Spotify vs Napster

October 24, 2022

Digital music services have improved over the years with so many unique features. As older streaming services keep improving, new ones keep emerging as well.

Music has always been and will continue to be a part of human lives. Thanks to streaming services, music has been made more accessible to people.

This article will explore two music services: Napster vs Spotify. Here you'll learn everything you need to know about both music streaming services, from pricing to the music library, audio quality, social features, and more!

Ready? Let's dive in!

What is Spotify?

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Spotify is a top-rated streaming platform birthed by Daniel E.K and Martin Lorentzon in 2006. The music streaming has garnered over 430 million active users from the first time it was released to the public, and it's available in over 180 countries.

Spotify offers recorded music and podcasts that are digitally copyright restricted, including over 80 million songs from different companies and record labels.

Also, users can access Spotify on their web browser or the Spotify app. With Spotify, you can listen to your favorite music genres, playlists, and recommendations on any device. Aside from music, you can listen to several exciting podcasts as well.

You can register for a free Spotify account, but you should know that you must deal with many annoying ads between songs. However, you can also get started by subscribing to Spotify Premium if you don't want ads interfering with your music.

Therefore, you have to pay to access the full benefits of Spotify, such as ads-free music, unlimited skips, playing music offline, and many more!

What is Napster?

Napster is another excellent music streaming platform founded by Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker in June 1999. The platform started as a peer-to-peer file-sharing application and digital audio file distribution.

As the popularity of Napster bloomed, it eventually faced a lawsuit regarding copyright violation which it lost, making it cease operations in 2001. As time passed, Roxio acquired Napster at a bankruptcy auction and sold it to Best Buy in December 2011. Indeed, the company has gone through the hands of many companies.

However, Napster was bought again this time by two companies from the web 3 sector – Hivemind and Algorand in May 2022. Making Napster a combination of web3 and music.

Napster has over 100 million available songs for users to access. Aside from its music streaming services, Napster is an excellent platform for companies that want to launch their branded music service.

They provide services such as:

  • Licensing and rights holder
  • Media streaming and download infrastructure
  • Apps and personalization
  • Recommendations
  • Customer billing
  • Royalty distribution

What Are the Differences Between Spotify and Napster?

Here are some of the basic differences between Spotify and Napster:


Spotify has different premium subscription plans. They include — Individual, Duo, Student, and Family plans, respectively. The Individual premium costs $10.99 monthly per user, while the Duo is for two people living under the same roof and costs $14.99 per month.

However, the Student plan is $5.99 per month, strictly for students, as Spotify will verify their academic status. Lastly, there's the Family plan for six members of a family living under one roof, which costs $16.99 per month.

On the other hand, Napster offers a basic subscription at $4.99 per month. This plan gives users access to listen to ad-free music. The Premier plan is another offer by Napster, and it is more like Spotify's Premium Individual plan.

The Premier plan is top-rated on Napster, and its benefits include ads-free listening, unlimited plays, and offline modes. It can be used on different devices. All of this goes for a price of $10.99 per month. Also, like Spotify, Napster has the Family plan, but it's a bit cheaper: $14.99 monthly for 6 Napster accounts.

Music Library

Spotify has a music and podcast collection of over 80 million songs which contains different songs and genres from various artists and record labels. Aside from the extensive collection of music and podcasts on Spotify, users also have their library. The Spotify library helps users save and retrieve saved music and podcasts.

With the Spotify library, you can easily find your saved music and podcasts without searching for them from the extensive collection of songs on Spotify.

On the other hand, Napster started as a platform that allows peer-to-peer file sharing where users can access and share music for free. In previous years, Napster's registered users accessed songs on the platform via a stored music library of all mp3 files on their hard drives. Also, Napster users can share songs stored in the music library with other users.

But in recent years, Napster has become a music service with over 100 million songs that vary in different countries. You can browse through the extensive catalog on Napster to listen to music or pick a genre selection that suits your music taste.

Music Discovery

Spotify Music Discovery is a feature that helps users discover new and old music on the streaming platform. With Spotify Music Discovery, there are many songs you can access through the Spotify discovery features, discover weekly, daily mix, and radio stations.

Aside from this, the Discovery Music mode on Spotify has been helping upcoming and independent artists reach a larger audience. Hence, artists with no record label now have equal advantages with those that do. Also, artists from different countries can leverage Spotify discovery to access the global music industry.

With the Discovery Mode, artists can announce their new music release and remind fans about the music and tracks they've previously released. Summarily, Spotify music discovery helps both artists and users.

However, Napster differs from Spotify as you might not get the discovery mode on Napster. But from the millions of songs on Napster, you can also discover new songs that suit your music taste.

Audio Quality

The audio quality of each music service is peculiar to each of them. Spotify has several ranges of AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) audio quality depending on your device, network connection, plan, and preference.

For the free version of Spotify web player, the audio quality is 126kbit/s, while for the premium, it's 256kbit/s. You should note that you can't switch the audio quality on the Spotify web player. Also, the sound quality depends on the network connection and your preference for people using the Spotify app on a desktop, mobile, or tablet.

For the free Spotify account, the low network quality is 24kbit/s while the normal is equivalent to 96kbit/s and the high is about 160kbit/s.
For premium accounts, the low sound quality is 24kbit/s, the normal is 96kbit/s, the high is 160kbit/s, and the highest quality is 320kbit/s.

The Spotify podcast quality is also different from the music quality. On all devices, the podcast quality is equivalent to 96kbit/s, while those using the web have it at 128kbit/s. Also, you can switch from high to low quality. If you switch to low, the rate will be about 24kbit/s.

In comparison, Napster also has a range of audio quality. Napster AAC files range from 64kbps to 320kbps and can be changed in the audio setting. The efficient audio quality is 64kbps, the normal range is 192kbps, while the highest Napster audio quality is 320kbps.

Social Features

Napster has an excellent social feature that helps build a music social network with people of similar Napster activities. With Napster, users with the same taste in music can interact and give their takes on songs. However, there's no way to check what your friends are listening to live.

In contrast, sharing links to songs is one of the great social features on Spotify. You can share songs from Spotify with other social media networks. Another social feature on Spotify is the Friend Activity which helps you know what your friends are up to on Spotify.

You can check what music genres or playlists they are listening to; likewise, you can share your playlists with them. The "Friend Activity" on Spotify is an excellent way to bond with friends over songs and podcasts. You can also create collaborative playlists with your friends.

However, the Friend Activity feature is limited to desktop users and is unavailable on the mobile app. But on the bright side, Spotify plans to bring the anticipated social feature to the Spotify mobile app called "Community." The community feature will work like the "Friend Activity."

General Features

Several features are available on Spotify to promote easy usage, especially if you subscribe to Spotify premium. Some of these features include:

  • Ads-free music listening
  • Download and listen to songs offline
  • Checking Spotify stats at the end of the year
  • Easy access to saved music and podcast
  • Adjust music and podcast quality based on your preference
  • Discover music with the Spotify recommendation
  • Curate and enhance your playlist

The following are some of Napster's general features:

  • Ads-free on all device
  • High music quality
  • Web3 revolution
  • Zero podcast

Transfer Your Music Between Napster and Spotify

Both Napster and Spotify are excellent music services. You can try both of them if you're confused about which one to pick. However, if you want to go with using both services or if you want to switch from one to the other, you don't have to create a new playlist. You can quickly transfer your music playlists with FreeYourMusic.

FreeYourMusic will aid you in transferring all your playlists from one music streaming service to the other. Transfer playlists from Spotify to Napster or from Napster to Spotify with FreeYourMusic today!

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