Apple Music vs Spotify: Which is the better value?


Racheal Pelter, Reporter

Choosing a platform for listening to music can be a tough decision. Value has to be weighed between the optional free Spotify and to Apple Music, which has a monthly fee.

Spotify and Apple Music have definitely made it to the top of the available apps. Ever since its launch in 2015, Apple Music has pleasantly surprised many users. Despite the fact that Spotify has the same basic purpose, both have significant features that could benefit certain music lovers.

Both of these providers offer three plans: individual, family and student. The competing companies strategically share the same prices, from $9.99 for an individual account, to $14.99 for a family plan.

The family plans allows registration of up to six accounts for one price, which is a drastic difference in cost compared to six individual accounts. Although this seems like a good deal, it is hard if your family does not all share the same brand of phones. For families divided between Android and iPhones, Spotify may be the better option.

For those seniors just months away from entering college, it is time to start considering the student plan. Both Apple Music and Spotify offer a discount for college students, cutting the price in half, to $4.99. To get this deal, Spotify asks for a name, date of birth and the college attending.

The plan lasts 12 months after the purchase date, but is renewable, as long as the student is still enrolled in college. When the end of the year approaches, Spotify will send a warning to the user to revalidate the student discount; otherwise, the user will be charged full price.

Apple Music uses UNiDAYS for student validation, making sure people taking advantage of this discount are enrolled in a university.

The subscription will last up to 48 months of the student’s schooling; the months do not have to be continuous.

Freshman Julia Santangelo has been using Spotify Premium for nearly a year now. “I listen to music so much, so I like how I can pick the songs I want to play from my playlists, instead of pressing shuffle play,” she said.  

Santangelo prefers the premium version over free, but she is not committed to Spotify; she said she may switch to Apple Music, eventually, to try it out.

Even with the facts laid out, it is still difficult to decide which platform is more efficient, without testing each out.

Junior Ciandra Tamburro made the switch from Spotify to Apple Music over the summer, when she joined her friend’s plan, “[Apple Music] is so much better,” she said. “Music is on there as soon as it drops. When I used Spotify, sometimes I couldn’t find certain songs. Apple Music just has a way better song selection.”

Tamburro said if she did not have an Apple Music membership, she would most likely use Soundcloud. “It doesn’t have mainstream stuff, but it has the kind of music I want to listen to.”

She completely stopped using Spotify when some music by Lil Yachty, her favorite artist, was removed. Spotify users will not be able to find his songs “Intro (Just Keep Swimming)” and “Run Running.” Both contained copyrighted samples from “Finding Nemo” and “Mario”games, either him or his music label most likely  took them off the app.

Other artists, like Taylor Swift and Beyonce, have removed music from Spotify, which turned some of their fans away from the app. Junior Fabian Lemus has been using Spotify since July, and soon upgraded to the premium plan. “I started off with the free version, but the ads and the limited songs really annoyed me, so I started paying for it.”

Lemus said he may consider giving Apple Music a chance, however. “It has a bigger library, and a lot more artists than Spotify does, and you can stream music videos.”

For people who do not want to spend money on music, Spotify is the perfect choice. Unlike Apple Music, it has a free option, but with limited features.The free version has a limited number of song skips on the mobile app, ads will play frequently, and the user will no longer be able to download songs and listen without internet access.

Senior Maxine Stanek has stuck with the free version, and said she does not mind the ads on Spotify. “I know why they’re there, so it’s all good. You can listen to whatever music you want for free. If I really like a song, then I’ll buy it on iTunes; other than that, I use Youtube.”

She added, “I like Youtube because you can find pretty much any song, and I’m okay with buying a song for my collection if I really love it.”  

Those who want to try out premium, however, can take advantage of a three-month trial version for just 99 cents.

Although Apple Music does not have a free version, it does offer a three-month free trial.

“It’s definitely worth trying, and if you don’t like it just go back to Spotify,” Tamburro suggested. “I seriously can’t imagine going back to a free version of anything after being able to listen to any song I want at any time. I couldn’t make it through the day without music, so I’d have no problem paying for it.”