Spotify vs. Apple Music – comparing the features, catalogue and price of the two music streaming services

Spotify vs. Apple Music – comparing the features, catalogue and price of the two music streaming services

Spotify vs Apple Music

We compare the features, cost and catalogue of the two streaming services to help you decide where to spend your subscription money.

Apple Music is the premium-only music streaming subscription service from the tech giant. Apple Music was fairly late to the music streaming party, launching in 2015, but had 14 years similar experience with their music player and store iTunes.

With several years head start on Apple Music, launching in 2006 Spotify currently lead the music streaming market, with Apple Music close behind. Unlike Apple Music, on top of Spotify Premium, Spotify also have a free model, which offers ad-supported music and limited features.

For this comparison we’ll be comparing Spotify Premium with Apple Music.


Both streaming services offer the same basic features such as ad-free listening, offline and on-demand playback, letting you listen to any song, anywhere, with unlimited skips.

While both streaming services offer the streaming of lossy MP3/AAC files, Apple Music recently launched a major update for subscribers, including lossless audio and spatial audio with Dolby Atmos. Lossless audio offers music in ALAC format at up to 24-bit/192 kHz. Spatial audio with Dolby Atmos goes beyond the traditional two-channel, stereo audio we’re used to, giving your music a multi-dimensional, immersive experience. Apple Music are one of the first streaming services to offer the higher quality option (and spatial audio) at no additional cost over regular Apple Music subscriptions.

Spotify have also announced their own HiFi streaming tier, however we are still waiting for the feature to launch, and have no word yet on the maximum bitrate available or potential price increase above Premium memberships. With the competition for hi-fi music streaming from streaming services such as Amazon Music and Apple Music, it’s likely Spotify will drop any initial plans they had to include a price increase for the feature. Fingers crossed!


Spotify report over 70 million tracks are available for streaming, while Apple Music report over 75 million tracks are available. All 75 million+ are available in at least CD quality, which is 16-bit/44.1 kHz. As for Spotify, we are unsure how large their upcoming HiFi catalogue will be.


For individual memberships in the US, Spotify Premium and Apple Music are both $9.99 per month.

Both services offer various discounts for families, students and bundles with other subscription services.


For those happy with the ads and limitations included, Spotify Free is the only choice for those looking to save money. Apple Music have the current advantage on features with spatial audio and lossless audio available to all users today. Apple’s tight integration across their own products, makes Apple Music a great choice for those with devices such as iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV and AirPods.

If you’re a music artist, you’re in luck. RouteNote can help you get your music onto either of these music streaming services and many more for free. Just sign up to RouteNote, upload your tracks, select the stores to distribute to and we’ll do the rest.

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