Spotify is one of the leading music streaming platforms, while Youtube also has its music streaming service. If you must decide between Youtube Music vs Spotify, the key differences that need to consider are how many songs are available, the cost, and the different features each offer.
These differences matter is the best major factor when deciding which streaming service to subscribe to. Hookeaudio will analyze the biggest ones to help you know which should you choose between them?
What is Spotify?
Spotify was created by Martin Lorentzon and Daniel Ek, two Swedish entrepreneurs. After reaching its first million users in 2011, the app quickly gained popularity in Europe. It’s today one of the most well-known music streaming services.
At the time of writing (March 2002), the app was available in 178 countries. It also tracks 345 million active users each month.
- Many personalized daily mixes
- Expansive podcast library
- Excellent student bundle
- Audio option with higher quality
- YouTube Premium offers fewer benefits
- No video music integration
- Daily mixes don’t auto-download
What is Youtube Music?
Youtube Music is a music streaming platform that Google developed. Youtube Music Key was launched in 2014 as Youtube Music Key. It was designed to complement the now-defunct Google Play Music. Youtube Music was finally created in 2018 after the app went through several rebrandings.
- There is more to music than what is officially released
- Option for integrated music video
- Mixtape auto-updated downloaded offline
- Daily mixes are now available
- YouTube Premium subscribers get multiple services
- To get a free tier, you must have the screen on to work
- YouTube’s primary YouTube channel is used to mix usage
- Sporadic bugs in casting audio
Youtube Music Vs Spotify: Comparison
YouTube Music vs. Spotify: Content
This section will be most relevant if you are deciding between Spotify Music and YouTube Music. While both are music streaming services, that’s not all they offer.
Let’s begin with Spotify. Spotify is one of the most well-known music streaming services worldwide and has tons of music. The music library is in the millions.
It has been pushing hard to be a leader in podcasts. You can find your favorite podcasts, as well as exclusive content from celebrities like Joe Rogan and Kim Kardashian.
While you may not care what they have to say about you, indeed, you don’t care. Spotify has big plans for podcasting if it is willing to pay that much money.
Although there are many podcasts uploaded to YouTube in video format, it is not a priority. Spotify has added video support to its podcasts.
While you can use Google Podcasts (a separate app owned by Google) to listen to your favorite shows, it would be great if they could all be accessible from the exact location.
YouTube Music is the best streaming music service. It has songs that are not on the usual playlists. Covers, remixes, and any other live music a user may upload are all included.
YouTube Music was a great place to find mixtapes of some of my favorite artists. I found songs that I hadn’t heard before. Blue Room by Chet Baker is a favorite jazz piece.
I didn’t know there was a capella version until I found it on YouTube Music. A similar thing happened to this Frank Sinatra song, which I couldn’t find on Spotify or Apple Music.
YouTube Music is worth the effort to find these random gems that don’t get published under the big publishing deals Spotify signs. You can probably listen to any song as long as someone uploads it.
You can also upload your music library if you don’t find the song you are looking for on the platform. YouTube Music has a straightforward tool that automatically transfers your Google Play Music subscription, so you don’t have to do it again.
YouTube Music makes use of YouTube’s vast music video collection. You can choose to let the song play when you search. Or, if data is essential, you can save the file by clicking the “song” toggle at the top. This will only show you the audio. YouTube Music is the best option if you only care about song availability.
Spotify Vs Youtube Music: Music discovery
This is where the difference between the two services becomes more significant. Spotify is better at music discovery. Spotify has the Discover Weekly playlist, which contains songs from artists and genres you listen to.
Every Monday, a new playlist is released with 30 tracks. The service can also create up to six daily mixes based on your listening habits.
You can also find playlists for almost every mood and genre on the Swedish streaming service. The service is easy to use on any device, whether you use it on your smartphone or computer. The app has more than 60 charts that show the country’s most popular songs.
YouTube Music provides four types of customized playlists. The Discover Mix gives you 50 lesser-known songs every week. The New Release Mix contains the latest releases from your favorite artists.
A set of mixes is created based on your listening habits. There’s also the My Supermix which includes 100 tracks and a mixture of songs from various genres.
Google Music allows you to search playlists by genre or mood, but it is minimal. Spotify seems to have more playlists for each category than YouTube Music. Spotify has more genres and moods than Google’s streaming service.
YouTube Music is not bad at music discovery. Most people will be satisfied with the playlists and mixes that are available on YouTube Music. Spotify is a better streaming service. This round goes to Spotify, the Swedish streaming giant.
Spotify vs. Youtube Music: Free plan limitations
Spotify Music and YouTube Music both offer a free plan, but each provider has its limits.
Spotify does not allow you to select the songs you wish to play on playlists such as the Daily Mix. Some playlists limit the ability to play tracks in shuffle mode.
The song you don’t like can be skipped, but it is limited to six times per hour. The audio quality is limited to 160kbps, and songs can’t be downloaded for offline listening. There are occasional ads that interrupt your listening experience.
YouTube Music is free and allows you to choose any track you want. This makes it more valuable than Spotify. You can also skip tracks as many times as you wish. However, the biggest problem with Google’s streaming service is that the music stops once your phone is turned off.
You can’t browse the internet while listening to music. The music stops as soon as the app is closed. Spotify does not have this limitation.
YouTube Music’s free version is supported by ads, just like its most significant competitor. You can’t download music to your phone with the free version. You can only stream audio at 128kbps.
The streaming services offer a variety of free plans, so there is no clear winner. It all comes down to which streaming service is best for you.
Youtube Music Vs. Spotify: Sound Quality
Spotify uses the Ogg Vorbis format for free, with a speed that will differ depending on what you offer and which options you choose.
Spotify states that the Ogg Vorbis format is the standard quality for the desktop app, at 160 kbit/s. Premium subscribers have high encoding at 325 kbit/s. Spotify’s audio quality differs on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.
- Low: A bit rate of 24 kbit/s (HEAACv2 format).
- Normal: A bit less than 96 kbits/s (Ogg Vorbis format).
- High: 160 kbit/s (Ogg Vorbis format).
- Very high: Bit rate of 320kbit/s (Ogg Vorbis format).
- Automatic: varies depending on your network connection
Spotify allows you to stream AAC files up to 256kbit/s (or 128 Kbits/s for Spotify Free) if the player is used. You will need to consume more data for streaming quality. To enjoy the best quality, choose the highest configuration possible, depending on your plan.
Spotify will finally catch up to the competition in HiFi audio by 2021. The music streaming giant announced Spotify HiFi, a subscription that allows users to listen in CD quality to the music.
It is not yet known the price or which countries will use it. However, the price should be comparable to that of the competition, i.e., 14/15 US dollars.
Spotify announced that it has expanded into 80 markets and will be distributing podcasts through prestigious partners like Bruce Springsteen (Avengers: Infinity War) and Barack Obama (Ex-President of the United States).
YouTube Music offers three audio quality options when it comes to sound quality.
- The low bit rate of 48 kbit/s for AAC files (takes less space/uses less data)
- Normal: (default setting: Up to 128 Kbit/s for AAC Files
- High: Up to 256kbit/s bit rate AAC files (better quality audio for YouTube Music, takes more space/uses more data),
- Always high: (via Wi-Fi) which maintains high-quality connections even when they are poor (256 kbit/s bit rate for AAC file)
Spotify’s paid plans offer better sound quality. It should suffice unless you are an audiophile. Spotify HiFi promises lossless, CD-quality music. However, it might take a while before we see the results.
Youtube Music Vs. Spotify: Pricing
Spotify is more commercial-free than YouTube Music. You can’t skip tracks and can only listen to tracks from the Spotify playlist. Contrary to YouTube Music, the app can be used in the background.
Spotify charges 9.99 USD to access all its functions.
You can listen to any title you choose without ads and as many times as you wish. Spotify Premium gives you access to Spotify offline mode (download songs) as well as the best sound quality.
The Duo Premium subscription cost 12.99 dollars per month. If you live in the same home, you can have two Premium accounts with this subscription.
Duo Premium users have the same benefits (music without ads and offline mode) as Duo Premium users. Mix Duo playlists are now available, which combine songs from both users’ musical tastes.
Spotify also offers a Family Offer for 14.99$ per month. Six people can use the offer. Each user will have an account in this instance. The offer, however, is only available to people who live in the same household as Duo Premium.
Spotify offers a Student’s Offer for just 4.99$ per month.
YouTube Music is a subscription-based service. YouTube Music offers a free one-month trial. You will need to purchase a premium version of YouTube Music for 9.99 $ per month to download videos online, listen without ads, play music offline, and play songs in the background. You can choose to listen only or display the entire song (if it is available).
YT Music offers a family subscription at 14.99 $ per month. The plan can be used up to six times. A student’s premium is available for 4.99 $.
The best part about the plan is that it gives you access to YouTube Music and YouTube Premium. Users can play YouTube videos, and access YouTube Music Premium features for just 2 dollars per month. The subscription costs 11.99$ per month (for families, 17.99 $ per month for students) and 6.99$ per month for students.
Spotify and YouTube Music share the exact pricing: Individual plans ($9.99), Family plans ($14.99), and Student plans ($4.99). You can access YouTube Premium and YouTube Music for $2 more. It is an easy decision for anyone who is considering purchasing a YouTube subscription.
Ease of Use
Both platforms have a dark-themed interface with playlists and albums laid out in a grid layout. Although they are similar, Spotify makes better use of space by using striking header images, appealing cover art, and playlist descriptions.
Youtube Music, on the other side, feels a little unfinished in its design. While some sections are well-constructed, others feel a bit stale, such as the Moods & Genres.
The stationary navigation sidebar in the Spotify desktop app is a great feature. This allows you to quickly access certain functions regardless of where you are in the Spotify content rabbit hole.
Youtube Music offers a simple navigation bar with three tabs at the top of its desktop application. Although it is better than nothing, it does not offer the same accessibility as Spotify’s sidebar.
Spotify offers intuitive controls as well. You can drag and drop songs from other playlists to your playlists in the sidebar. You can also search within playlists for songs using the mobile app.
Both apps have a good Search function. Spotify keeps its minimalistic, sleek aesthetic. Spotify does this by showing all search results on one page.
They are gridded and sorted by artist, album, playlist, etc. Youtube Music’s more straightforward approach to providing search filters is what I prefer. This allows you only to see the results that you are interested in.
Youtube Music’s search function has a better search feature due to its ability to filter search results. Spotify has more intuitive functions.
The navigation sidebar makes it easier to navigate the app and edit playlists. It’s also easier to manage large playlists with the added sorting options.
Youtube Music Vs. Spotify: Stations and Mixtapes – a Battle of Algorithms
Spotify’s algorithms are what make it so popular. Spotify’s algorithms are praised by music lovers and tech enthusiasts alike. There are Daily Mixes that adjust listening-based stations each day, as well as the highly-acclaimed Discover Weekly.
Spotify even breaks out algorithm-based Daily Mixes to create multiple mixes that can provide more rock recommendations without your little girl listening in.
YouTube Music’s algorithms aren’t as well-known as Spotify’s, but they have improved in the past year. You can choose from three types of playlists: My Supermix (Discover Mix) and New Release Mix (New Release Mix).
YouTube Music recently added seven daily mixes, called My Mixes, to its streaming service. These mixes will be more valuable the more you use them.
You can also access an Offline mixtape, which is updated regularly when you don’t have a data connection. YouTube Music now has moods and genre radio stations.
These are located in the Explore tab, along with the Charts and new releases. A radio station button is at the top of each artist page. Google’s stations shine like diamonds once they get up and running.
Although the Supermix is not as diverse as Spotify’s, it can dial into your preferences quickly. YouTube Music has years’ worth of YouTube history that it can use to feed its radio algorithms and the Home feed’s recommendations. YouTube Music now has seven new daily mixes and mood mixes, which significantly improves Spotify’s.
You could transfer all your playlists to YouTube Music if you were a Google Play Music customer. It also transferred your listening history and like, which made the transfer even more delicious. The automated lists were instantly made to feel like a friend.
We have Offline Mixtape. This is one of the many features of YouTube Music. Offline Mixtape uses the algorithm from Supermix to create a playlist that is automatically regenerated and re-downloaded every day.
The playlist can include up to 500 songs. Each day, it will present you with a new mix to listen to on your commute. Offline Mixtape can auto-download Daily Mixes, something not even Spotify can do.
Youtube Music and Spotify: How It Shakes Out
Spotify has a nearly a decade advantage over YouTube Music. This decade was used to build its audience and refine its user experience and smoothen its edges.
Spotify Premium and Hulu are both $5/month, making it the clear winner for students. Most users will have too much Spotify history and library by the end of the Student Discount to pick up and start a new service.
YouTube Music is still in its early stages of development. Despite this, Spotify’s brand power is still minimal compared to YouTube, which is the most visited site on the internet.
YouTube’s brand power extends to music. It has the most viewed music videos, viral covers by upcoming artists, and mind-blowing remixes. You may even be able to remember the lyrics to one song.
Both offer limited free plans. Both offer limited free plans that don’t allow offline viewing or play ads. However, YouTube requires you to have the screen on all the time. This is draining your battery and prevents you from using the phone for other purposes.
The most compelling reasons to subscribe are not in YouTube Music itself. YouTube Premium costs $2/month less than Music Premium, and it is the best option for anyone who is considering a YouTube subscription.
You get background and offline playback on YouTube all the time, not just YouTube Music. YouTube ads are removed from all YouTube videos. You also have access to YouTube Originals for any additional freebies.
Spotify is the best option for most people due to its extensive podcast selection and well-known algorithm. YouTube Music is an excellent option if you’re already familiar with the YouTube/Google system and want to access music unavailable on other streaming services.
Spotify is one of the leading music streaming platforms, while Youtube also has its music streaming service. If you must decide between Youtube Music and Spotify, the key differences that need to consider are how many songs are available, the cost, and the different features each offer.
These differences matter is the best major factor when deciding which streaming service to subscribe to. We will analyze the biggest ones to help you know which should you choose between them?
Recently, We have reviewed what is the difference between Spotify and Apple Music, If you also care about these apps, let’s check out our analysis: https://hookeaudio.com/which-is-better-spotify-or-apple-music/
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Should YouTube Music Subscribers Make The Switch To?
YouTube Music provides a free ad-supported streaming service with a powerful search engine that helps you find all of your favorite music. Switching to YouTube Music means that you’ll never have to worry about what you’re going to play next, as they have everything from Mozart to Maroon 5.
This isn’t a free trial there are no ads and no subscription charges but you don’t have to worry about ad interruptions as you go about listening to your favorite tunes.
Those who are committed to YouTube Music should try out the ad-free service for an indefinite period.
Why YouTube Will Overtake Spotify as Music’s Bankroller?
A new report has revealed a different story in the wake of false reports claiming that YouTube’s Play Music service plans to change from a free ad-supported service to a paid service this year.
The Wall Street Journal recently released a report detailing a YouTube document indicating that YouTube is planning to launch a mobile music streaming service that will allow them to compete with the likes of Spotify and Pandora.
The report indicates that YouTube plans to launch a mobile music streaming service later this year, and while the new service will be accessible at first, it will likely charge users for on-demand music streaming.
The company has already developed in-house apps for smartphones and tablets, like YouTube Music, YouTube Red, and YouTube Kids. Now the company plans to launch the new service later this year.
Sharing from YT Music sends regular YouTube links?
Music sharing from YouTube’s Music app seems to be sending regular YouTube links instead of shared videos.
Transfer Amazon Prime Music Library to YouTube Music?
If you are a heavy Amazon Prime Music user or perhaps even a light one that uses it occasionally, then this new music import feature might come in handy.
This news comes at the right time, as Google has announced shutting down their Google Play Music service. As you might expect, Google is making this change to better focus on YouTube, expanding into even more areas.
While YouTube Music will continue to offer ad-supported streaming for free, it will be up to the company’s partners, such as Spotify and Apple Music.
So which one is right for you?
To find out which music streaming platform is best for you, consider your needs and what you are looking for in a service. For example, if you don’t want to pay for an individual subscription but want an ad-free service that is usually free with ads, you might like Youtube Music.
If you are looking for an unlimited music streaming service with many great features, then it’s Spotify that is best for you. There are both paid and free versions.
Spotify is only available on a limited number of devices, but most people with a smartphone or tablet can use it easily. We hope you found this article helpful and that you feel confident in making a decision that suits your needs best.