Spotify vs YouTube Music: Which music streaming service is better?
With the recent release of YouTube Music in the Philippines, we began wondering how it stacks with the current fan-favorite music streaming platform Spotify. They both offer offline streaming, variable audio quality to save data, as well as an ad-free music listening experience when you go premium. Which of the two should be your go-to music streaming platform?
If the premium subscription doesn’t fit your budget right now, then fear not because you can have access to both, albeit with limited functionality and ads in between songs. Being a free Spotify user, you can only listen to random songs on a playlist, limited to the automatic audio quality preset, stream music online, create playlists and listen to music on the background. With YouTube Music, on the other hand, users can stream online without being able to listen to music on the background (you can’t turn off your display or switch apps), as well as create playlists.
Spotify premium users get access to an ad-free listening experience, as well as downloading songs for offline consumption and access to the highest music quality setting that they offer. YouTube Music premium users, on the other hand, get access to an ad-free listening experience, downloading songs for offline consumption, and access to the highest music quality YouTube can offer. They also get screen-off and background playback too, which is already available for Spotify free users.
Spotify Music boasts over 50 million songs available for streaming, while YouTube Music doesn’t tell users how many songs there are available to stream. You can, however, stream live performances like 30 Seconds to Mars’ Vevo Presents, old mixtapes not available on Spotify like Logic’s Undeniable Mixtape, as well as other music channels such as The Sound You Need, and more.
Functionality and UI
Both of the music streaming platforms’ desktop and mobile apps are easy to use. However, in terms of functionality purely as a music streaming app, Spotify feels more intuitive to use. The search tab has cards that can help you discover new music depending on your mood, the library is less cluttered, and overall, it feels more polished as a music streaming app. YouTube Music, on the other hand, feels more familiar since not much has changed from the regular YouTube interface. Instead of featured videos, users get featured playlists for them to listen to.
Playlists & Personally Curated Lists
In terms of making playlists, both are equally easy to do on both platforms. One thing that Spotify is known for, however, is how good their algorithm is when it comes to creating new mixes for you to listen to. While we’re sure that YouTube will learn your taste for music over time, today, Spotify’s is just better.
In terms of music quality, Spotify is offering better music quality right now with their Extreme preset which they claim to be equivalent to 320kbps while YouTube Music is locked at 256kbps AAC on their high preset.
In terms of pricing, both platforms offer their premium subscription for roughly the same amount but have different promos to offer their users.
Starting off with Spotify, their prices are as follows:
- Individual plan – PHP 129/mo
- Family plan (up to 6 users) – PHP 194/mo
- Student plan – PHP 65/mo
- 3-month free trial
For YouTube Music, their prices are as follows:
- Individual plan – PHP 129/mo
- Family plan (up to 6 users) – PHP 199/mo
- YouTube Premium (access to other YouTube affiliated subscriptions) – PHP 159/mo
- YouTube Premium Family plan (up to 6 users) – PHP 239/mo
- 1-month free trial
It’s hard to choose which of two is better since they both offer great service. Spotify offers better music quality, personally curated playlists, and user experience better than YouTube Music. Alternatively, I like being able to play live performances and old mixtapes, and the familiarity of the interface of YouTube Music.