Apple Music vs. Spotify

“How do I sell my music on iTunes” has become one of the most important questions Indie musicians can answer, as iTunes is now the largest music retailer in the world. However, the unveiling of Apple Music has people wondering if this new streaming service could be similarly revolutionary, and whether or not it poses a threat for the current leader, Spotify.

The Basics

Apple music is now automatically available on every iPhone, thanks to the newest software update. This is already a huge advantage, as it is currently at the fingertips of the millions of iPhone users across the world. It also offers a 3 month free trial, while Spotify offers a 30 day free trial. In terms of price, the paid subscriptions are similar – both cost $10 a month. However, Apple has a slight advantage with the family plan. They charge $15 a month for up to 6 family members, whereas Spotify charges 5 additional dollars for every new family member. The free version of Apple Music is more limited than the free version of Spotify, but of course both companies are focusing on getting customers who pay.

The Music

Spotify and Apple Music both claim to offer over 30 million songs, so there is no lack of variety. (Apple Music does have one important artist that Spotify doesn’t – the ubiquitous Taylor Swift.) However, Apple has stated that they will have exclusive releases from unsigned artists, which may turn out to be good news for Indie musicians. While it is yet to be seen, it isn’t hard to believe – Apple has been dominating music with iTunes for years. Speaking of which, your iTunes library is also integrated with the Apple Music app, so you can listen to all the songs you already own. In terms of music quality, most reviewers say there are only subtle differences between the two, which probably won’t be noticed by the average user. (Tidal, on the other hand, did have better sound quality, but that’s another story.)


One of the most hyped features of Apple Music is the Beats1 Radio. It’s a 24-hour, live, global music station run by star DJs Julie Adenuga, Ebro Darden, and Zane Lowe. Apple also offers radio stations by genre that are curated by music experts. This feature has been highly publicized as innovative, and could possibly change the way we listen to radio. Spotify, for its part, offers radio stations based on artist and genre, but none of it is live.

Music Discovery

Apple Music and Spotify both have playlists the user can listen to, and they also both have a ‘Discovery’ feature that recommends new music to you, based on other music you like. The features have a lot of similarities, but some, including Business Insider, have said that Apple Music’s discovery feature is better. Apple Music is much newer than Spotify, so it is difficult to compare which system’s discovery is better, especially because they are made to ‘learn’ your preferences over time. However, Apple Music has been getting initial good reviews.

The Winner?

Spotify still has more users, and many of them are loyal and love the service. Due to similarities between the two, many are wondering if Apple Music has enough features to convince people to make the switch. However, Mac World, Business Insider, Time, The Guardian and other sources have all said that Spotify should be worried about Apple Music. A study of Mac users (who are admittedly all Apple fans) said that only 17% would stop using Apple Music after the free trial ended. So while it is too soon to tell if Apple Music will dominate, there might be dark clouds on Spotify’s horizon.

Whether Apple Music or Spotify wins in the end, you should still answer the question “how do I sell my music on iTunes?”. To learn more about getting your music online and keep up with Indie news and trends, follow our blog.

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