In the war to find the best music streaming service, two behemoths stand tall. You have YouTube Music in one corner and Spotify in the other. Does YouTube Music have what it takes to topple Spotify or will Spotify steamroll YouTube Music?
This match will see YouTube Music vs Spotify. Which is the better music streaming service? Let’s find out!
YouTube Music can be installed to an Android device, and an iOS device, which means tablets are also capable of running YouTube Music. YouTube Music does NOT, however, offer a desktop application. If you want to listen to YouTube Music, you’ll have to fire up your preferred web browser to do so.
Not exactly a deal breaker, but web browsers can be rather resource heavy, and not all browsers are supported (Microsoft Edge, Opera, Google Chrome and Firefox). Desktop applications can be built to be lightweight, and less intensive.
Spotify, on the other hand, can be found on Mac OS X, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, Windows Mobile and even Chromebooks. And let’s not forget you can enjoy Spotify on your console–PlayStation and Xbox.
When it comes to the UI, neither has a leg up on the other. They’re both very minimalist in their approach, providing a three-page layout that is easy on the eyes, and very user friendly. You could give this to your technology-hating grandma and she’d get around just fine.
When you approach the app, you’ll see music that you’ve recently played, or others have recently played, as well as a page for popular and trending music. On top of that, based on your musical tastes, Spotify and YouTube Music will offer suggests to music you may like under the “Recommended for you” section.
There’s no argument here, YouTube Music and Spotify have a mind numbing number of songs to listen to. You could enjoy either for months on end and still find something new to listen to, or a new artist or band to fawn over.
But that’s the keyword: music. You see, YouTube Music is a part of YouTube, and YouTube has a library of videos that, when played on YouTube Music, can be played in audio form and videos if you so choose. Spotify is lacking such a feature, which gives YouTube Music a unique advantage over Spotify, but you do get access to podcasts and radio integration.
Both Spotify and YouTube Music have free versions of their service. However, Spotify is far more generous with free users than YouTube Music is; in fact, YouTube Music is barely usable at times.
Spotify gives you access to their library, but you can only skip a limited number of tracks every few hours. After every 4 to 6 songs or so, you’ll get an ad as well as staring at an in-app advertisement. The in-app ad can be ignored, but the audio ad cannot. Unfortunately, you cannot stream offline.
To bypass Spotify’s minimal restriction, you can hand them $10 (USD) a month. You’ll get to skip anything and be free of advertisements. But there’s more. If you are a student, you can get your subscription costs down to just $5 (USD) a month. And if you have a family, you can spend $15 (USD) a month and have the ability to stream Spotify to seperate users.
YouTube Music, on the other hand, is a bit more oppressive with their free version. For starters, you can’t let your device go to sleep. Yes, you read that right. You have to keep your screen on at all times. You’ll also have to deal with ads, and YouTube can be downright dirty with how frequent ads play.
Of course, that could all go away with a $10 (USD) monthly subscription fee. But wait, there’s a catch: you’ll still have to deal with ads unless you upgrade again to $12 (USD) a month. Like Spotify, YouTube Music also has a subscription plan for students at $5 (USD) a month. Their family plan is also set at $15 (USD) a month.
Hands down, Spotify wins in the pricing department.
AND THE WINNER IS…
It depends entirely on what you need. As far as straightforward music services go, you just can’t beat what Spotify has to offer. It can be used well enough even on its free version, leaving YouTube Music at a huge disadvantage. However, YouTube Music does have YouTube stamped in its name, you have access to their library or remixes and such.
It’s hard to say definitively, but Spotify is the better service.