Spotify or YouTube Music – which is best, which has the most songs, and which has the most features? Here’s everything you need to know inside our detailed Spotify vs YouTube Music comparison…
Music has become an essential part of our lives these days. With our hectic schedule, we all feel restless, and music is the best way to calm down our nerves. If you are also a music enthusiast, then there is no way you haven’t heard of YouTube Music and Spotify.
These music apps have taken over the internet in the last few years. You can listen to millions of songs supported by YouTube Music and Spotify. Even with many more music apps in the market, these two are gaining more popularity because of the great features they offer their users.
If you need clarification about which app will be more fun and convenient with more features for you, YouTube Music or Spotify, then you are at the right place.
Here’s how the two music streaming apps compare…
What is YouTube Music
YouTube Music is a streaming service that offers official and unofficial music content. Official content includes music from major record labels, music videos and live performances. Unofficial content includes user-generated remixes, covers, and more.
YouTube Music is ad-supported, but it also has a premium version of the service that gives you ad-free listening, offline playback, and more. The service is available on both mobile and desktop, and there is even a dedicated YouTube Music app, making it easy to access your music on the go.
Features of YouTube Music
YouTube Music is a music streaming app that lets you listen to your favourite songs and videos; it replaced Google Music and is now Google’s de facto music streaming platform.
Here are five features of YouTube Music that make it a great choice for music lovers:
- Millions of songs and videos: YouTube Music has a huge library of songs and videos to choose from. You can find almost any song or video you want to listen to.
Ad-free listening: YouTube Music lets you listen to songs and videos without any ads, but that’s available only for Premium customers.
- Offline listening: You can download songs and videos from YouTube Music and listen to them offline. This is great for when you’re on the go and don’t have an internet connection.
- Background listening: You can continue to listen to YouTube Music even when you’re using other apps, or your screen is turned off. It’s perfect for working out or doing other activities where you can’t have your phone in your hand. However, this feature is also only available for YouTube Music Premium customers.
- Personalized recommendations: YouTube Music will recommend songs and videos based on your listening history. This makes it easy to discover new music that you’ll love.
What is Spotify
Spotify is a music streaming service that offers music from various artists and genres. Launched in 2008, Spotify has grown to become one of the most popular music streaming services, with over 300 million users.
Spotify offers a free, ad-supported service and a premium, ad-free one. Premium users can download music for offline listening and listen to music at a higher quality. Spotify also offers podcasts and video content.
You can listen to Spotify for free or upgrade to Spotify Premium for £9.99/month. Spotify Premium gives you great features, like ad-free listening and higher-quality audio.
Features of Spotify
Spotify is a music streaming app that has become extremely popular recently. There are many reasons why people love Spotify, but here are 5 of the most popular features:
- Huge selection of songs and artists: No matter your taste in music, you’re sure to find something you like on Spotify.
- Discover feature: It helps you find new music based on the artists you already listen to. This is a great way to expand your musical horizons.
- Spotify Connect: Spotify Connect lets you control your music from any Spotify-connected device. This includes your computer, phone, tablet, speakers, and more. Simply download the Spotify app and connect your devices to start playing music.
- Available on a variety of devices: You can listen to music on your computer, phone, and even some smart TVs, making it easy to take your music with you wherever you go.
What are the differences between YouTube Music and Spotify?
The free version of YouTube Music plays ads for an average of 15-20 seconds and allows you to skip ads after 5 seconds. On the other hand, the free Spotify version plays ads for 30 seconds and does not allow skipping ads.
Ads are annoying, and they spoil the fun. If you are on a budget constraint and confused between YouTube Music and Spotify, then about ads, YouTube Music wins the case.
If you want an ad-free experience, consider buying the premium plan. Premium Plans of YouTube Music and Spotify are discussed below.
Shuffle play is available on the free version of YouTube Music. You can play songs from any playlist on shuffle, and there is no restriction to adding songs to the queue from any playlist on YouTube Music. In addition to that, you can skip unlimited songs while listening.
Spotify does not support shuffle play on all the playlists. “Free version users can only shuffle music except for certain Spotify songs made for you.”
Spotify allows you to skip six songs per hour. Premium users get options such as Split, Shuffle, and Play.
YouTube Music again wins this point, as you can enjoy listening to shuffled songs if you want to avoid going by order of the song in your playlist.
Spotify offers video modes for only a limited segment of its Music Library. Videos are available only for some podcasts and songs on Spotify. Both free and Spotify Premium users can watch these videos on their desktop or mobile app.
Unfortunately, YouTube Music does not offer any such feature to its free users. Only premium YouTube Music users get access to the video library of the songs.
Both YouTube Music and Spotify offer different audio quality to their premium and free account users. The audio quality also varies for desktop apps, web players and mobile apps.
For Free Account users, YouTube Music offers two audio quality settings for the desktop app and web player—Low (48 kbps) and Normal (128 kbps). The mobile YouTube Music app has only one audio setting—Normal (128 kbps).
For Free Account users, Spotify offers four audio quality settings for the desktop app and mobile app—Automatic (depending on the internet speed), Low (24 kbps), Normal (96 kbps) and High (160 kbps). However, the Spotify web player comes with only Normal (128 kbps) audio settings.
If you buy a premium account, then Spotify offers the highest audio quality of 320 kbps, whereas YouTube Music is limited to 256 kbps only.
With Spotify, you can also play music/songs in the background while working with other apps. YouTube Music is a major drawback because you need to keep the app open all the time for uninterrupted listening. You cannot work with other apps while listening to YouTube music.
You need to get a Premium YouTube Music Membership for background play. Hence, Spotify stands out by offering this feature to its free and premium members.
Both YouTube Music and Spotify offer a wide range of music to their premium and free account users. There is a collection of millions of songs, from Pop and Jazz to Indie and regional music. Almost every song, artist, and genre is found on these apps.
Spotify, though, has done a little better work and has a vast library of podcasts. Podcasts have now become very popular, and everyone loves listening to them. Now you do not need to have a separate app for listening to podcasts; Spotify does that work for you. YouTube Music, however, has no collection of podcasts to date.
Spotify has over 4 billion playlists, which outcasts YouTube Music’s playlist. Spotify makes personalised Daily Mixes and Made for You playlists based on the types of songs you listen to frequently. Spotify also releases the Discover Weekly playlist every Monday with about 30 songs.
On the other hand, YouTube Music suggests various music charts such as Recent Releases, Top 100 streaming songs etc. It also allows browsing playlists through mood and genre, but the collection is limited.
As discussed above, some features of YouTube Music and Spotify have restricted the free account users. So, let’s look at the Premium Membership plans for these apps.
YouTube Music vs Spotify Cost
- YouTube Music offers an individual premium plan for £9.99 and a family plan for £14.99 (can be used by six members). Students can get a discount and buy it for £4.99. YouTube Music users can also get a YouTube premium by paying £2 more with their YouTube Music plan.
- Spotify also offers an individual premium plan for £9.99/month and a two-people plan (Duo Plan) for £13.99. The family plan for Spotify is £16.99 (can be used by six members). Like YouTube Music, students can get a discount and buy it for £5.99.
The premium plans remove all the setbacks of free YouTube Music and Spotify users, such as ad-less music streaming, offline download of music, better audio quality, access to video mode (for YouTube Music users) and many more.
Spotify is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows and macOS. You can also play Spotify on mobile, desktop, and web players. YouTube Music is more or less the same, with support for iPhone and Android apps as well as inside your PC’s web browser.
YouTube Music does not have direct support for Alexa. You cannot play music by saying, “Alexa, play a song from YouTube Music”. It is only integrated with Google Assistant and Siri. Conversely, Spotify is well integrated with all of these three digital assistants.
As discussed, Spotify has more features to offer its users. It has more music collection and playlists, allows background play, and better audio quality, and is available for podcasts.
Other features such as sleep times which will stop playing the music after some time, and crossfade features for seamless song transition also make Spotify stand out from YouTube Music.
YouTube Music is your go-to app if you want to watch videos and listen to music and are not much into podcasts. All the details of both apps are already mentioned in this article, and it depends on which app you like more and would like to use for the long term.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.