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Amazon Music vs. Spotify vs. Apple Music: Which Is Best for You?

There has never been a better time to introduce yourself to paid music streaming services. Although Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, and Spotify all offer similar features, each includes unique characteristics worth considering. In this article, you’ll learn more about Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music, and discover how to subscribe to each of them. We’ll also give you some advices to help you decide which one would be best for you to subscribe to personally.

Part 1. Spotify

Spotify is the pioneer in the music-streaming space, and it's arguably the best known. It offers a number of curated music discovery services, including its Discover Weekly playlist, and is constantly implementing new ones, such as Stations. The service's (now optional) Facebook integration makes sharing music on Spotify easier than competitors. Spotify allows you to send a track or album, collaborate on playlists with friends or peek at what your Facebook friends are listening to.


Spotify Premium is available for $9.99/month for an individual subscription and $14.99/month for a family plan. Students can purchase a subscription for $4.99/month. New subscribers can try Spotify Premium free for 30 days.

Available Platforms:

Spotify is available on nearly everywhere, including iOS, Android, Amazon devices, Samsung devices, Roku, PlayStation, Sonos, on the web, and more. First introduced in Sweden in 2006, the Spotify Premium service is available in all corners of the world, including most of Europe, the Americas, and parts of Asia. Spotify songs can also be played on Web player, and in June, 2017, it became available on Windows Store as an app.


✔ It's easy to build your own playlists and sync them for offline listening.
✔ User-friendly apps that are updated frequently and have enough features without being overwhelming.
✔ Allows you to follow artists and to be alerted when they release new music or announce an upcoming show.
✔ Highly personalized custom playlists.


X Advertisements in the free service can be intrusive.
X You can't listen to specific songs in the free tier, just a mix based on the requested music

Part 2. Amazon Music Unlimited

Amazon Music is a music streaming platform, online music store, and music locker which provides music without DRM (Digital Rights Management) from 4 major labels (EMI, Universal, Warner Music, and Sony BMG) and some other independents. It offers a greatly expanded catalog for an extra outlay per month. Rather than focusing on the cutting edge of music as some others here do, the Amazon music service features recommended playlists and radio stations that are grouped around artists you've already listened to.


Amazon Prime members can subscribe to Amazon Music Unlimited for $7.99/month, which is $2 off the standard monthly price. You can save a little extra by paying $79/year upfront. Amazon also offers a family plan for $14.99/month or $149.99/year. With the family plan, you and your family can stream music on up to six devices at the same time. If you only want to stream music from your Amazon Alexa device, the company offers a low-cost option for $3.99/month for each device. New users can try Amazon Music Unlimited free for 30 days.

Available Platforms:

Amazon Music Unlimited is available on multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Fire TV, Fire tablets, and on the web. Additionally, it works with home entertainment products such as Sonos, Roku, and Bose. The service is also available in cars from Ford, BMW, and Mini. Users have access to purchase songs on website. To download the songs, users can use Amazon Music Player (supports Windows 7 or later, and Mac OS X 10.9 or later). At the time of this writing, Amazon Music Unlimited is only available in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, and Japan.


✔ Cheapest per month -- if you're an Amazon Prime member.
✔ Lyrics automatically pop up on the "now playing" screen.
✔ Offers free music stations for Amazon Echo, Echo Dot ($6.99 at Amazon) and Amazon Tap ($52 at Amazon) (includes ads).
✔ Step-up Amazon Prime Music HD service ($12.99 for Prime members) includes hi-res and surround music from Sony 360 Reality Audio and Dolby Atmos


X Artist profiles don't have biographies.
X Officially advertised as "tens of millions" of tracks strong, it's unclear if the catalog is quite as large as its competitors listed here
X The service no longer includes a music locker.

Part 3. Apple Music

First launched in June 2015, Apple Music provides all of the on-demand music you’ll ever need. While it suffered from teething problems at the beginning, Apple Music has grown to become one of the most popular streaming services. It offers plenty of features and a wealth of discount options for families and students. There's also ton of curated playlists, many hand-crafted by musicians and tastemakers, but it still lacks the robust sharing options built into Spotify. As with Spotify, there are also playlists, and here’s how to get started using Apple Music playlists. As with Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music allows you to download music for offline use as long as you continue being a subscriber.


An individual Apple Music plan costs $9.99/month or $99.99/year. A family plan, which is good for up to six people, is priced at $14.99/month. Student plans are available at $4.99/month. New subscribers can try Apple Music free for three months, while Verizon Wireless customers can claim six months for free.

Available Platforms:

Apple Music is available across all of Apple key products, including iOS devices, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. It’s also available through iTunes on Mac/PC and Android devices. You can also stream Apple Music through CarPlay and Sonos systems and on Amazon Echo products. Apple Music is available in over 100 countries around the world. If you’re reading this article, it’s likely Apple Music is available where you live.


✔ It combines your iTunes library with music you don't own, rounding out what you can play.
✔ A combination of human music experts and algorithms help find music you'll want to hear based on what you play.
✔ You can control what you hear or search for new music using Siri on iOS devices.
✔ It's currently the only choice for Apple HomePod owners who want to request songs by voice.


X As you'd expect, the Android app and experience isn't as smooth as the iOS one.
X Doesn't work with old iPods (except iPod Touch).

Part 4. Which Music Streaming Service Is Best?

In general terms, Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, and Spotify Premium offer the same underlying features. These include on-demand music and the ability to download songs for offline listening. From there, each provides unique extras worth considering.

Amazon Music Unlimited is an excellent choice for Amazon Prime subscribers because of the extra discount it provides. Hardcore Amazon Alexa users can also benefit from selecting this service. Amazon Music would be better at its web players.

By contrast, if your world revolves around Apple products, Apple Music is probably the one for you. One of the most significant advantages of going this route is that Apple Music automatically merges your streaming content with what you’ve purchased from iTunes. This feature is a big deal if you’re looking to expand your current library across multiple devices.

Spotify, meanwhile, is the best service for music discovery. This fact is an important point to consider if you’re the type of person that appreciates finding new music and artists. Spotify would be more professional for playing songs on mobile devices such as iPhone, Android, etc. Best for: People who want a solid all-around service, and especially for people who love to make, browse and share playlists for any scenario.

As you can see, all three premium music streaming services have their advantages. You should pick the best music streaming service for you. Our advice: take advantage of the free trials to determine which service is right for you! And no matter which service you decide to go with, be sure to buy a great pair of wireless earbuds for the best listening experience!