Apr 20th, 2021, 05:55 PM

Which is Better, Apple Music or Spotify?

By Kiera Roddy
Image credit: Unsplash/rupixen.com
Students give their opinion on the long-standing debate, which music streaming platform reigns supreme.

With the days of vinyl and CDs long in the past, owning music has become a vintage idea. Instead, most people these days use a streaming service to listen to their music. Over the past few years, Apple Music and Spotify have become the two biggest music streaming services by a landslide.

Apple Music has 72 million subscribers as of June 2020, while in February 2021 Spotify has 345 million subscribers, 155 million of these are premium subscribers. The numbers are overwhelmingly in favor of Spotify, but the argument continues over which is the better platform. 

Before getting into the difference between the two streaming services, it is important to note that both Spotify and Apple Music cost per month $4.99 for students, and $9.99 for a non-discounted individual plan. 

Apple Music 

One of the biggest reasons people chose Apple Music over Spotify is the vastness of its music library. Boasting over 60 million songs, Apple Music is will almost always have the song you're looking for and limitless opportunity for discovering new music. Apple Music also regularly makes exclusive deals with artists, primarily for early releases or 'deluxe' content.

But when it comes to discovering music, many users feel like they could use more recommendations. In an article about music streaming services, SoundGuys writes, "There's no beating Spotify when it comes to recommendations." Apple Music recommends similar artists to those that you listen to but doesn't go to the extent of recommendations that Spotify does. Spotify makes personalized playlists of new music for each user based on what they listen to.

Image credit: Unsplash/Brett Jordan

AUP student Takehiro Azuma says that for him, Apple Music is missing the social media aspect that Spotify has. "You can see what your friends are playing, follow their playlists, and at the end of the year you get the 'Spotify wrapped'," Azuma says. But another AUP student, Sarah Affonso, thinks that Spotify is too confusing and is difficult to navigate, so she chooses Apple Music for this reason. 


Spotify, a Swedish audio streaming provider, was founded in 2006 by Daniel Ek. They strive for customer satisfaction and to become the most flexible audio streaming possible. Spotify's flexibility is the ultimate service in order to stream songs at a low cost due to its free, ad-supported tier. Another benefit of using Spotify is that it is compatible with many different types of devices, such as smart speakers, tablets, game consoles, etc. Spotify also has many 'Spotify Original' podcasts, which are not available on other streaming services. Spotify allows you to explore thousands of different playlists as well as make custom ones. Although, Apple music allows you to mix tracks from your library.

Valeria Mercada, a cross country runner,  believes that Spotify is the better option for running because it pairs with third-party apps to match music to the tempo you are running at. They introduce new songs as well. "I am always fueled for my runs because of Spotify. I keep my pace due to the beats of the suggested music," she says. 

Image credit: Unsplash/sgcdesignco

Another interesting point to note is that the student discount does not work for AUP students in order to receive the student discount since AUP is an international institution. Spotify did not respond after reaching out for any comment on this issue. 

Taking the time to explore both of these services is the best bet in figuring out which one will work best for you, but keep in mind once you start building up your music library on one platform you may feel stuck there since it isn't possible to transfer your library across platforms. 

*Additional resourcing done by Peacock Plume writer: Lara Olsson