The streaming music market is on the rise. Gone are the days of buying music albums. Consumers have switched to online streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, Tidal, etc. Even biggies like Apple and Google are targeting this segment with Apple Music and YouTube Music. It can be said that Spotify is currently the industry leader. Meanwhile, Amazon Music is also growing rapidly with a long list of ecosystem products and the integration of Alexa.
Spotify seems to focus on different areas such as podcasts to increase the offer and build a closed ecosystem with exclusive offers. Amazon is strengthening its music offering with the launch of Amazon Music HD, a lossless music streaming service.
In this article, we will compare Spotify to Amazon Music. The comparison covers cross-platform availability, interface, functionality, music experience, price, etc. Let’s start.
Spotify is available on computer, 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 does not support Amazon Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. However, you can use Spotify as a 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 major asset of Amazon applications. The same can be said about the Amazon Music app. It uses the lower tabs for navigation, which is good. But Amazon has added a translucent effect that looks like something from the 2010 era. You’ll see this effect in different elements of the user interface.
The user experience is however topical. Each menu, settings, profile, is easily accessible with a few clicks.
The Spotify user interface looks pretty appealing to lovers of the dark mode. I have seen many users stick to Spotify for the beautiful interface. The app uses the standard lower tabs to cycle through the options. I like the gradient effects that catch the main color of 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 over the top whenever you want to switch between them.
Each music streaming service focuses on better recommendations and automatic playlists. Spotify and Amazon Music are no different here. Amazon Music offers celebrity playlists, trendy playlists, recommended albums, and popular albums.
Amazon has added the “My Discovery Mix” algorithm, which creates a personalized playlist based on your listening habits every Monday. In the past four weeks of using Amazon Music, the recommendations have been random for me. Amazon continues to suggest Sufi and rock music that I barely listen to.
Spotify offers song suggestions based on the artists you follow. The service also offers different ready-to-use playlists to suit your mood, such as car trips, rain, party, etc.
Daily Mix is probably Spotify’s main selling point. Spotify creates seven Daily Mix playlists based on your listening habits. Regarding my experience with this service, the recommendation algorithm is top notch. I found a lot of new songs thanks to their song recommendations.
Regarding the song library, I found that Spotify had much better English song content compared to Amazon Music. Of course, the final results may vary depending on your region. For example, a song available in the US Spotify library may not be available in your country due to license limitations.
Amazon has integrated the Alexa voice assistant into the Amazon Music app. You can just go to the Alexa tab, allow microphone permission, and specify the name of the song. It works well and can be useful while driving.
Amazon Music also offers a sleep timer, which closes the music player after a set period of time. I mostly use it at night because I don’t want my phone to continue playing songs after sleeping. You can download songs individually and even cast them to a supported device using the built-in screenshot tool.
My favorite feature is the ability to see what others are listening to on Amazon Music. When you play a song, you can tap the three-dot menu above and select the option “The customer also listened to” to see what other people with similar tastes are listening to.
As I mentioned, Spotify offers podcasts with music. If you regularly listen to podcasts and don’t want a separate app for it, you can use Spotify. The Podcast experience will only get better with Spotify’s aggressive push into the industry.
The list of functions includes continuous playback, data saver mode, built-in equalizer, social integration, etc. Unfortunately, there is no way to download a single song from an album. You can either download the entire album or add the song to a playlist in the downloads section.
Music player, lyrics and listening experience
The listening experience was flawless with Spotify and Amazon Music. I had no problem connecting and playing songs on my Mi or OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z wireless speakers. Amazon Music and Spotify deliver high quality music at 320 kbit / s. However, the default download settings on Spotify are set to Normal (96 kbit / s). You should change this to “Very High” in the Settings> Music Quality tab.
Amazon Music offers a standard but functional music player. All basic options are defined below. It also offers support for lyrics. When playing a song, you can swipe up from the album cover to play the lyrics in real time.
The Spotify player screen is beautifully arranged with large buttons that are easy to read and recognize. Spotify also offers a redesigned player screen when your phone is connected to the Bluetooth car. It features a minimalist design with large 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 while the song is playing. It’s cool. Behind the Lyrics combines both the lyrics and some fun facts that I’m sure listeners will appreciate.
Device and download limit
Spotify and Amazon Music allow you to use the service with as many devices as you want. But there is a catch here. Although you can download and install Spotify / Amazon Music on multiple devices, you can only stream songs using one device at a time.
Spotify Used to limit offline downloads with 10,000 songs. The company recently removed this limit for users. Amazon Music also offers unlimited downloads.
Spotify and Amazon Music allow you to download songs for later use. But sometimes Amazon Music failed to load the library offline for me. I had to reconnect to the Internet, refresh the library offline, then the downloaded songs appeared. I have not encountered any such problem with Spotify.
A word about desktop / web applications
Spotify and Amazon Music are available on the web and Windows / Mac. If you use these services a lot on the desktop, I advise you to choose Spotify. I found the Amazon Music desktop app slow and not very intuitive.
The Spotify desktop app is smooth and easy to use. Most of the options are well presented in the left sidebar. You can also change the offline download location, connect the Facebook account to the desktop app, and make changes to social sharing.
Spotify offers three plans. The individual premium costs $ 10 per month. The student plan is 50% off at $ 5 a month, and the family plan starts at $ 30 a month, allowing you to add five more members. Additional features include ad-free experience, high music quality, and unlimited downloads. These prices are for the United States region and may vary by country.
Amazon Music is part of the Amazon Prime subscription, which costs $ 99 a year in the United States. The package includes faster delivery, early access to Amazon sales, and a Prime Video subscription.
Which one to choose
The answer is simple. If you use a lot of Amazon products such as FireTV and Echo devices, you should opt for Amazon Music as it comes as a bundle with a Prime subscription. If you want a nice user interface with spot-on recommendations, and if you’re a powerful podcast user, you have to swipe with Spotify. As for me, I’m sticking to Spotify for now. And you? Ring in the comments section below.
Another music streaming app from Google is YouTube Music. Read the post below to find its comparison with Amazon Music.
Last updated on June 17, 2020
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