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Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music: Which Offers The Best Value For Money?

Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music: Which Offers The Best Value For Money?
Image by @rawpixel.com / Freepik

Gone are the days of listening to the Walkman or burning music to compact discs, while buying cassette tapes and vinyl records of their favorite albums are only still being done by collectors. Today, technology allows us to access billions of songs on the Internet with the help of music streaming services, like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.

However, if you’re looking to subscribe to a service, it might be confusing which one to get – to a newbie, they are all the same. Here, we list down all the pros and cons of each music streaming application, along with helpful reviews from users, to help you decide.

Spotify

Spotify was established in Stockholm, Sweden in 2014 and was launched in the Philippines the same year. Since then, it has become one of the most popular music streaming services all over the world. As of December 2020, it had 155 million subscribers, and 345 million monthly active users globally, with access to more than 70 million songs and over 2.2 million podcasts.

Here are Spotify’s subscription fees:

  • One-month free trial
  • Php 65 monthly subscription fee for students
  • Php 129 monthly subscription fee for non-students
  • Php 169 monthly subscription fee for Premium Duo (two premium accounts living under one roof)
  • Php 194 monthly subscription fee for Family Plan (up to 6 premium accounts living under one roof)

Spotify’s premium service promises ad-free streaming available for both Android and iOS users. You can also download songs on the app, so that you can listen to your faves even when you are not connected to the internet!

Via, a 24-year-old Spotify user, says that her favorite feature is the user-friendly interface. “I’ve been using Spotify for 4 years now, and I really like how its interface is pleasing to the eyes. Hindi siya sobrang liwanag, which is important to me since I often listen to music at night.”

She says that making playlists and listening to podcasts are hassle-free, and she found the app easy to navigate. Spotify also tailors weekly playlists for each of its users based on the genre and type of music they often listen to. “I love that it recommends new music every week, marami akong kanta na na-di-discover doon,” she says.

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Apple Music

A year after Spotify’s launch, Apple Music was introduced to the world in 2015. It is a music and video streaming service developed by Apple Inc. where users have access to over 70 million songs and exclusive videos. However, since this is a standalone platform, it does not have access to podcasts.

Here are Apple Music’s subscription fees:

  • 3-month free trial
  • Php 69 monthly subscription fee for students
  • Php 129 monthly subscription fee for non-students
  • Php 199 monthly subscription fee for Family (up to 6 accounts)

By subscribing to Apple Music, you get ad-free streaming, up to 100,000 downloads on your music library, and access across all your iOS devices.

Gino, 27, prefers Apple Music because he mostly uses Apple products. “With Apple Music, I can access my account even on the Apple Watch, which is really helpful when I’m running or exercising.” He also likes that the streaming service also offers original shows, concerts, and exclusive clips from your favorite artists.

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YouTube Music

YouTube Music, launched in 2015, is a streaming service developed by the Google subsidiary. It allows users to browse through songs and music videos on YouTube based on their genres, playlists, and recommendations.

Here are YouTube Music’s subscription fees:

  • One-month free trial
  • Php 95 monthly subscription fee for students
  • Php 159 monthly subscription fee for non-students
  • Php 239 monthly subscription fee for Family Plan (up to 5 family members, age 13+)

25-year-old Katt purchased YouTube Premium a year ago. This allowed her to watch ad-free videos, stream music offline, and discover new songs curated by the app. “I mainly subscribed because I got annoyed with the advertisements at the beginning of every video, minsan aabot pa ng three ads before the video starts,” shares Katt. “For me, it’s a good purchase especially if you spend a lot of time watching videos and listening to music.”

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What should you buy?

Now that the prices and key features are laid out, it’s time for you to choose the best music streaming app that fits your taste.

If you’re an Android or Apple user who prefers to listen to music while multi-tasking, the most affordable option is Spotify. This allows you to listen to podcasts and songs even when your phone is locked, and it is not exclusive to one brand of smartphone either. If you’re a student, they offer the most affordable subscription rate as well. Do note that Spotify doesn’t have video content, unlike Apple Music and YouTube Premium.

For avid iOS users, Apple Music is the way to go. It allows you to connect your account across your devices, like your iPad, Apple Watch, Macbook, and your iPhone. It also has exclusive video content. However, you would need to download a separate app, “Apple Podcasts,” to be able to listen to podcasts unlike Spotify, which already has them within the app.

If you’re both a watcher and a listener, subscribing to YouTube Premium is the perfect option for you. You get both YouTube Music (which allows you to stream songs) and videos across the platform with zero advertisements! It’s also available on both Android and Apple devices. However, there are podcasts available on Spotify and Apple Music that you won’t find on on YouTube.

These services have their own selling points, but what matters is that you get the one which fits your budget and lifestyle!

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