Sunday, May 26, 2024

Music Streaming Wars – Apple Music/Spotify/Amazon Music

Written by Mira Divan (Grade 5)


For a long time, music was only being accessed through audio CD’s. This meant that if you wanted to listen to a song, you had to purchase a CD from a store, which would only include one album. So, if you wanted an assortment of songs to listen to, you had to buy different CD’s. Then, digital music streaming appeared at the start of the twenty-first century. It revolutionised the music industry – you did not have to own a song to listen to it! All you had to do is open an app. The pioneer of this industry was Spotify, a Swedish company that launched in 2006. It forced other tech giants like Amazon and Apple to follow suit. I have compared these three music streaming apps based on the following parameters:

Subscriber Base

As of 2022, Spotify is in the lead with 165 million subscribers across the world. Apple Music is second, but far behind Spotify, with 88 million subscribers. Amazon Music is third with 70 million subscribers. This is fairly surprising, considering the fact that Amazon Music was launched first, in 2007, followed by Spotify in 2011, and Apple Music in 2015. Spotify opened the market for music streaming service with its unique freemium (free-premium) model where people could listen to streamed music for free, as long as they were willing to listen to ads. As opposed to this, Apple Music and Amazon Music insisted on a package based or paid model. This is one of the biggest reasons for Spotify ramping up its subscribers compared to other streaming platforms.

Unique Features

A unique feature of Spotify is that you can listen to podcasts easily on the same app, whereas for Apple Music, you need an app called Apple Podcasts, and for Amazon music, you need an Amazon account. Many users find this helpful because they prioritise podcasts over music. Apple Music, on the other hand, has Spatial and Lossless audio options, which enhances sound quality and makes you feel like the music you are listening to is surrounding you. It undoubtedly has the best audio quality, but not as many options while listening to music. Amazon offers a wider range of sound quality options, which you can customise. This can help in different circumstances, where you may want a lower or higher pitch. Also, Amazon Music is helpful when you have the amazon artificial intelligence tool, Alexa. Alexa can use your Amazon Music playlists to recommend songs.

Interface

Apple is known for it’s user-friendly software and easy navigation, yet Spotify has a better overall experience when it comes to design. It has a dark background, which makes images and text stand out. It also has a much more aesthetic and organised library and search page, which provides a customised experience for users. For example, Spotify shows you your top genres, playlists you may like, and other related genres, whereas Apple Music does not provide the same level of personalisation and customisation. Amazon Music does not have an aesthetic layout or design, it focuses more on functionality. Amazon Music definitely does not stand out in interface.

Content

All music service apps have more or less the same number of songs and would arguably have all the popular hits in the world. Hence, content is not something that can be used as a parameter to compare music streaming services. What differentiates apps is the discoverability of this content, where Spotify wins hands-down.

Spotify also collects information on what users listen to and curates playlists which enhances consumer experience.

I believe Spotify is undoubtedly the best music streaming app. Apple and Amazon Music do have their own special features, but Spotify just rules when it comes to customisation. It’s up to you, but if you are looking for a great music app, I suggest you try out Spotify and discover the world’s best music and podcasts.


Featured Image Courtesy – Smartprix



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