Apple vs. Spotify

Which do students prefer?

Humans relish rivalry.

In sports, there is nothing more exciting than defeating your cross town or cross country rival. The Celtics vs. Lakers, Yankees vs. Red Sox and Barcelona vs. Real Madrid are just a few of the sports world’s greatest rivalries stemming back to the 20th century. In the 21st century, a new rivalry is brewing but not in sports. It’s in something more prevalent in our day and age: music.

Apple and Spotify are the two giants of the music streaming industry. In terms of accessibility, music is at its peak. Thanks to these two music platforms, we can stream all of our favorite songs and create our own playlists whenever we want. We don’t have to burn CDs or rely on the radio anymore.

College kids, like myself, love music. It’s the soundtrack of our lives. It’s constantly present. It’s playing in our dorms while we do homework, blasting through the speakers of our cars, pumping us up at the gym and looming over our heads in a coffee shop. The creators of Apple and Spotify know this. They know how interwoven music is in our daily lives. That is why both platforms heavily target our demographic through student discounts.

According to Digital Trends, Spotify has the most paying subscribers out of all digital streaming services. In 2017, the company celebrated 50 million subscribers. That number only continues to grow. However, Apple Music is right behind Spotify in popularity, despite arriving on the scene nine years later. In July, Digital Music News reported that Apple Music surpassed Spotify’s subscriber count in the United States.

Apple Music is the fastest growing streaming platform, but Spotify still reigns supreme. So the question is: which one do college students prefer?

A survey conducted at the University of Delaware revealed Spotify to be the clear favorite.

According to the review, “49 percent of students on campus chose Spotify as their preferred music streaming service.”

At first, I was on team Apple. I was lured to Spotify after my cousin offered to share her Spotify premium account with me. Spotify operates in the same lane as Netflix on the topic of sharing and accessibility. I like to think that what is most accessible will be the most popular.

However, senior communications major Blair Lewis is an Apple Music user because it’s more convenient.

“Apple Music is better than Spotify because it’s compatible with my Apple device. It’s so simple to use and easy to understand.”

The majority of Apple Music users I talk to mention how cohesive it is to their other Apple products. It’s built in with their iPhone so it’s the default for many.

Apple’s cohesiveness provides a lot of opportunities to surpass Spotify in terms of bundling. Just a couple of days after Spotify sweetened the deal by adding Hulu and Showtime to the student bundle, Apple responded.

“Apple is considering creating a single subscription offering that would encompass its original TV shows, music service and magazine articles,” The Information reported.

In my experience, most college students I talk to prefer Spotify. APU student James Alston enjoys both but ultimately chose Spotify as his favorite.

“The one thing I feel Spotify has going for them is their selection of playlists. It’s extensive,” Alston emphasized. “Every genre or mood you can imagine, they have. On top of that, personalized playlists like ‘Discover Weekly’ seem to know my taste so incredibly well. I don’t feel that I get that same selection with Apple Music. Spotify wins for me.”

Whether it be with playlists or bundles, Apple Music consistently replicates Spotify’s every move. That is pretty revealing in and of itself. Apple seems to be playing catch up with Spotify, but can you blame them? After all, Spotify did have a nine-year head start.

Apple Music is threatening to become the number one streaming service, but they are a long way from appealing to college students. As of now and the near future, more students are on team Spotify.

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