Streaming Music Services Review: Apple Music vs. Tidal vs. Spotify

January 29, 2016

Nowadays, the art of music is progressing and expanding at a rate faster than ever. With the constant improvement of music comes various new ways to enjoy this incredible form of expression, and as of recently, one of the most popular ways to do so is to stream music. For those who are unsure of what this is, to “stream” music simply means to listen to it over the Internet, rather than downloading it and listening to it from a source where an Internet connection is not required. Ever since the rise of music streaming, many companies have tried their hand in this competitive field. However, only a few major names have made it to prominence. Three major music streaming services are Apple Music, Tidal, and Spotify.

apple-music-508x276Kicking off this review and comparison will be the highly coveted and low priced Apple Music. This service is simple and clean, using the same interface as the music library on an iPhone, but at the same time broadening the possibilities to the entire Apple iTunes Store. Here’s how it works: users subscribe to Apple Music, and go to their iTunes library. Then, they go to the search bar, and instead of searching their music library, they click on the tab “all Apple Music.” Users have access to the entire iTunes Store as if they had purchased every song, mixtape, album, etc. As well as being able to stream all of this music, users can also download it into their music library for use without WiFi for no extra charge. In short, Apple Music gives users access to everything on the iTunes Store for the small fee of $10 for one person or $15 for up to six family members.

TIDALNext is the most ostentatious of the three streaming powerhouses: Tidal. The reason I describe it as “ostentatious” is because its sponsored by the rap legend Jay-Z himself, and one can’t help but imagine that this service was created not for the love of music, but for the love of money. Tidal offers significantly less than its competitors, while costing twice as much for the highest quality streaming. If users want to listen to CD quality music on Tidal, it will cost them $20 a month, twice as much as Spotify and Apple Music. Not to mention, the selection of music on Tidal is much less diverse, and if users choose the lesser expensive subscription, they’ll he listening to much lower quality versions of music that is offered on both Apple Music and Spotify. To sum it up, Tidal is the Beats by Dre of music streaming services: sponsored by a big name, but delivering sub-par quality music at an unnecessary cost.

spotifyLast but not least is the veteran of the three, Spotify. Launched in 2008, Spotify was a streaming service before streaming services were popular. This, of course, made it wildly popular among music aficionados of all ages. However, as the years have gone by and other services have come to prominence, Spotify has lost its footing in the music industry, competing with companies that have much better design and potential. One positive thing about Spotify is the price. At a cheap $10 per month, it stands toe-to-toe with Apple Music at least regarding cost. Aside from the price, Spotify fails in comparison in pretty much every other category. The musical selection is average, the quality is good but not great, and the interface is bland and uninteresting. Spotify is a classic case of an original product overdoing its stay in society, and as of right now, society seems to be witnessing the decline of this once great music streaming service.

Of course, many people will have many opinions about what they choose to do with their musical interests, but in my opinion, I’ll choose Apple Music 10 out of 10 times. The only con about Apple Music is that it is only available on Apple products (obviously), but with Apple being the best selling electronic company by far, this doesn’t seem to be effecting the musically interested population at all. The savior for other music streaming services is the small community that’s turned away from the iPhone, but as time goes on, this minority will most likely get smaller and smaller. As of now, Apple Music looks to be the best and most capable future for music streaming.

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