Apple Music vs. the Rest
Apple Music cannot be equated with other online music libraries or audio and music streaming services because it has been a pioneering product & service in more ways than one. However, the fact is there are other music libraries and streaming services available today and all of them have a few strengths that can match those of Apple Music. Every year there are substantial changes in features, availability, inventory and pricing of such services. It is better to compare the various pros and cons based on the latest facts. A comparison dating back a year or two may be irrelevant and might lead you to choose the wrong provider. Here is a brief but factual comparison of Apple Music and the rest.
There are four major competitors of Apple Music. These are Spotify, Google Play Music, Amazon Prime Music and Pandora. There are other players around the world but almost none of them come close to the omnipresence and omnipotence that Apple Music enjoys. It is futile to compare with smaller players as they don’t stand a chance to fight.
- Let us begin with the free trial period that is available right now. Spotify offers thirty days, so does Google Play Music. Amazon Prime Music is available for a thirty days free trial but only for those who have Prime membership. Pandora also has a similar criterion. It offers thirty days for Premium but only seven days for Plus. Apple Music is the clear winner here as it offers three months of trial.
- Spotify has played a game of catch-up with Apple Music and charges the same. Both cost $9.99 per month. Both charge $14.99 per month for a family of six. Google Play Music has also matched that price and has the exact proposition for a family with up to six members. Amazon Prime Music is a tad more affordable but the prerequisite of being a Prime member may be the spoilsport for nonmembers. After the $99 per year membership fee of Amazon Prime, there is a monthly cost of $7.99 for unlimited access to Amazon Prime Music. Pandora has two plans. Premium subscribers pay $4.99 per month while Plus subscribers pay $9.99. You can pay the annual subscription fee at once.
- Spotify has thirty million songs. The rest have forty million songs each. Apple Music doesn’t have any gradation or limited subscription policy so everyone gets access to everything. Amazon restricts the size of the library to only two million in certain locations. Apple Music has the most widespread availability in the world, with a presence in more than a hundred and ten countries. Google Play Music and Spotify have a presence in more than sixty countries. Pandora is confined to the US, Australia and New Zealand.