In 2021, people around the world all consume media differently. Currently, we are in an era of streaming. Consumers stream movies, television shows, sporting events, and music. However, although we are living in the era of streaming, 55% of consumers frequently watch music videos on Youtube instead of using another platform such as Spotify and Apple Music

Apple Music Application
Photo By: Amanda Damadeo

When consumers use music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, it is more than likely that they are subscribers to the paid, ad free version of these platforms. In quarter 4 of 2020, Spotify had over 155 million subscribers worldwide. In contrast, Apple Music had about 72 million subscribers worldwide by the end of 2020. Spotify and Apple Music hold the largest market share out of all music streaming platforms. Most recently, Spotify owns around 36% of the online music streaming market share, while Apple Music owns about 18%. (4) Other music platforms that make up the music streaming market are Amazon Music, Pandora, and YouTube Music

The reason Spotify has the largest market share is most likely due to the wide variety of services that it offers, in addition to how it caters directly to the individual user and their interests. Unlike its biggest competitor Apple Music, Spotify offers music and podcasts all within the same app. Premium Spotify users can access any song, podcast, playlist, or album of their choosing at any time. Additionally, Spotify caters more directly to the individual user more than Apple Music. On the Spotify app, the “Browse” page shows music that pertains more to the users interests. Also, when creating a playlist, for example, Spotify recommends songs for the user to add to the playlist. These songs will 99% of the time be of the same genre as the songs that are already on the playlist. A downside of this is that it often shelters music listeners to a few specific genres.

The most distinguishing feature of Spotify compared to Apple Music is the yearly “Spotify Wrapped”. This feature allows users to see their most listened to songs, podcasts, artists, and albums throughout the course of the year. “Spotify Wrapped” also strongly markets the music platform via social media, as millions of users worldwide post their individual “Spotify Wrapped” on their personal social media accounts. 

Spotify Music Application
Photo By: Amanda Damadeo

Apple Music holds the second largest market share in the music streaming industry, and part of that can be attributed to the fact that the app is already installed on iPhones when they are purchased. The biggest difference between Apple Music and Spotify is that the “Browse” page in Apple Music caters to all genres of music, instead of solely the users preferences. The Apple Music “Browse” page shows the hottest songs around the world at the time, regardless of genre. A pro of this feature is that it allows users to explore new genres of music, unlike Spotify. However, some users may prefer to use Spotify to have it only cater to their direct interests. In regard to new content from artists, Apple Music is often the key player in making deals with artists to release new content at the earliest date. While anyone can put music on Spotify, Apple Music allows users to access all the new music from their favorite artists at the earliest date possible. (8)

While Spotify and Apple Music already hold the largest market share, these apps are only expected to further distinguish themselves in the music streaming industry. These platforms offer the most user friendly apps, allowing consumers to easily access their favorite, as well as new music on a daily basis.