With the onset of the digital era, online media streaming services have seen a huge spike in usage and online streaming.
Be it songs, online radio, or podcasts, online music streaming services provide full-length content from every corner of the world via the Internet. Two such widely popular streaming services are Spotify and YouTube Music.
YouTube Music and Spotify are the most popular and widely available online music streaming services. Both of these services are available for the Web, Android and iOS.
Both offer music streaming with the highest music quality available and dynamic recommendations to improve the user’s listening experience.
But, there are a lot of factors that set both of these services apart from each other.
- Spotify and YouTube Music are music streaming services allowing users to access a vast library of songs and create personalized playlists.
- Spotify offers a wider range of social and discovery features, while YouTube Music has a larger library of music videos and live performances.
- While both services have unique features and use cases, Spotify is more appropriate for users who value social and discovery features. At the same time, YouTube Music is better suited for users who enjoy watching music videos and live performances.
Spotify vs YouTube Music
Spotify is a standalone music service that offers a free ad-supported version and a paid subscription service. YouTube Music focuses on music videos, live performances, and other visual content besides standard audio streaming.
|Parameters of Comparison||Spotify||Youtube Music|
|Launch Date||Launched on 7 October 2008||Launched on 25 November 2015|
|Features||Music is available via various parameters, such as genre, album, and artist. Users also have access to create, edit or delete their playlists.||Music is available as releases from various mainstream artists and music from already available music videos on YouTube.|
|Active user count||320 million monthly active users||2 billion monthly active users|
|Audio Quality||The free service provides a maximum audio quality of 160 kbit/s, while the premium service provides a maximum audio quality of 320 kbit/s.||The free service provides a maximum audio quality of 128 kbit/s, and the premium service provides a maximum audio quality of 256 kbit/s.|
|Amount of content available||60+ million tracks are available.||50 million tracks are available.|
|Podcast streaming||Alongside music, Spotify has hundreds of podcasts divided into multiple genres, such as comedy, music, and educational.||YouTube Music does not have any standalone capabilities for podcasts. Podcasts are available through the Google Podcasts app.|
|Platform||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS smartphones, tablets, and some smart speakers like Amazon Alexa.||Android, Android TV, Android Auto, iOS, Web, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa.|
What is Spotify?
Spotify is a very popular online audio streaming service. It was launched on 7th October 2008 and is owned by Spotify AB. It is available in most of Europe, the Americas, Oceania, and parts of Asia and Africa.
It offers music streaming and podcasts from various record labels, independent artists and media companies. Spotify has both free and premium services.
The free service provides online streaming at a maximum audio streaming quality of 160 kbit/s alongside advertisements, and the premium service provides additional features such as offline listening, downloads, and ad-free music with the highest audio quality available.
The premium service is available as Family, Duo and Student Plans.
Spotify also provides the experience of listening to various podcasts ranging from true crime audio documentaries to comedy shows.
Spotify also has a feature called “Spotify for Artists” that helps artists to release their music on the platform with or without any media distribution company.
What is YouTube Music?
YouTube Music is an online music streaming service developed by YouTube, a subsidiary of Google.
It was released on 12th November 2015 and later replaced the Google Play Music app as Google’s main music streaming app for future devices.
It is available in 95 countries (mostly Europe and America and parts of Asia and Africa).
YouTube Music also has free and premium services, where the premium service offers only offline downloading and background playback other than the feature already available in the free service.
The free service provides music with a maximum streaming quality of 128 kbit/s, and the premium offers a maximum streaming quality of 256 kbit/s.
However, YouTube Music does not come with the feature of listening to podcasts. To listen to podcasts, one has to install the Google Podcasts app.
Main Differences Between Spotify and YouTube Music
- Spotify was launched on 7th October 2008, while YouTube Music was released on 12th November 2015.
- Music on Spotify is classified via various parameters such as genre, album, and artist. Users also have access to create, edit or delete their playlists. Whereas, in YouTube Music, music is available as releases from various mainstream artists and music from already available music videos on YouTube.
- Spotify has 320 million monthly active users, while YouTube Music has 2 billion monthly active users.
- The free service of Spotify provides a maximum audio quality of 160 kbit/s, while the premium service provides a maximum audio quality of 320 kbit/s. The free service in YouTube Music provides a maximum audio quality of 128 kbit/s, and the premium service provides a maximum audio quality of 256 kbit/s.
- On Spotify, 60+ million tracks are available for listeners. However, on YouTube Music, 50 million tracks are available.
- Alongside music, Spotify has hundreds of podcasts divided into multiple genres, such as comedy, music, and educational. Unfortunately, YouTube Music does not have any standalone capabilities for podcasts. Podcasts are available through the Google Podcasts app.
- Spotify is available in Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS smartphones, tablets, and smart speakers like Amazon Alexa. Android, Android TV, Android Auto, iOS, Web, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa. YouTube Music does not have any Windows or Mac software.
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Sandeep Bhandari holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computers from Thapar University (2006). He has 20 years of experience in the technology field. He has a keen interest in various technical fields, including database systems, computer networks, and programming. You can read more about him on his bio page.