Spotify was the first music streaming giant to step foot into the market, and it was only in 2015 when Apple wanted a slice of the pie and take on Spotify by creating Apple Music. This was a paid music service built into their iOS. 16 months later, Amazon didn’t want to be left out and created a very similar service called Amazon Music.
Now, Amazon is no stranger since it’s practically a one-stop platform that you’ll possibly get everything you ever wished for. As a Prime member, you can access at least 2 million tracks via the platform and Amazon Prime Unlimited expands up to 50 million songs.
With plenty of music streaming platforms available online, the competition is only getting fierce. And making a decision to settle on a music streaming service is harder than you expect. Hence, here’s the comparison that covers everything you need to know about Amazon music vs Spotify. By the end of the article, you should able to identify which one has better service, a bigger library, and more value for money?
What Is Amazon Music?
Prime Music is one of the services you can access with your Amazon Prime membership at no extra cost. You also get access to their Prime Video (which is their counterpart for Netflix). Availing Amazon Music gets you an ad-free music streaming platform with an unlimited skip and offline music streaming whenever you want.
How Does Amazon Music Work?
You can download the Amazon Music App or go directly to music.amazon.com and you can start browsing their playlist. You can also access Amazon Music through Alexa by saying “Alexa, play The Best of Prime Music playlist.”
Prime Music is available on all Amazon Echo family devices compatible with FireTV, Fire Tablet, and many other Alexa-enabled devices. That means you can stream any music on your mobile phones or computer. There are different playlists available, ranging from Billboard Top 100 to workout music down to dinner party music.
What Is Spotify?
Spotify is believed to be the most download music streaming app. In fact, 99 out of 100 people have Spotify downloaded on their mobile. But why is it so popular?
Spotify is a digital music streaming platform that lets you access millions of songs, podcasts, and videos from artists and content creators all over the world. It does not limit to mainstream artists but also indie musicians are on this platform.
The appealing part of Spotify compare to Amazon Music is that you can access their content for free by signing up (and we’re not talking about the free trial either) unlike Amazon Music or Apple Music. You can easily create an account on Spotify through your email, Google account, or connect it with your Facebook account.
How does Spotify work?
There are two ways to access Spotify: you can either download their music app on your mobile device (made available for both Android and iOS devices), or you can access it via the browser on your PC. Alternatively, you can also download the Spotify App on Windows and macOS.
If you want to sign up for Spotify, you can choose between their different subscription levels (which we’ll be shown in the next section).
Once your account is all set, you can freely browse their music library, playlists, and podcasts.
Amazon Music vs Spotify: Price Comparison
|Founded||October 2016 – USA||October 2008 – Stockholm|
||$9.99/month for Premium; free, ad-supported tier|
|Family Plan||6 accounts for $14.99/month or $149/year||6 accounts for $14.99 per month|
|Free Trial||30 Days||30 Days|
|Requires Mobile App?||No||No|
|Works with Alexa?||Yes, search for music by artist, lyric, mood, decade, etc.||Yes|
|Number of Users||Amazon will only say it has “tens of millions” of paid users||217 million active, 100 million paid|
|Number of Tracks||50 million||50 million+|
|Sound Quality||256Kbps; users can pick lower bitrate on mobile apps||Varies based on device|
Amazon Monthly/Premium Plans
Amazon offers a basic membership for Amazon Music for $3.99, but it only limits to streaming music through Echo Speaker or Echo Dot. If you want the full service, you’ll have to sign up for the $7.99 monthly subscription for Amazon Prime. This also gives you access to Prime Video and their Prime features for Amazon.
Spotify has a simpler pricing structure at three tiers: free tier, monthly, or family account. The monthly tier costs $9.99 per month and gives you ad-free and offline play music streaming (something not available to free accounts). There’s also a family subscription plan for $14.99 a month that lets you and five other members enjoy premium features. Each member gets their own personal account through one payment.
Data Consumption: Amazon Music vs Spotify
How Much Data Does Spotify Use?
If you’re using the default setting, you’re averaging 2 MB+ on data usage for 3-minute songs. That puts you at about 40 MB per hour or half a gigabyte every 10 hours. This is important because some cellphone plans have limited data allotment, so you’ll need to monitor your data usage through Spotify. The data usage also depends on music quality. The lower the quality, the lesser the data usage. You can find out the quality setting by going on Your Library, then click Settings, and then click Music Quality.
Spotify has several audio quality settings and these are the data usage expected:
|Spotify Data Usage|
|Music Quality||Normal (MB)||High (MB)||Extreme (MB)||Automatic (MB)|
How Much Data Does Amazon Music Use?
Amazon never officially revealed the streaming quality of its music service for both Prime Music and for Amazon Music Unlimited. The general consensus online ranges between 48kbps and 320kbps, depending on streaming quality.
On the low end, you’re probably averaging at about 175 MB per hour to 1.2 GB on the high-quality end. Amazon Prime sets the quality at 96Kbps, but you can opt for higher quality streaming on their settings.
Amazon Music vs Spotify: Which Has More Music?
Both Amazon Music and Spotify have about 50 million tracks, not counting podcasts. However, Spotify might have more music by a few hundred or thousands due to the fact that a lot of indie musicians and up-and-coming artists are launching their music on the platform compared to Amazon Prime.
Now it’s no surprise that Spotify has 100 million paid subscribers out of their 217 million active users, but Amazon isn’t left out in the dust either. As of April 2019, Amazon has had 32 million subscribers across its music services for both Prime Music and Unlimited. It’s a lower rate than Spotify but Amazon is growing faster by 25% more per year.
It also helps that the popularity of Amazon’s Echo Speaker gives it an advantage over Spotify since it’s now reaching out to households as opposed to individual users. The company is now working on a higher-fidelity version of the Echo which is built to compete against the likes of the Sonos speakers and may attract more users to the streaming services. Amazon Music also has a strong user base of older subscribers, averaging about 14 percent aged 55 years or older while Spotify falls far below into 5% for users aged 55 and over.
Amazon Music vs Spotify: Differences
Spotify and Amazon Music can both be accessed via your mobile devices, tablets, PC, and Mac OS. For Android and iOS devices, you can download both of their apps from the Google Play Store and Apple Store respectively. You can also sign up for the subscriptions through the apps.
Spotify also allows you to enjoy Spotify Connect, which is a feature available to premium subscribers who want to stream directly on their TV’s and speakers. It’s quite a popular option for many AV and Hi-Fi products – including the Sonos Speakers. Spotify is also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant and you can access them by saying “Spotify” when prompted.
Amazon Music is exclusively available for Fire tablets and Fire TV’s, and some BMW and Mini in-car entertainment systems, as well as Sonos Wireless Speakers and Bluesound and NAD BluOS devices. As expected, you can also stream Amazon through Echo devices but not through Google Assistant (given their past relationship, it’s no surprise).
You can access Radio stations on both Amazon Music and Spotify. There are also personalized radio stations based on the artists and tracks that you like. They also have mood-based playlists and auto-generated radio stations that allow you to switch from one station to the next. The radio stations can be accessed through Echo devices as well.
Amazon Music and Spotify will let you create your customized playlists that you can share with your friends and to the public. Likewise, you can also curate other playlists from existing members and download them on your mobile device. However, Spotify has a more user-friendly approach to their playlists and they make it easy for you to add and remove tracks on your own playlist. You’ll also be able to follow certain playlists if you want to be constantly updated on changes made to that playlist.
Integration with Echo Devices makes it easy to stream Amazon Music through Alexa. Once prompted, you can instruct Alexa to play music via their command code and then certain keywords. Spotify doesn’t have any supported or built-in assistants but can be controlled by either Alexa or Google Assistant.
Amazon Music and Spotify both offer offline playback where you have to download the tracks to your phone. This allows you to enjoy music on the go without worrying about consuming mobile data however, you’d need to be subscribed to their premium tier if you want to enjoy this feature. Both will allow you to download entire playlists as long as there’s enough space on your phone.
What Does Spotify Have That Amazon Music Doesn’t?
Spotify’s main unique value proposition that Amazon Music doesn’t have is its music recommendation feature. It doesn’t come any close to what Amazon Music has for it. They have a Discover Weekly feature that uses their patented AI and machine learning algorithm that curates a playlist for you based on the latest songs you’ve played and based on your listening habits. These recommendations are 90% accurate so you won’t have to worry about editing this curated list. They also have a two-hour Release Radar playlist that contains brand new music and remixes, and the more you listen to these libraries, the more recommendations will be matched to you.
What Does Amazon Have That Spotify Doesn’t?
Amazon recently launched Amazon Music HD, which has 50 million HD tracks at CD-quality bitrate of 16-bit/44.1 kHz and millions more along with the 24-bit quality and up to 192kHz (which Amazon scales to as Ultra HD). You’ll need to pay about $17.99 or higher to enjoy these features, or $15.99 if you don’t have Prime. Existing Prime Music members can access this for an additional $7 per month. Spotify hinted of increasing their music quality from 320kbps to higher, but they have yet to do so and any audiophile on Spotify will more likely be tempted to jump over to Amazon just because of the HD tracks.
Amazon music vs Spotify, which one is the best? This really depends on your preferences. Spotify is the most recognizable name in music streaming and will continue to be one for the next few years. Accessing 50 million songs for both free and paid users is not something that a lot of people just can’t look away from. But if you’re on the lookout for the freshest beats and the dopest tracks, Spotify may be your platform. If you are a fan of Alexa devices, you might want to use Amazon Music over Spotify simply because of the compatibility issues.
It just integrates into your Amazon account without going through additional hoops. Both platforms share the same audio quality, but if you’re more conscious about your mobile data usage, you can’t go wrong with Spotify. Just be sure to download your offline tracks in a Wi-Fi area.
All in all, you can’t go wrong with choosing either of the two. Spotify and Amazon Music are more likely to go head to head over the next few years and one of them is bound to surpass the other. It’s just a matter of which one will it be.