Spotify had 96 million subscribers in 2018 and 35 million songs available. Apple Music lags behind but has seen its subscriber count rise steadily to around 56 million, but it offers more songs thanks to Apple’s history with iTunes, numbering around 45 million.
So what is the difference between the two services?
Spotify has a tiered structure which initially makes it cheaper for its service than Apple Music. You can get ad-supported free listening, which is not available from Apple. Some of Spotify’s most popular features include its discovery playlists, like Discover Weekly which brings together a playlist of old and new music you’ll love, or its mood-based playlists, like Workouts. or revision.
Apple Music meanwhile offers a three-month free trial offer for most users who purchase a new iPhone, where you can access all of its premium services. You can stream all your music to any compatible device, including Apple AirPods, iPhones, and Apple Watch. It’s also the only service compatible with Apple’s new HomePod smart speaker.
You can download any song to listen offline. It also includes Beats 1 radio, can be used with Siri to create a voice-activated playlist, and you can find friend profiles.
Streaming services for Sonos, Amazon Echo and smart speakers
Smartspeakers have given a new avenue for your music streaming services, and a minefield for which it is best suited for depending on your purchases. Different smart speakers integrate with different streaming apps, which means you might have to choose one.
Speakers like the voice-activated Sonos One can access a wide range of music apps, while Amazon’s Echo is better tuned to Amazon Music Unlimited and offers a cheaper subscription service at 3, £99 for Echo owners. Apple’s new HomePod will only work with Apple Music for now.