Even though Apple Music was thought to crush Spotify in the war on music services, it seems that Spotify can hold its own.
Apple Music arrived on the scene less than 3 months ago, but Spotify seems to be the one getting most of the attention. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek states that the streaming music app has been “setting new records week by week.”
Here’s a rundown of Apple‘s newest service: at the moment, Apple Music is running a free 3 month trial membership. But what happens after those 3 months? You can continue your plan at $9.99 a month, or $14.99 if you want to get up to 6 people in on the action. The benefits of Apple Music far outweigh the cost if you have a membership: if you only sign in with your Apple ID, you miss out on unlimited skipping, the ability to save a tune for offline listening, and unlimited listening from the Apple Music Library, which contains over 30 million songs for your listening pleasure. With an Apple Music membership, you can link it to your devices: your iPhone, your Apple Watch, your Mac, and your PC. Wait a minute. You have an Android device? Well, no membership for you — at least not for now, although Apple says it will drop an Apple Music app this fall.
Your iTunes library is automatically stored in Apple’s cloud, yet is still retained on your device. Every song on your device is compared to Apple Music’s massive library to see if there are any duplicates. If you have a song that Apple doesn’t, they upload your copy into the cloud so that none of your music takes up space on your device.
None of Apple Music’s features, however, have given Spotify a run for their money, or even yours. Spotify spent 5 years getting 10 million subscribers, and the next 20 million took the company only a year. That milestone was reached this past June. Out of the 75 million subscribers, 20 million of those are premium subscribers, paying $9.99 a month for added features such as commercial-free listening. Ever since Apple Music was released, Spotify has been “adding users and subscribers at a faster pace,” according to Ek. He went on to explain that partnerships with telecommunications companies such as Rogers have been a key component in Spotify’s success.
Spotify may not have the exact same features as Apple Music, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t deserving of praise. In fact, fans took to Twitter to rave about Discover Weekly, which debuted earlier this summer. The feature analyzes your listening history, and shows you a playlist of music you might also enjoy. The playlist is around 2 hours long, and is updated weekly. This has played a huge role in the discovery of new artists and albums. Apple Music does tout expert music recommendations, but fans seem to favor Discover Weekly.
Spotify’s premium plan is completely optional, while to be able to use Apple Music, you have to reach into your pocket for the $9.99 each month. This may be one reason that Spotify has seen such a jump in numbers since Apple Music launched. Apple, however, is a multi-faceted company that may be able to take a loss due to their other business ventures.
If history repeats itself, then we should expect to see Spotify’s business boom.
[Photo by Flick user Hendrick Wieduwilt]