War music is beating its drums. Every company wants their booty from this growing market trend. So far, Spotify leads the race with an absolute majority. Biggies like Amazon, Apple and Google with YouTube Music are catching up in the Swedish company. Of course, we even wondered which app to choose which leads to YouTube Music vs Spotify music streaming in our office comparison.
Speaking of Google, their journey has been eventful in streaming music. The search giant first tried its luck with Google Play Music, making it available by default on all Android devices, but it failed to gain real traction among users.
After that, Google abandoned playing music and announced YouTube Music, an entirely new music service with audio and video integration. To counter Spotify, Google is trying to leverage the YouTube platform for deep integration and aims to provide the best value for money mix.
In this post, we compare YouTube Music to Spotify. The comparison will cover their user interface, menu discovery, listening experience, price, features and more. Let’s get started.
Via platform availability
Spotify is available on every platform. The app can be accessed on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, web, Apple Watch, and Galaxy Watch. It also supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Google has made YouTube Music available on iOS, Android, web, Windows, and macOS (via the Progressive Web app).
YouTube Music uses a nice dark theme in the interface. You can navigate between the main options from below. The settings menu and the rest search are at the top. The library list is nicely divided into downloads, liked songs, artists, and playlists. I like the way the Player UI changes the color based on the music album.
Spotify has the best user interface among all the other music streaming apps. It uses the gradient attribute across menus and sections. It gives you almost ambient light effect.
Unlike YouTube Music, the search menu is at the bottom, which is good for easy access. Spotify also changes the UI of the player based on album color, but again, the presentation and overall feel are better than YouTube Music.
Discovering new music is just as important as the listening experience. After all, these music streaming services offer millions of songs to the user, and a person will not want to spend a lot of his time searching for new songs.
For YouTube Music, the service asks for interested languages and artists with a dedicated homepage. When you search for a song and start playing it, the application’s automatic queue makes similar suggestions to the user.
As expected, YouTube Music offers playlists that are ready for exercise, driving, happy mood, etc. My favorite job is Discover Mix, which has a list of 50 songs that is updated every Wednesday based on my listening habits and liked songs.
The concept is identical to Apple Music New Daily and Spotify’s New Music Friday.
Spotify also asks about preferred languages and artists for better recommendations. You can search for new songs by entering categories such as rock, dance, shell, jazz, and more.
When you create a playlist, Spotify suggests more songs based on the tracks added. And I must say, they are usually spot on.
Spotify also creates a ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist that includes a list of new songs based on your listening history and liked songs. It does not stop here. Spotify creates four daily mix playlists, which combine the most listened to songs as well as new ones.
As expected, both services provide high-quality music streaming at 320 kbps. YouTube Music offers stats for nerds options, which shows the technical data of the song. You can enable the option by going to Settings > Turn On & Restrict > Turn On Statistics For Nerds List.
As for Bluetooth streaming, it worked as expected with my Mi headphones and Funcl AI wireless earbuds. There was no delay or any strange behavior. My only problem is that YouTube Music can’t resume a song with a single click on the right earbud of my headphones. It worked well with Apple Music and Spotify. I would like to see songs support in a future update.
Spotify provides a few functions to customize and improve the end user’s overall listening experience. You can enable Gables playback to eliminate the delay between two songs.
It also comes with a built-in equalizer to make adjustments according to your music listening tastes.
Spotify provides audio normalization to balance all songs on one scale. I usually don’t like that.
Add my favorite behind the lyrics section. It is true under listening UI and provides lyrics as well as cool trivia about the song.
YouTube Music has added a video and live performance section in the app. While listening to a song, one can quickly switch to the video and play the video from YouTube. I appreciate the integration, but hate the behavior in which YouTube Music search history is synced to the YouTube app.
YouTube Music supports Siri Shortcuts as well. It is available in the settings menu. I set it to play my Bollywood playlist when I’m talking, “Hey Siri, play some music.”
Spotify wants to be the centerpiece of all user audio streaming needs. In the past year, the company has invested heavily in podcast products, and now it offers a solid podcast experience in the app. Just go search, go to the podcast, and start the following channels.
The app also comes with Facebook integration. You can connect it to your social account and follow your friends. Unfortunately, the service does not offer Siri Shortcuts or iOS Widget support.
Spotify offers three plans. Individual premium costs $10 per month. The Student Plan is available at 50% off at $5 per month, and the Family plan starts at $30 per month, allowing you to add five more members. Add-ons include ad-free trial, high quality music, and unlimited downloads. These prices are for the US region and may vary in different countries.
YouTube Music is part of YouTube Premium, which costs $12 per month. The family plan is $18 per month. The plan offers an ad-free YouTube experience, unlimited downloads, and background video playback.
Upgrade your music game
As you can see from the comparison above, both YouTube Music and Spotify have their pros and cons. YouTube Music shines with video merging and Siri Shortcuts. Spotify the edges of competitors with more accurate song suggestions, podcast additions, a better user interface, and song integration.