How Is Apple Music Actually Different From Spotify (Or Anything Else)?

How much you pay

  • For free: On Apple Music you can listen to ad-supported radio with just an Apple account. On Spotify, you actually get ad-supported, on-demand access to the entire Spotify catalog.
  • Premium: In both cases you get unlimited access to the entire catalogs, including offline caching for $10 per month.
  • Family: Apple introduced a dirt-cheap family plan that lets up to six different people get onto the service fo $15 per month. Spotify currently offers similar pricing in some markets, and we’re told the company will offering competitive pricing in the future.


  • Spotify boasts a catalog of more than 30 million tracks. It has Zeppelin! But not Taylor Swift.
  • Apple Music will also have more than 30 million tracks. And expect a catalog that it’s roughly the same as what Spotify has. It won’t be a carbon copy of everything that’s in iTunes. For example, the Beatles discography likely won’t magically appear on Apple Music.
  • There will be some minor differences between the catalogs based on what each service is able to negotiate. Sometimes iTunes will get exclusives, and sometimes it’ll be Spotify with the goods.

Where you can listen

  • Even when Apple Music launches with an additional Android app this fall, Spotify has an edge in terms of how many different ways you can access your music. Besides just iOS and Android, you can listen to Spotify through your Playstation and even on your Uber ride. Spotify has made a big effort to be everywhere, which is great because that’s where customers are.
  • I can’t be sure, but it looks like there’s not even a web interface for accessing Apple Music. Which sucks. This release says it’s an “app,” right?

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