Choosing the best music streaming service is not easy. Each has its own Advantages and disadvantages and it’s precisely these aspects that I want to illustrate in this comparison between YouTube Music and Spotify. Both services have a web reader, but for the purposes of this article, we will focus on the functionalities of their smartphone and tablet versions.
For any self-respecting online music service, the bottom line is… The music of course! Even if a streaming service is cheap, has a top-notch and feature-rich application that is unique in the world, if it is not able to satisfy the musical needs of the users, it has no future.
Spotify Sessions or live video? Your choice. / © AndroidPIT © AndroidPIT
On the streaming catalog side, both Spotify and YouTube Music have a wide choice, and it’s not hard to find something nice to listen to on either platform. But where YouTube Music makes a point, at least in this area, is thanks to the presence of exclusive content such as concerts, lives and remixes that cannot be found on other platforms around the world. Sure, Spotify organises concerts and live events that are then available on-demand, but that’s nothing compared to YouTube user-generated content.
What Google can deploy more effectively than Spotify is its Search Engine On YouTube Music, you can sort search results by song, album, artist, or playlist directly by clicking directly under the search bar. Spotify can sort the results with the same categories, but you can’t filter them, you have to scroll through the list to see the results for each group.
What I like most about Spotify is the customised playlists that can be tailored to your mood or specific themes: weather, movies, TV shows, etc. I like the fact that the playlists can be customised according to your mood or specific themes. Spotify’s thematic choice of playlists is far superior to that of YouTube Music. Google’s service does have user-created playlists, but I can’t say that they’re better, or of better quality, than Spotify users.
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To say that the two applications have similarities is an understatement. © AndroidPIT
Both services have their own radio functionality. You can start playing an artist’s or album’s radio, and YouTube Music and Spotify will then be able to generate mixes with different artists without straying too far from your preferred style.
In the same way, each service has its own news discovery page. Spotify calls it Browse, while YouTube Music calls it Hotlist. In the first case, it is a horizontal list of current playlists, and a vertical list of themes, genres or moods. As for Hotlist, it is a selection of albums or trendy songs from all over the world. Two different ways of presenting novelties are equivocal, determining a preference is here purely subjective.
You can access YouTube Music Premium with a monthly subscription of €9.99/month. With this plan, you get access to all the music you want without ads, with the ability to play a song in the background and download videos offline (in short, the music won’t stop if you switch applications or turn off your smartphone screen). With a premium subscription, you can also choose to display the clip of the song you are playing (if available) or just a classic view.
The differences are subtle but essential. © YouTube
The package that I recommend the most to use this service is called YouTube Premium (without the name Music) from 11,99€/month. For an additional €2 per month, you can access any YouTube Music Premium, as well as play YouTube videos without ads, or play them in the background and download them to play them offline. The benefits are pretty tempting, and when using the application on a device running Android Oreo you can even enjoy Picture-in-picture mode.
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Spotify is, without a doubt, much more useful than its competitor in its free version You can play titles in the background and the commercials are only interrupted occasionally. But you won’t be able to decide to listen to particular tracks if they’re not selected in Spotify playlists, and you’ll be able to skip to the next track a limited number of times per hour. In addition, Spotify Free only allows you to listen to music on your account from abroad for 14 days.
The free version of Spotify remains unparalleled. ©Spotify
So, too many negatives? Well, it depends. Between personal playlists and Spotify playlists, users of the free version can have trouble-free use, and the limitation on track selection isn’t too burdensome: after all, who hasn’t used Shuffle mode from time to time? Personally, that’s all I do! Spotify Premium, with a €9.99/month subscription (apart from the special offers the start-up often makes) allows you to listen to any track and download it to listen offline.
If you want a free service and can live with ads, Spotify’s offer is really the best. On the other hand, the inability to turn off your smartphone’s screen using YouTube Music remains a problem for me. When it comes to choosing a Premium service, it’s quite the opposite. The advantage of no longer having to see ads using the classic YouTube for only 2€ more is a significant bonus. This is something to make even the most assiduous users of Google’s video platform think about.
The two streaming platforms are equivocal, but with different advantages and disadvantages
But that doesn’t mean that Spotify Premium users should immediately terminate their subscription to adopt the newcomer. Spotify remains one of the most comprehensive platforms of all time, and if you’re a true music lover it should be the most suitable service. But if you’re more interested in audio AND video content, Spotify doesn’t stand a chance.
And you, are you a client of either service? And which formula, free or premium? What do you think? Tell us about it!