Apple Music vs. Spotify vs. Pandora vs. Google Play Music: Which One

If you’re facing trouble to decide whether to pick Spotify or Apple Music as your best music streaming service, then go through this post. Here, we will compare almost all the largest music streaming services.

By Bella Miller | Posted on: Jul. 19, 2019, Last Updated: Jul. 19, 2019

At present, there are several music streaming services available out there, but there are four major ones that stand out from the huge crowd – Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and Google Play Music. There is no doubt that these four widely popular streaming services are also competing with each other, quite much on the same level. However, the problem is that you want only one, even though there are numerously available.

Apple Music vs. Spotify vs. Google Play Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify vs. Google Play Music

These days, users face trouble when it comes to choosing whether Apple Music or Spotify/Pandora/Google Play Music. That’s why we come up with the complete guide on Apple Music vs. Spotify vs. Pandora vs. Google Play Music to help you pick the right one.

Part 1: Apple Music or Spotify

Spotify is a Swedish-based music streaming service that has more than 10 millions of subscribers. On the other hand, Apple Music is quite popular for its high-level and exclusive releases and full support for the Apple iOS ecosystem. Both these music streaming services are great, and that’s why it has become a hot topic that which service is better to choose.

Apple Music or Spotify

Apple Music or Spotify

Let’s give a closure look at the comparison between Apple Music and Spotify on the basis of various factors, which include:

Price and Subscription

Both Apple Music and Spotify provides a free three-month trial session for their premium services, which generally cost $10, even though Spotify service isn’t actually free as you need to pay $0.99 for the trial period. And Spotify is music streaming service with free and ad-supported tier and thus, it means that if you don’t want to prefer its premium version, then you still can listen.

On the other hand, Apple Music service allows free users to stream Beats1 Radio only or they can listen to songs from their iTunes library.

Music Library

The music library of Spotify has 30 million-plus songs. Along with this huge collection, it adds 20,000+ new songs on a regular basis. The service also come up with the latest record releases, live sessions, and numerous new songs.

On the other side, Apple Music has around 45 million songs and thus, it is superior to the music streaming service called Spotify. There is also another area where Apple Music service is a better option than Spotify and it is iTunes Library integration.

In other words, any music you’ve purchased through iTunes store, uploaded to iTunes Match o ripped from a physical CD will show up in your Apple Music library and provide you with the option to browse your own music along with Apple’s standard library. Spotify also provides a similar feature, transferring your local songs to a separate tab, but you are not able to access the local songs via broad searches, unlike Apple Music.

Compatibility

Both music streaming services provide support for Android and iOS. Also, both come with standalone desktop applications for Mac and Windows. You can listen to music in the browser in case of Spotify i.e. open.spotify.com. However, Apple Music isn’t a full web player, but mere a web widget at tools.applemusic.com.
Apple Music along with Siri Voice control on HomePod of Apple and also provides support for Amazon’s full line of Echo smart speakers through the Alexa App. Plus, the service is available on other Amazon and Apple devices, such as FireTV, and Apple TV.

On the other hand, if a device is listed as Spotify connect compatible, then you can use the Spotify music streaming service app as a remote for controlling playback. That’s all on Apple Music vs. Spotify. If you would like to use a free service, then Spotify is the best option. But, if you want to pay for a service, then Apple Music may be the right pick.

Part 2: Apple Music vs. Pandora

Pandora’s been providing music streaming for a long time now and it is also known as internet radio. Even though Apple Music is a newcomer to the music streaming world, Apple’s and iTunes dominating presence in the market has made it worth to consider. However, if you are still confused which one to pick whether Apple Music or Pandora, then give a closure look at the following points:

Apple Music vs. Pandora

Apple Music vs. Pandora

Price

Apple Music service will cost $9.99/month for a user or it also offers a family plan that cost $14.99/month. The family plan provides support for six users. On the other hand, Pandora is quite cheaper for a single user that cost $4.99/month or $55/year. As you can see that it is the half the price of Apple Music service, but Pandora doesn’t offer a family plan.

24/7 Radio

One thing that Apple Music and Pandora have in common is 24/7 radio. However, Apple Music streaming service plans to get his job done quite differently. Rather playing music all the time, Apple Music can stream true radio along with DJs as well as everything. It is known as Beats 1 that will broadcast live from New York, London, and Los Angeles.

Support for music video streaming

Another remarkable feature of Apple Music is that it provides support to watch music videos within its service. Plus, there will be no-ads while streaming. On the other hand, Pandora doesn’t provide such type of music video streaming feature.

Siri Support

Apple Music streaming service provides support for Siri and it means that you can ask Siri to look for or play a song using your voice. And Pandora doesn’t provide support for Siri.

Music Recommendations

Apple Music service provides music recommendations for you. When you open Apple Music, you will get the “You” tab that includes music recommendations for you. The app will allow you tom select some genres you like and artists that you love to listen. On the other hand, Pandora creates music stations based on user likes.

Part 3: Apple Music vs. Google Play Music

Another music streaming service that has gained huge popularity among music lovers is Google Play music. If you need help to decide whether to pick the Apple Music or Google Play Music, then following Apple Music vs. Google Play will decide which one is the right match for you.

Apple Music vs. Google Play Music

Apple Music vs. Google Play Music

Plans and subscriptions

A standard subscription for Google Play Music is the same as of an individual Apple Music subscription and it cost $9.99/month. With Apple Music subscription, you can download music for offline listening, stream catalog of Apple music and get access to new releases and shows broadcast on the Beats 1 radio station. On the other hand, with Google play music subscription, you can access Google’s music catalog, radio stations, music recommendations, offline listening, and Youtube Music premium access.

Both music streaming services has a family plan that cost $14.99/month. Here’s the catch, if you don’t even get Google Play Music subscription, you can still upload up to 50,000 songs from your music library for free.

Free Trails

Apple Music provides a free three-month trial of its premium services. On the other hand, Google Play Music provides existing holders of Google account with a shorter 30-day free trial. It becomes the paid membership if you don’t cancel it before the trial period expires.

Music Library and offline listening

All paid Google Play Music and Apple Music plans provide you with access to a big catalog of songs when you register. Apple Music has 50 million songs, while Google Play Music users get 40 million songs. Users of Apple music can download up to 100,000 songs to their own music library, whereas Google Play Music let you download as many songs, playlists, and albums as you want.

Streaming quality

Apple Music is capable of streaming 256kpps AAC files, whereas Google Play Music subscribers can choose the streaming bit rate from low to medium to high (198 to 192 to 320kpbs).

Compatibility

Apple Music is available to download for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and almost all the Android devices. On the other hand, Google Play Music is also available for both Android and iOS devices.

Google Play Music allows you to upload up to 50,000 songs from the computer through a web player or upload client app. Apple Music in iTunes that is available for Mac and Windows PC is based on a similar format as the mobile version.

However, Apple doesn’t provide a native player for web browsers, unlike Google Play Music, although third-party services like Music allows users to listen to Apple Music via the web.

Part 4: Comparison Chart

Apple Music Spotify Pandora Google Play Music
Price $9.99/month $9.99/month $4.99/month $9.99/month
Free Trial  3 months 30 days 60 days 30 days
Family Plan $14.99 for 6 users $14.99 for 5 users $14.99 for 6 users $14.99 for 6 users
Max Streaming Quality 256 kbps 320 kbps 192 kbps 320 kbps
Supported Platforms iOS, Android, Apple TV, OS X, Windows iOS, Android, WP, Web, Windows, OS X iOS, Android, WP, Windows, WebOS X iOS, Android, Web
Bonuses Beats 1 Live DJ radio Algorithm radio, provide access to catalog from third-party apps Radio services Access to YouTube Music Premium
Library Size 45 million tracks 35 million tracks 30 million tracks 40 million tracks
Offline Playback YES (Mobile only) YES (Mobile and desktop) YES (Mobile only) YES (Mobile only)
Siri Support YES NO NO NO
Free Option Yes with ads Yes with ads Yes with ads Yes
Podcasts  NO YES YES YES
Music Videos  YES YES NO NO

The Bottom Line

We hope that you now got an idea of which music streaming service is the right pick for you with the above complete guide on Apple Music vs. Pandora vs. Google Play Music vs. Spotify. All these music streaming services are good in its unique features it offers and which one is the right one for you depends on what you would like to have in your music streaming service.

Bella Miller

A senior editor, an Apple fan at iMobie Inc.. I love both dancing and helping users to solve iOS & Android related issues by writing various types of tutorials.