Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Oh My: How The Streams Measure Up

With all their long-driving chess moves in place, Apple finally revealed their big Apple Music service. But how does Apple Music directly compare to Spotify or even Tidal? 

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud

 

Whether or not you’re a Mac-addict, it’s quite a challenge not to spark a bit of curiosity about the newly-announced Apple Music service, which takes aim at streaming giant Spotify with better interactive support, curated playlists and beyond. But before we all dive down the hype hole, swear off Jay Z for good, cancel our Spotify accounts and get Apple logo tattoos on our earlobes, let’s take a closer look at the comparison between the two accounts. 

Tidal: Jay Z Packs The Musical Titanic With Superstars

WWDC 2015’s biggest entertainment reveal was the Apple Music release, which arrives with iOS 8.4 in late June and follows to Android and Windows later this year. White the model follows Spotify in many features, Apple Music steps ahead in offering connections to artists and easy fan interactions with artists on the rise. 

First, and perhaps best news of all: 

Musical monogamy is not required. You’ll have plenty of time to try the service out with a free Apple Music trial.

Price Point

Apple Music costs $9.99 for a subscription, just as Tidal and Spotify do. That would set them equal on this point, if it weren’t for the near game-changer family-package price of $14.99 – six family members can use the same account, with individual profiles. Spotify does offer a free 1-month trial of Spotify Premium, and a free Spotify radio service with ads. However, Apple Music offers a free three month trial to Tidal’s one month (with credit card info).

Advantage: Apple Music

 

Selection

All three services boast roughly 30 million tracks, though we’re not going to be hearing Taylor Swift on Spotify anytime soon. Jay Z has only removed his Reasonable Doubt album from Spotify thus far to encourage Tidal crossover, which hasn’t exactly proven effective. The Beatles are not part of Apple Music, however.

Advantage: Tie

 

Buying Music

While Spotify allows users to add their own music to the streaming service, it doesn’t sell music directly. So if you’re trying to actually obtain the track you’ve been gobbling up your data with, it’s going to be a bit of a process. Apple Music combines your music and the streaming music in one place, and offers direct buying options with streams. Spotify doesn’t sell music directly, and it’s a bit of a headache to find your way through to a purchase. 

Advantage: Apple Music

 

Radio Stations

While Spotify and Apple Music both offer radio stations,the latter boasts a live radio station called Beats 1 with DJs around the world hosting music, interviews and other content.

Advantage: Apple Music

 

Bonus Features

Spotify’s new Running feature is pretty badass, and neither Apple Music nor Tidal have anything comparable to match the speed of your workout. Apple Music does have music videos in its app, however, something Spotify dos not offer. Tidal’s highly-touted exclusives have been limited thus far, and any illusion of exclusivity is inevitably eradicated in time. This is the internet, people.

Advantage: Apple Music

 

Siri Support

Apple Music integrates Siri to enable subscribers to play the top song from a year or date, a movie or TV theme stuck in their head, favorite songs from an artist and so on. Apple’s exclusivity with Siri makes for a peerless interactivity that may very well be the key leverage point as we move into a more connected physical reality.

Advantage: Apple Music

 

Fandom Fever

Users can follow artists in both Spotify and Apple Music, but the latter sports an archive of artist information and exclusives including behind the scenes photos, videos and more. At a glance, an artist’s entire ecosystem of accessibility can be tapped, with various social media accounts tied in as well as Soundcloud. Spotify? Tidal? Crickets.

Advantage: Apple Music

 

It seems we have a clear winner here, no? Let’s give this Apple Music thing a shot. Far better luck than we’ll have with this Tidal mess.