Apple Music has been a take-off success in the United States beating out Spotify but just because something is a take-off success does not always mean something is perfect or sometimes even better.
Apple Music sports a library of over 60 million songs where Spotify has half of that or two-thirds of that library size, but I have found everything I wanted to listen to so for me it’s not an issue. I do listen to a lot of different music and have never had an issue on Spotify.
Apple Music is in the same situation as Internet Explorer was in the 90s on Windows. Many users who are not very tech-savvy will use Apple Music just because it’s installed on the iPhone and they don’t know anything else is available.
Those things aside where I think Apple Music falls short is the way they handle music curation. Spotify’s big play has been personalized daily playlist like Your Daily Drive, Weekly Release Radar, Heavy Rotation, Your Discovery Weekly, Family Mix, Summer Rewind, and many others. Spotify looks at what you listen to and tailors these daily playlists and weekly playlists that you may enjoy. Spotify then looks at what you are playing in those playlists and targets other already made playlists at you. The way they do this is ingenious and is designed to keep you listening.
The difference is Spotify has a free tear that’s ad-based and wants to keep its users listening as long as possible to maximize profit. Apple does not use an algorithm or personalized playlist except for their recently added Top Songs of 2020 which is done via a personalized algorithm. Apple Music has been very big on sticking with the Beats1 human-curated playlists. While I think this is better for new music discovery as Apple is not worried about keeping you on the platform as long as possible like Spotify.
Apple is more artist-centric with getting exclusive releases and doing new album promotions to push people to Apple Music. Plus Apple is running deals with companies like Verizon and others to get more listeners. With no free tier with millions of listeners, Apple can do this where Spotify cannot they need those free listeners to keep finding playlists they like to maximize the ad revenue. Apple Music has more of an exclusive group feel to it where you get this exclusive content because you have Apple Music. Where Spotify you can get everything, you want just with ads so the feel of the platform is different.
Spotify integrates with Facebook to tell you what your friends are listening to and allows sharing on all platforms. Apple does have plans to allow sharing but not share what you listen to as Apple is privacy-centric.
Both Apple Music and Spotify are great but in different ways, I think you as a listener and user need to decide what’s better for you and make your pick as they are both priced at $9.99. Both platforms work on all desktop and mobile form factors.