On what head does the crown of streaming lie?

Nicole McIsaac and Ethan Hurwitz

In favor of Apple Music

By Nicole McIsaac, managing editor

To Apple Music or to Spotify — or in other words, the debate of the digital century.

While I am one for hot takes, there is only one real answer here and it is Apple Music. Before all of you that remain on the bandwagon of Spotify decide to throw virtual tomatoes at me — I have my reasons.

As a fan of listening to music (with or on) Apple dating back to my first pink iPod Nano in the late 2000s, there are various distinguishable advantages to using the platform in comparison to Spotify. Apple Music is nothing like it used to be with its old iTunes store, it’s better.

With over 100 million songs in the database, Apple Music offers users a vast selection of tracks to listen to worldwide. And while Spotify has been in the music streaming industry since 2006, its capped 80 million songs simply can’t live up to the fruit-shaped streaming service that officially launched back in 2015.

Now, if a large selection of songs won’t persuade you enough, Apple Music’s sound quality and user layout sure will.

Picture this: you just put on your noise-canceling headphones and are about to listen to that new song everyone has been raving about. You have a choice: to use the best quality sound or one that is not as advanced.

Which one would you pick?

Over a year ago, Apple Music upgraded its user listening experience by offering lossless compression, per Apple’s website. In other words, this sound quality restores data from an original source file — hence making the sound more crisp than ever.

In addition to stellar sound quality, Apple Music’s format of the app is extremely user friendly and gives its listeners various different opportunities to explore its features.

While offering your standard library and search button, Apple Music also has a Listen Now, Browse and Radio option. On the other hand, Spotify only has library, search and home options for its layout — making you have to dig for exactly what you are looking for.

Why would I want to have to do extra work just to listen to music? Complicating your application just makes its user have to put in more effort.

Whereas this might not bother some, device and user navigation is an extremely important factor when determining which streaming service is in your app history.

And don’t get me started on Spotify Wrapped, a yearly report of its users’ top played songs. Apple Music now offers the same thing, called Apple Music Replay.

Whichever platform you choose to listen from isn’t life or death. While I do advise that you should give Apple Music a try, at least everyone in the debate can agree on one thing — don’t use Amazon Music.

In favor of Spotify

By Ethan Hurwitz, sports editor

It’s the classic conundrum–you and a friend are in the car, arguing about who gets to control the music being played. That fighting over the aux cord can be fixed with one simple solution.

The Blend feature on Spotify allows you to create merged playlists with your friends, allowing for both of your favorite songs to be played in one single setting. Not only that, it updates daily, allowing for your music tastes to grow with each other.

These new joint playlists are just one of the many reasons why Spotify music has dominated the audio streaming world. The Swedish-based app, which was founded in 2008, is the number one app used for music, audiobooks and podcasts, according to a CNBC report.

Unlike other music apps like Apple Music, the entire Spotify library, which has surpassed 80 million songs, is entirely free to any user regardless of their subscription level. While the incentive to buy Spotify Premium allows you to eliminate ads, deciding not to upgrade your subscription plan still lets you listen to any song or podcast you want.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has continued to keep the costs of his app down, having a constant monthly fee of $10, lower than Apple Music ($10.99) and YouTube Music ($14.99). That, along with lesser costs for college students ($4.99 compared to Apple Music’s $5.99), allows people on a smaller budget to enjoy their favorite songs on the go.

Along with the ever-popular Spotify Wrapped stats that show your yearly listening habits, Spotify has various features to enhance your experience. “Discover Weekly” playlists allow users to find new music based on their music tastes, the “Release Radar” clues you in on newer tunes that may be up your alley and artist’s personal playlists can give users the ability to see what their favorite singers are jamming out to.

Oh, and for those on a college-sized budget who are worried about the combined cost of streaming services for music and movies, Spotify has you covered. Buying the Spotify Premium Student plan also gives access to both Hulu and SHOWTIME, according to Spotify’s website.

Whether you want to stream your favorite albums on the go, in your dorm room or wherever you listen to music, Spotify is the way to go. After years of spending time on the often-faulty Amazon Music, the switch to Spotify has been a godsend in my listening habits.

As I complete my first full calendar year as a Spotify user, I look forward to the new features that are consistently introduced and more importantly, I enjoyed flooding my social media with my debut Wrapped this past week.