Music streaming is booming nowadays, as it allows you to enjoy your favorite audio or video content around the clock and onto any device. Hardly anyone these days uses anything other than convenient streaming platforms such as Spotify or Amazon Music. That's why today we decided to take a little closer look at them and determine which one is best suited for which purposes. So, without further ado, let's start a duel between Amazon Music and Spotify.
Amazon Music vs Spotify - A bit about the origins of both platforms
Before we go into a detailed comparison of Spotify vs Amazon Music, describing the features and uses of both platforms, we think it's only fair and useful to provide a brief overview of their origins. Firstly, let's start with Spotify's history.
Spotify's history in a nutshell
Spotify is a streaming service created in 2006 by the Spotify AB team in Stockholm, by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. As the story goes, the name of the company, according to Daniel Ek, was misunderstood by him when Martin Lorentzon shouted his proposal from another room, while later they both came up with the etymology of the name as a combination of the English words "spot" and "identify". The platform offers access to music and podcasts under a freemium license. Through the service, we gain access to digital, copyrighted music recordings and podcasts. Spotify's collection includes more than 60 million tracks from record labels and media companies - and is growing gradually. The Swedish streaming service provides a freemium service, meaning it offers basic features for free, but with ads and limited personalization options. In fact, only a paid subscription opens up additional features such as offline listening and ad-free listening, as well as, most importantly, personalization of the music offered based on listens and likes.
Amazon Music's history in a nutshell
Amazon Music, formerly called Amazon MP3, is a music streaming platform and online music shop that is part of the Amazon group of services and platforms. Amazon Music was launched in public beta on 25 September 2007, in January 2008 it became the first music shop to sell music without digital rights management (DRM) from the four major music labels, giants such as EMI, Universal, Warner and Sony BMG, as well as many independent artists and record companies. Initially, all tracks were sold in MP3 format with a variable bitrate of 256 kilobits per second, without watermarks or DRM on the customer, but this situation has now changed somewhat and some tracks are now watermarked. Due to the aforementioned licensing agreements with record companies, the number of countries in which music can be sold is limited. Initially, Amazon Music was only available in the United States, followed by other countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland, Japan, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Canada and Brazil. What’s interesting to note is that so far, Amazon Music can’t be used by citizens of smaller European countries, almost all of Asia and South America.
Spotify vs Amazon Music – Main characteristics
When comparing Spotify and Amazon Music apps, we first need to consider what distinguishes the two platforms, their characteristics, the most interesting features and the possibilities they offer.
What distinguishes Spotify?
What makes Spotify most unique is its ability to discover new artists, genres and music groups based on your tastes and previous listening. Its most popular features are Discovery Weekly or Created For You - playlists generated from your likes and dislikes, use an advanced algorithm to create curated playlists based on your listening habits. In addition, Spotify sends out a two-hour Release Radar playlist on Friday, featuring new songs from the most popular artists and bands, as well as remixes of well-known hits. Although Amazon Music has a similar feature, called Music Experts, the algorithm is less intelligent and intuitive than Spotify. What's more, Spotify excels in terms of social features, by bodging a community it makes sharing music easier than any other competitor. With Spotify, you can upload songs or albums, choose playlists with friends or preview what your Facebook friends are listening to. Plus, the group session feature lets more than one user add a playlist on the fly, and recently added the option for multiple users to create playlists together at the same time.
What distinguishes Amazon Music?
The Amazon Music player is integrated with the Prime and Unlimited digital music streaming services, as well as a music shop for purchasing music. Amazon Music enables us to store and play music using the web browser, mobile and desktop apps, such as Bose, Sonos, or other platforms such as some smart TVs or houses. As part of the original Amazon Music Player account, you get 250 songs of free storage, but it should be noted that music purchased through the shop does not count towards the storage limit. Once the music is stored in Amazon Music, we can download to any of our Android, iOS or desktop devices using the Amazon Music application. Amazon Music's streaming music catalogue is available through the Amazon.com web player using HTML DRM extensions or through the player app for multiple platforms, including macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, FireOS, Alexa devices and some cars and smart TVs. Amazon's music catalogue, is available on Amazon. We just search by artist or title name or through the shop built into many player apps. If you're an Amazon Prime Premium user, you can consolidate all your accounts on that platform to get free access to your music, but it's not completely free. To access Amazon Prime Music, you have to pay for the Amazon Prime service upfront.
Amazon Music vs Spotify - The key differences
The Amazon Music mobile app incorporates a built-in Alexa voice assistant, which means that all music controls can be performed with hands-free audio commands. Besides, what sets Amazon's music platform apart from Spotify is the X-Ray lyrics feature, which allows you to scroll through song lyrics as they play, enabling you to use Amazon Music like karaoke. When it comes to the other platform that is Spotify still has a clear advantage when it comes to its great music algorithms. For Spotify offers personalized and customizable playlists such as Discover Weekly and others, through which you can expand your musical horizons. Spotify also enables you to filter your searches based on genres and moods, and their playlists also have an "Enrich" button that can add random songs similar to those you've already included in your favorites list. On top of this, Spotify is integrated with Google Maps and has a dedicated in-car interface with large buttons - making it safe to listen to your favorite music on roundtrips.
Amazon Music vs Spotify – Subscription plans
Amazon Music vs Spotify – Free plan
Both Amazon Music and Spotify are freemium platforms, meaning they provide both free and paid services and offer free and paid subscription plans. The two free plans have several similarities, such as support for advertisements, no option to skip ads and the ability to skip up to six songs per playback, and keeping the player running music even when the phone's display is turned off. They also share a lack of song downloading capabilities. Spotify, however, is superior to Amazon Music because it gives you full access to its content library, so you can listen to anything that catches your ear, which is a big deal for listeners of the free plan. Free access to Amazon Music's library is limited to only the highest performing playlists and Amazon music stations. Spotify also offers on-demand playback in its desktop app and web player which is a bonus for free plan listeners wanting some control over their consumed music content. Amazon Music's free version subscribers, on the other hand, will have to make do with random playback. Furthermore, Spotify users, have four audio quality setting options at their disposal, while those using Amazon Music have no such settings at their disposal.
Amazon Music vs Spotify – Individual plan
With both Spotify Premium and Amazon Music Unlimited, you can access any of a huge library of over 60 million songs with no advertisements, unlimited skips and plays, and offline streaming. The cost of Spotify Premium is $9.99 per month, with this plan you can enjoy songs at 320 kb / s. In addition, the sound quality is also better - it is much clearer and stronger than the standard sound, which is about 160 kb/s. Amazon Music Unlimited costs $9.99 per month for non-Prime members, and if you subscribe to Amazon Prime, you'll pay $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year. Amazon Unlimited users on Amazon Echo Studio devices currently have a select library of 3D audio soundtracks mastered in Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio - instead of listening through a limited Amazon music channels count, 3D audio uses numerous audio objects that can move around the listener in 3D space, so we can enjoy a realistic representation of sound that is more engaging than what standard codecs would allow. Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers have the opportunity to stream millions of songs in HD quality up to 850Kbps, 16-bit at 44.1kHz and over 7 million songs in Ultra HD quality up to 3,730Kbps, 24-bit at 192kHz.
Amazon Music vs Spotify – Family plans
Both platforms offer convenient family plans. Amazon family plan includes a 3-month free trial offer of a monthly Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan is a limited time offer and is only available to new subscribers to Amazon Music Unlimited. After the promotional trial, that subscription will automatically continue at the monthly price of $14.99 plus applicable tax until we decide to cancel it. On the other hand, those interested in the Spotify Family plan can try out the premium features for a month and then pay the regular price. Family members living under the same roof can use up to 6 Spotify Premium accounts.
Amazon Music Unlimited HD vs. Spotify HiFi
And how about in terms of sound quality? At the moment, it has to be said that Amazon Music HD scores points in this regard. Why?
Amazon Music HD
If you're searching for high-quality sound, Amazon Music Unlimited HD makes the best choice. Amazon Music HD features premium music with over 60 million tracks in High Definition and one million tracks in Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD) - these are the highest streaming audio available. Amazon Music HD allows an average bit rate of 850 kb/s, while most standard streaming services only provide standard definition (SD) with bit rates up to 320 kb/s. The audio files provided by Amazon Music HD retain the original recording information to provide the highest audio quality available. Just what audiophiles are looking for!
Admittedly, Spotify HiFi is not yet available, but this attempt to catch up with the competition in terms of sound quality is worth mentioning. Spotify HiFi - that's what the new premium subscription will be called, aimed at people who aren't all that when it comes to music quality. While we don't know the details yet, you'll probably have to pay a bit more, but in return you'll get a catalogue of songs in lossless format and CD-level quality. At the same time, you'll retain the full functionality of the service, not excluding Spotify Connect. Sounds good, doesn't it? We'll see how it goes.
Amazon Music vs Spotify – Who has more artists?
Are you wondering; Amazon Music vs Spotify, which has the bigger collection? Both platforms boast gigantic collections of music tracks, albums, genres, bands, and artists. Amazon's library holds as many as fifty million tracks of music from various genres, while Spotify boasts as many as sixty million compositions. It should be noted, however, that while in Spotify, regardless of the subscription plan, we have access to the complete library, in the case of Amazon, the number of Amazon music channels that we can get acquainted with in the free plan is significantly limited.
Amazon Music vs Spotify - The main pros and cons of both applications
In the last part of this article, we would like to briefly describe the main advantages and disadvantages of both platforms, which will help us better visualize the situation and answer the question as to which is better, Amazon Music HD or Spotify.
Pros of Amazon Music:
Some of the biggest pluses of Amazon Music include:
- High audio quality, especially in the premium version,
- Three-month free trial period,
- Compatibility with iOS, Mac, Android and a web browser app,
- Works great with other Amazon apps, such as Amazon Echo,
- Ability to download and listen to music offline on all devices,
- Tight integration with Amazon device family,
- Availability of HD and Ultra HD audio tiers,
- X-Ray lyrics feature, which enables you to use Amazon Music like karaoke
Cons of Amazon Music:
Some of the biggest downsides of Amazon Music include:
- Only available in certain countries,
- Difficult to use interface,
- No video content,
- No live radio streams,
- Limited access to songs for free subscribers - only 2 million out of 50 for non-Amazon Prime members.
Pros of Spotify:
Some of the biggest pluses of Spotify's include:
- The ability to listen to music and stream video completely free,
- A wide selection of original and best-known podcasts,
- Customizable playlists,
- Easy and intuitive to use,
- Cool social features,
- The possibility of downloading podcasts and music, and listening offline (for Premium users),
- Free access to your entire library and unlimited music listening,
- New music suggestions based on your own tastes and listening habits
Cons of Spotify:
Some of the biggest downsides of Spotify's include:
- Worse sound quality than Amazon Music HD (it may change with Spotify HiFi),
- Intrusive voice ads for the free subscription.
Amazon Music vs Spotify: the review verdict
The answer to the question of which is better Spotify or Amazon Music is not an easy one. Both services offer quite similar functions and possibilities, and the most important issue lies in the users' preferences. The Spotify platform is perfect for people with limited budgets, as even a free subscription offers access to a full music library, consisting of millions of tracks. It is also undoubtedly a better tool in terms of discovering new tracks and sharing them with others. On the other hand, what stands behind Amazon Music is the very high sound quality for Amazon Music HD users, a free trial period of up to three months, and an interesting karaoke function, i.e., sharing song lyrics. All in all, Spotify is better suited to those who want new music experiences and people who value community, while Amazon Music will satisfy users of other Amazon platforms for whom the highest quality of sound is important.
But no one said we had to choose between the two platforms. The cleverest users make the most of the advantages of both. How? For example, by using websites that offer the ability to transfer their playlists between platforms, such as FreeYourMusic. By choosing this option, you can test more apps yourself and assess which one best suit your preferences without losing your music collection.