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A New Age for Music Streaming

by Shaina Blakesley

It is 2018 and we can now carry all of our music favorites in our pockets. With so many streaming apps out there, how do you choose the best one?

There are several streaming music apps, the popular ones being Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Tidal or Amazon Music Unlimited.

Pandora definitely has its limits and is currently losing popularity, while Amazon Music Unlimited and Tidal are far too new and lacking sophistication to really carry weight and compete with the streaming titans.

Currently, the two front-runners in the world of streaming music are Spotify and Apple Music.

First off, they both cost the same—$9.99 before tax—and they both offer student discounts.

Spotify has a deal where students can get Spotify Premium for Students and Hulu’s Limited Commercial for $4.99 for 12 months. Apple Music offers a discounted deal of 50 percent, so students can get Apple Music for $4.99 for 48 months.

Spotify is a Swedish-born service that pioneered the music streaming service. Spotify currently has tens of millions more paying subscribers that other streaming services.

On top of all their paid customers, Spotify also has free users. Apple Music doesn’t cater to a free option.

If you don’t purchase Spotify Premium, you can still rock out to your favorite tunes, although you will be interrupted by a few commercials.

Another disadvantage of not acquiring Spotify Premium is that you cannot listen to your music in offline mode. Streaming your music uses your data when it is in online mode, unless you have WiFi access.

Both Spotify and Apple Music have over 40 million songs that you can enjoy, but each service offer different exclusives.

Apple Music is integrated with your iTunes library, but if you have no music on it, then you still need to purchase individual songs, or whole albums. Spotify allows users to listen to other people’s public playlists, or listen to their premade ones. Spotify playlists consist of music based on your mood, the artist, a genre, or even activities like gaming, focusing, working out, just chilling or wilding out at parties.

To broaden the spectrum of playlists, the various activity genres are broken further down to accommodate every situation you find yourself needing music.

The Spotify’s curated playlists expand to encompass nearly every musical subgenre out there currently.

Every week, Spotify builds a playlist that depicts music to fit your style based on your musical tastes. It also brings the personalized Release Radar playlist, which generates recent releases reflecting songs similar to ones you have previously listened to.

Apple Music also offers a For You playlist, similar to Spotify, but it is still in its infancy and may have the tendency to include music you have listened to previously.

Apple Music exclusively offers Beats 1, which is a 24-hour online radio station that feature playlists and live DJs. This Apple-backed station is the only original thing Apple Music has to offer and the one feature Spotify doesn’t have an answer to at the moment.

Spotify offers exclusive podcasts and is attempting to build its business plan to include videos, but their stand-out partnerships are currently ESPN and Comedy Central. As of right now, this expansion is still developing and Spotify is trying to straighten out the kinks; look forward to seeing this feature gain success.

The Apple Music app is designed to be used on a bigger screen, so it doesn’t flow effortlessly with a small smartphone screen.

Another downfall of the app is that its sleek interface is hard to navigate and takes several tries, and perhaps a few Google searches, before figuring it out. Launching your library increase the difficulty to discover music despite Apple promoting the ease of finding new music.

Spotify prides itself on its influx of new music daily, an average of 20,000 songs are added. They stress the significance of promoting new tracks and break through artists.

Both features are offered to Android and Apple users alike, so all you have to do is decide how to best spend your money.