The music streaming market is on the rise. Gone are the days of purchasing music albums. The consumers have moved to online streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, Tidal, and more. Even the biggies like Apple and Google have been aiming at that segment with Apple Music and YouTube Music. Arguably, Spotify is the industry leader right now. Meanwhile, Amazon Music is also rapidly growing with a long list of ecosystem products and Alexa integration.
Spotify appears to focus on different areas such as podcasts to ramp up the offering and building a closed ecosystem with exclusive deals. Amazon is beefing up its music offering with the launch of Amazon Music HD, a lossless music streaming service.
In this post, we are going to compare Spotify to Amazon Music. The comparison covers cross-platform availability, interface, features, music experience, price, and more. Let’s get started.
Spotify is available on desktop, mobile, and web. You can access Spotify on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Apple Watch, Galaxy Wear, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Google Chromecast. Unfortunately, Spotify doesn’t support Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. However, you can use Spotify as the music source on Amazon's Echo devices.
Amazon Music is available on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Fire TV, Fire Stick, Echo dots, and other Amazon products.
The user interface has never been a strong suit of Amazon apps. The same can be said about the Amazon Music app too. It uses bottom tabs for navigation, which is good. But Amazon has added a translucent effect that looks something from the 2010 era. You will see that effect in different elements of the UI.
The user experience is on point though. Every menu, settings, profile, is easily accessible with few taps.
Spotify's user interface looks quite appealing for the dark mode lovers. I have seen many users sticking with Spotify for the beautiful interface. The app uses standard bottom tabs to navigate options. I like the gradient effects that catch the prime color from the album cover.
My only problem with Spotify is the ‘Your Library’ menu. There is no easy way to switch between Music and Podcasts in the Your Library menu. You have to stretch your hand on top whenever you want to switch between them.
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Every music streaming service out there is focusing on better recommendations and auto-playlists. Spotify and Amazon Music are no different here. Amazon Music offers celebrity playlists, trending playlists, recommended albums, and popular albums.
Amazon has added the ‘My Discovery Mix’ algorithm, which creates a custom playlist based on your listening habits every Monday. In the past four weeks of using Amazon Music, the recommendations have been hit and miss for me. Amazon keeps suggesting Sufi and Rock music, which I hardly listen to.
Spotify offers song suggestions based on artists you follow. The service also provides different ready-to-go playlists based on your moods, such as road trips, rain, party, and more.
Daily Mix is probably Spotify’s biggest selling point. Spotify creates seven Daily Mix playlists based on your listening habits. As far as my experience with this service goes, the recommendation algorithm is top-notch. I have found many new songs thanks to their song recommendations.
As for the song library, I found Spotify to have much better English song content compared to Amazon Music. Of course, the end results might vary according to your region. For example, a song available in the US Spotify library might not be available in your country because of the licensing limitations.
Amazon has integrated the Alexa voice assistant with the Amazon Music app. You can just go to the Alexa tab, allow microphone permission, and specify the song name. It works well and can be useful during driving.
Amazon Music also offers a Sleep Timer, which closes the music player after a set time. I mostly use it at night as I don’t want my phone to keep playing songs after I slept. You can individually download songs and even cast them to a supported device using the built-in screencast tool.
My favorite function is the ability to view what others are listening to Amazon Music. When you are playing a song, you can tap on the three-dot menu above and select ‘Customer Also Listened To’ option to see what others with similar taste of yours are listening to.
As I mentioned, Spotify offers Podcasts along with Music. If you are someone listening to podcasts regularly and don’t want a separate app for that, then you can go with Spotify. The Podcast experience is only going to get better with Spotify’s aggressive push in the industry.
The list of functions includes gapless playback, data saver mode, built-in equalizer, social integration, and more. Sadly, there is no way to download a single song from an album. You can either download the whole album or add the song in a playlist in the downloads section.
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Music Player, Lyrics, and Listening Experience
Listening experience has been flawless with both Spotify and Amazon Music. I had no problem connecting and playing songs on my Mi Wireless Speakers or OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z. Both Amazon Music and Spotify offer high 320 kbit/s music quality. However, the default download settings on Spotify is set at Normal (96 kbit/s). You should change that to 'Very High' from the Settings > Music Quality tab.
Amazon Music offers a standard but functional music player. All the basic options are set at the bottom. It also offers lyrics support. When playing a song, you can swipe up from the album cover to play lyrics in real-time.
Spotify’s player screen is nicely laid out with big buttons that are easy to read and recognize. Spotify also offers a redesigned player screen when your phone is connected to the car Bluetooth. It features a minimalistic design with big icons that help you get the job done while driving.
There is no lyrics support on Spotify, but the company has partnered with Genius to provide behind the lyrics section during song playback. It’s cool. Behind the lyrics combines both lyrics and some fun facts which I’m sure the listeners will appreciate.
Device and Download Limit
Both Spotify and Amazon Music allow you to use the service with as many devices as you like. But there is a catch here. While you can download and install Spotify/Amazon Music on multiple devices, you can only stream songs using a single device at a time.
Spotify Used to limit offline downloads with 10,000 songs. The company recently removed that limit for users. Amazon Music also offers unlimited downloads.
Spotify and Amazon Music let you download songs for later use. But sometimes, Amazon Music failed to load the offline library for me. I had to reconnect to the internet, refresh the offline library, and then the downloaded songs appeared. I faced no such issues with Spotify.
A Word on Desktop/Web Apps
Both Spotify and Amazon Music are available on the web and Windows/Mac. If you use these services on the desktop a lot then I would advise you to go with Spotify. I found Amazon Music's desktop app slow and unintuitive.
Spotify's desktop app is fluid and easy to use. Most options are nicely laid out on the left sidebar. You can also change the offline download location, connect the Facebook account with the desktop app, and make changes for social sharing.
Spotify offers three plans. Premium individual costs $10 per month. The Student plan is 50% off at $5 per month, and the Family plan starts at $30 per month, which lets you add five more members. The added functionalities include ad-free experience, high music quality, and unlimited downloads. These prices are for the US region and may vary in different countries.
Amazon Music is a part of Amazon Prime subscription, which costs $99 per year in the US. The bundle includes faster delivery, early access to Amazon sales, and subscription to Prime Video service.
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Which One to Choose
The answer is simple. If you use a lot of Amazon products like FireTV and Echo devices, then you should go with Amazon Music as it comes as a bundle with Prime membership. If you want a nice-looking UI with spot-on recommendations, and if you are a power podcast user, you should slide with Spotify. As for me, I’m sticking with Spotify for now. What about you? Sound off in the comments section below.
YouTube Music is another music streaming app from Google. Read the post below to find its comparison to Amazon Music.
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