Spotify Vs Apple: The Not-So-Complex Debate


Emma Andersen, Former Staff Writer

I was just sitting in the car listening to the subtle, yet classy bassline of Arctic Monkeys’ hit “Snap Out Of It” when my friend asked me to switch the next song. I paused, stuck on the realization that I was absolutely oblivious to the Spotify world; the shuffle skip and cue buttons seemed to be nowhere in sight and this was the first time I wished I had the chaotic, green mess of an app that seemingly ruled the music streaming industry.

I had been a proud Apple music user for two years but the constant talk of how Spotify was the holy grail of music streaming services left me intrigued and perplexed.

Apple’s clean app design and exclusive deals always remained superior to me, while Spotify’s curated playlists, and connectability among friends seemingly made it the ultimate streaming service among this generation’s teens. This debate as to which music streaming service reigns supreme leaves friend groups quarreling over each app’s accessibility and features for whole car rides, but a victor of this battle still remains unknown.

Spotify has mastered its marketing to say the least; its free program (with ads) allows listening for all, and it has recently developed a tool that allows friends and family to keep up with each others current music musings.

“It’s like being able to see exactly what they’re listening to,” said Lola Jarrett, a Summit Junior, “I’ll just look at their playlists and see what songs they’re listening to!”

This new way of ‘stalking’ your friends is an interesting way to fine tune your music taste and avoid awkward aux situations in the car. Music seems to say alot about a person, and the pressure of being a good passenger seat DJ always looms over head before opening that car door. Spotify made this palm sweating situation easily avoidable with the option to find your friends music vibe ahead of time.

With the quick click of a button you can follow your friends playlists, your favorite artists, radio stations, and even podcasts.

“Spotify has pretty much become another social media platform,” said Emma Kaisner, a Summit junior and theatre club Vice President.

Spotify has become a whole new way to connect with people through a catchy series of bops, and this is the Spotify users most utilized argument. Again and again any criticism of Spotify’s platform is met with a cacophony of voices talking about its ‘insane shareability’ and fancy features.

Any insult directed towards either platform is met with a group of voices ready to defend their clearly superior platform to the death. Throwing a subtle backhanded comment towards either platform turns groups of people into a scene from Romeo and Juliet with dead set sides unwilling to compromise. Each platform is far from perfect and these ‘intense’ arguments suddenly make each side forget the deep rooted flaws within their given streaming service so they can just be right.

Without much knowledge regarding the Spotify set up, it can quickly become an overwhelming assortment of green and grey buttons, songs and playlists deterring new users.

“It was super difficult for me to navigate the Spotify platform when I had it,” said Macy Pofhal, a current Apple Music user, “I like that I can just add whole albums to my playlists on Apple instead of searching up every song.”

The pure ease associated with Apple was enough for me not to switch over to Spotify. After learning all the little tips and tricks as well as the thought of transerfing my 15 hour playlists, Apple Music seemed like a dream.

When looking closer the two platforms do the same things. They allow music to be shared, listened to and downloaded for quick streaming. This war of words has honestly turned into a side wanting to just say ‘I’m better’. When we pick a streaming platform the way each one is argued about makes it seem like a defining character trait. The vast majority of the time it’s just because of extenuating circumstances.

Kaylee Kemp, a Summit sophomore, switched from Spotify to Apple after her mother received a new phone. “She had Apple music already on her phone when she got it, so she just upgraded to the family plan,” Kemp said.

At the end of the day Apple Music and Spotify both do the same thing with slightly different colors and fun little things here and there. Accessibility is the end goal. While it’d be nice to have the uber modern homepage, or the ability to stalk your friends current music infatuations, the free access to a platform or already established family plan makes the decision clear.