The Apple Music and Spotify debate comes to Midlo

Apple Music v. Spotify Music Platforms

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Photo by: Kyle Reeder

In this new era of unlimited music streaming, competition is fierce between the top music apps. Of the various services available for download, Spotify and Apple Music have emerged as two of the biggest streaming services in 2021. Since its release in 2008, Spotify has gained a record-breaking 165 million subscribers, while Apple Music, introduced in 2015, remains at 72 million.

Given that music is a big part of most students’ lives, the never-ending debate over Spotify or Apple Music has divided Midlo. While some students are very vocal about their opinions on the streaming services at hand, others find the argument to be one-and-done.

Junior Reina Okelli prefers Spotify because she feels Spotify makes it easier to find new music. “It makes new playlists every week with music I’ve never heard,” Okelli said.

[Spotify] makes new playlists every week with music I’ve never heard.”

— Junior Reina Okelli

As for senior Courtney Coppage, she stands neutral in the debate but ultimately leans towards Spotify. “My mom got me a Spotify premium account,” Coppage said. “It’s the same as Apple Music and it doesn’t cost money for me.”

When making the decision to choose Spotify or Apple Music, students find money to be a crucial point in their decision-making process.  Several students similar to Coppage, however, have their accounts paid for by parents, so money does not necessarily factor into their choice. Although Spotify has a paid service, they differ from Apple Music in that there is a free Spotify version where listeners can listen to music for the small fee of a short advertisement every thirty minutes. Such a feature makes Spotify a more accessible platform to a wider range of people as opposed to Apple Music, which stands as a paid-only option. 

Despite the convenience of a free version, some would rather spend money to not see ads, which disrupt the listening experience. “I use Apple Music because I don’t like how Spotify has ads in the middle,” junior Corrine Marsh said, “Spending the money is worth in that sense.”

However, despite the presence of ads, the creators of Spotify included many unique features that set it apart from Apple Music, all of which generate a more enticing experience for listeners. One of the most prominent features include Spotify Wrapped, an end-of-the-year review of a user’s music profile. This entails showing customer’s their most streamed song of the year, as well as cumulative stats about a user’s listening habits. while Apple Music recently started their own version of this, Spotify’s version is seen as more in-depth and personal. Other standout differences are that of personalized Daily Mixes and direct music suggestions at the end of every playlist that provides users with the names of artists and songs similar to what they have frequently been listening to. 

I almost always love the music [Spotify] recommends to me, even if I’ve never heard it before.”

— Junior Jeniya Griffin

“Maybe I don’t want to listen to the same song five times in a row,” junior Jeniya Griffin said, “I almost always love the music they recommend to me, even if I’ve never heard it before,” Griffin said in regards to how Spotify keeps her wanting to listen to new music since it actively curates a new playlist for each of its different users that are unique to their individual music taste.

In an effort to settle the debate, we conducted a school-wide poll asking students to vote for either Spotify or Apple Music. Of the eighty-five students who responded, seventy favored Spotify, while the other fifteen voted for Apple Music. Students unanimously agreed that Apple Music is less accessible than Spotify because, while Spotify Premium and Apple Music are the same price ($9.99/month), Apple Music is only available for Apple devices. Therefore, those who use other devices are unable to access Apple Music, suggesting Spotify is a more universal platform since it can be downloaded on all electronic devices.

However, some students view the selectivity of Apple Music as a benefit. “I like that Apple Music is built to work with my phone specifically,” senior Ava Wladar said. “In my opinion, it’s also prettier than Spotify because I think dark mode is overrated.”

I like that Apple Music is built to work with my phone specifically.”

— Senior Ava Wladar

While the preference over either platform remains personal and subjective, there are definite pros and cons to both that customers discover while using the apps. Students who use Spotify enjoy the accessibility and the numerous features included that are unlike any other platforms of its kind.  On the other hand, those who prefer Apple Music enjoy the compatibility with their particular device, as well as having the option to use either light or dark mode.

Though the two platforms have caused people to take sides, the streaming services share the common goal of providing people with a wide variety of music in order to further encourage music lovers to continue discovering their own preferences.