
Although these services offer many of the same features, there’s a great divide among Apple Music and Spotify users. Why do people choose one over another, and what makes one worth actually subscribing to? This article is designed to help you decide what streaming service is right for you.
First off, let’s talk about Apple Music. Offering a musical catalog with 40 million songs, albums, playlists, etc., Apple Music offers a free three-month trial for users to test out and decide whether or not they want to subscribe.
Rodney Kaplan, a junior economics and political science major here at West Chester, is a devout Apple Music user: “Apple Music gives me the opportunity to enjoy all of my favorite music on a platform I’m already familiar with.”
Lucky for us broke college students, Apple Music offers a 50 percent college student discount, totaling $4.99 a month with a valid university email address. They also offer a family plan for multiple users on one account for $14.99 a month. The regular price for this service is $9.99 a month, or $99 a year.
Kaplan appreciates Apple Music for its reasonable prices, “I also take advantage of the family plan and am able to provide a wealth of music for my family to listen to on their devices for $15 a month, which is a pretty good deal in my opinion.”
A subscription with Apple Music gives users the option to download songs directly onto their phones, so they can listen to music without using data. Apple Music also creates personalized music playlists based on the types of songs that you listen to.
Overall, college students who pay for Apple Music are definitely getting their money’s worth. With over 40 million songs and various useful features, Apple Music is worth the $4.99 for adfree music.
If you aren’t quite sold on Apple Music, don’t fear—Spotify may be right up your alley. Spotify offers a music catalogue with over 30 million songs and albums. Perhaps the most popular feature on Spotify, the playlist feature, is a big reason why people subscribe to this service.
Bri Ezrow, a senior communication studies major, is a Spotify user solely due to the number of playlists it offers: “The most important feature is being able to explore playlists made by peers with similar music tastes and finding playlists made by friends.”
Spotify users can create playlists and make them either private or public for other users to listen to. Spotify can also be connected through Facebook, allowing users to share playlists with Facebook friends.
Like Apple Music, Spotify offers a few different payment plans. College students can get Spotify for $4.99 a month, which now includes a free subscription to the TV streaming service, Hulu. Families can sign up for the family plan for $14.99 a month for up to five people residing at the same address. Spotify Premium is $9.99 a month, and comes with a 30-day free trial.
Ezrow is especially happy with Spotify’s new partnership with Hulu, “I think on a marketing standpoint it’s a really good idea because I did not use either service until my roommate told me about the Hulu promotion on Spotify. I immediately created a Spotify account to have both of these services for such a low price.”
Unlike Apple Music, Spotify does offer a free plan, but don’t get too excited, because it only allows users to listen to “shuffle play,” which means that users can pick the genre of music they want to listen to, but they cannot listen to every individual song in the order they want to hear. The free plan does not offer unlimited skips and your music will often be bombarded with ads between songs.
With extremely similar features, both Apple Music and Spotify have a vast fanbase of dedicated followers. Now that you have all of the information on each, the question is, which streaming service is right for you? In all honesty, it’s based on personal preference. These two services offer similar prices, features and music, it just depends what you are looking for. If you are a big fan of making and sharing playlists, Spotify might be better for you. If you find yourself wanting a service that is Apple-friendly and provides a vast library of albums and songs, check out Apple Music.
Taylor Stenroos is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a writing track with minors in journalism and French. They can be reached at TS833344@wcupa.edu.