When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
- A good music streaming service gives you access to millions of latest songs.
- Amazon Music and Spotify are two of the most popular platforms you can subscribe to.
- Amazon offers lossless music for audiophiles, but Spotify has better options for playlists and sharing.
Finding a music streaming service that meets your needs is essential to ensuring a great listening experience at home or on the go. Two of the main services to consider are Spotify and Amazon Music.
Each platform has around 75 million songs, along with their own set of features. Both have apps for iPhones, Android smartphones, computers, and popular media players so you can listen to your music on a variety of devices.
That said, there are a few differences that could make one service better suited to the other. We’ve compared the two in a variety of categories to help you decide which one is right for you.
Amazon Music vs Spotify: which is better?
Spotify may be the most popular music service in the world, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider Amazon Music. Both platforms offer members unique features and prices.
In fact, Amazon Music strives to differentiate itself by delivering higher fidelity tracks at no additional cost, delivering a lossless listening experience that can come close to the quality of the original recording. The service also offers nice benefits to Amazon Prime members.
While Spotify is also planning to introduce a lossless audio option, it won’t launch until later this year. That said, Spotify has an advantage over Amazon in a few key areas. The service is known for its highly personalized playlists and sharing features, and its ad-supported plan offers more music and control than Amazon’s free option.
Below, you can find a full comparison of features, plans, and pricing for Amazon Music and Spotify.
Tariffs and packages
Spotify and Amazon Music can be used for free, but the free levels are significantly limited and largely correspond to internet radio on mobile. Both services offer new members 30-day trials to test their paid versions.
Spotify’s plans include: Free, Premium, Premium Duo, Premium Family, and Premium Student.
The ad-supported option is completely free. This plan allows you to listen to any song through the mobile or desktop app, but you have to deal with constant ads and you can only skip six songs per hour. If you don’t want ads, you can choose one of Spotify’s premium plans. The more expensive options allow you to add more users, so that several people in the same household can listen at the same time.
Students can also take advantage of a reduced Premium rate of just $ 5 per month. As a bonus, this plan also includes free Showtime and ad-supported subscriptions.
Amazon Music Packages
Amazon Music plans include: Free, Amazon Music Prime, Unlimited, Unlimited Family, and Single Device.
Unlike Spotify, Amazon Music’s completely free option doesn’t let you listen to specific songs on demand. Instead, it offers a more similar experience to
radio with advertisements.
If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you have access to an extended music service, called Amazon Music Prime, as part of your membership. This plan is ad-free and provides on-demand access to approximately 2 million songs. However, to access Amazon’s full song library, you’ll need to upgrade to a Music Unlimited plan for an additional fee.
University students who are Amazon Prime members can request a discount for Amazon Music Unlimited which reduces the price to $ 1 / month instead of $ 8 / month.
Music Unlimited also offers the option to restrict streaming to a single Amazon device for a reduced rate. You can give a single qualifying Echo or Fire TV device access to Music Unlimited for just $ 4 per month (down from the standard $ 10).
Spotify and Amazon Music both offer similar quality for their free plans. Music streaming is compressed to reduce size and data requirements, but most people who listen on mobile devices and headphones are unlikely to notice any major quality issues.
When it comes to the audio quality of paid plans, Amazon Music outperforms Spotify. In the past, Amazon Music charged extra for its Music HD plan, but the streaming service now includes CD-quality streaming with its Music Unlimited plans. Some tracks are even provided in Ultra HD, which exceeds CD quality specifications.
The superior quality of Amazon Music HD will be noticeable to some people, but to take full advantage of the increased sound performance, you will need high-end speakers or headphones, as well as a wired connection to your playback device. .
While Spotify doesn’t currently offer a CD-quality package, the service will be adding this option, called Spotify HiFi, later this year.
The look and feel of the two streaming services are similar. Amazon and Spotify each have a navigation bar at the bottom of their mobile apps with a home screen, search, and collected music library.
While most people use music services through their mobile devices, Spotify and Amazon Music also offer desktop apps. This is where the two experiences differ. Spotify’s desktop app is decent and has been fine-tuned for over a decade. In March 2021, the streaming service announced an updated interface to allow offline downloads and give “more control” to creating playlists.
The Amazon Music desktop app, on the other hand, is very utilitarian. The interface on a Mac is not intuitive and completely different from its mobile app counterpart. For example, the design makes it difficult to use the listen queue mechanism.
For listening on your computer, Amazon Music’s web interface is better and easier to use than its app. In the case of Spotify, it’s definitely an advantage to have such a solid desktop app.
Performance and Features
Spotify and Amazon Music both offer the same functionality. For example, the catalog of songs available for listening hardly varies and the exclusives are for the most part negligible. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t some key differences that might influence subscribers to one service over the other.
For Amazon Music, its mobile application includes its built-in Alexa voice assistant. This feature means that all music commands can be done via hands-free voice commands. The version of Alexa accessible through the music app can perform other skills as well. For example, you can ask Alexa to control smart lights the same way you would with an Echo. Spotify offers a “Hey Spotify” feature that allows its members to use their voices to find artists and songs, but its functionality is not as robust as Alexa.
The other main feature of the Amazon Music app includes X-Ray lyrics. This is a neat and really useful feature that allows the lyrics to scroll while the song is playing for a karaoke-like experience.
Merchandise pages are also now associated with selected artist profiles on Amazon Music to make it easier to purchase their products directly from the Music app. Amazon Music also introduced car mode in April 2021, to provide a streamlined and minimal interface for commuters.
While these Amazon features are appealing, Spotify still has a definite edge when it comes to its excellent music algorithms, which the service leverages in the form of personal playlists. “Discover Weekly” and other playlists definitely set the music service apart from the rest. If you don’t know what to listen to, you don’t have to suffer from generic radio.
Spotify also allows filters based on genres and moods. Playlists also have an “improve” button, which can add random songs similar to those you’ve already included. Duo and Family members can also access regularly updated playlists based on individual listening history. A “recently played” option is also in the works that will allow users to look back on their last three months of streaming.
When it comes to traveling and commuting, Spotify offers integrations with Google Maps and
, as well as a dedicated car interface with large buttons to keep your music safe on the road.
More than any other music service, Spotify works as a music social network and allows you to follow your friends and share songs easily. It works well because it’s the biggest music platform in the world, and it’s the most listeners who will happily click on a link you share.
The bottom line
A few years ago, the question of whether you should use Spotify over Amazon Music was an easy choice. Now, in 2021, that choice is not so clear. The good news is that both services offer great features at reasonable prices.
For one thing, Amazon Music Unlimited includes CD-quality sound with its basic subscription at no additional cost. The service also offers a nice discount to Prime members.
That said, Spotify is still the best choice for most people thanks to its masterfully curated playlists and seamless music sharing. And, while Amazon has a free plan, the catalog of songs available is quite limited compared to Spotify’s larger selection of ad-supported free tracks.