Hey there music lover! With so many streaming services out there, choosing the right one for your needs can be tricky. Two of the top contenders are Apple Music and Amazon Music. At first glance they seem pretty similar – huge music libraries, accessible across devices, downloadable songs, and more.
But once you dig deeper there are some key differences that might make one platform better suited for you. In this comprehensive comparison, we’ll look at the critical factors like song selection, sound quality, pricing, platforms and more. Time to break down all the details so you can pick your ideal streaming service!
Huge Catalogs of Tunes, But Apple Leads in Selectivity
Both Apple Music and Amazon boast catalogs over 75 million songs strong. That‘s more than enough tunes to satisfy any music fan!
Apple Music touts over 90 million licensed songs. Impressively, that includes everything from the latest chart-toppers to niche indie artists. Over 30,000 playlists help you find tunes tailored to activities, moods, genres, and more.
Amazon Music also offers an extensive library, with over 90 million songs across thousands of expertly curated playlists and stations. But reviews indicate Apple Music edges out its competitor when it comes to cutting-edge releases and exclusives. About 90% of Rolling Stone‘s Top 100 songs of all time are available on the platform.
So while both deliver quantity, Apple Music focuses more on securing the hottest and most relevant tunes.
Sound Quality Has Improved, But Slight Advantage to Apple
When it comes to audio quality, Apple Music streams 256kbps AAC files across its catalog. This exceeds the quality of standard MP3s. With iOS updates, Apple Music also now supports lossless audio up to 24-bit/48 kHz. Support for immersive Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos provides a concert-like experience.
Amazon Music streams 256kbps audio across its entire platform. Its Amazon Music HD plan ups the ante with over 70 million songs in High Definition, and millions more in Ultra HD and 3D Audio. So audiophiles get a edge here.
But for casual listeners, Apple Music likely satisfies. Reviewers tend to give it a slight bump in overall sound quality thanks to formats like lossless audio. Both services sound fantastic on the right equipment. But those wanting the very best fidelity might prefer Amazon HD.
Accessible on All Your Devices – with Perks for Apple Ecosystem
When it comes to accessing each service, Apple Music and Amazon Music offer broad device support. You can enjoy both on iOS and Android smartphones, tablets, desktop PCs, smart speakers, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and more.
Apple Music does have deeper integration with the Apple ecosystem. Perks like offline listening, sharing playlists, and syncing your library across devices is seamless with Apple products. Amazon limits offline modes and doesn‘t have a cloud locker feature.
But even on non-Apple devices, the Apple Music experience remains top-notch. Unless you solely use Amazon Fire TV products, device support is wide enough not to be an issue.
Pick Your Plan – Prices Are Virtually Identical
Pricing and plans for each service are competitively aligned. Here‘s how the monthly costs break down:
- Individual Plan – $9.99 on both
- Family Plan – $14.99 for up to 6 accounts on each
- Student Discount – $4.99 on both services
The key difference is Amazon Music comes bundled with a Prime subscription. Prime members get access to over 2 million songs and thousands of playlists at no extra cost. To get the full catalog ad-free, a Music Unlimited upgrade runs $7.99 per month.
Occasional discounts and annual plans can save you a couple months off the price over time on both services. Overall, you can expect very similar pricing structure.
Apple Music Offers 3x Longer Free Trial Period
If you want to give before you buy, Apple Music has a distinct advantage. You get a generous 3-month free trial to experience the full service.
Amazon Music only provides a 1-month free trial. So you‘ll have much less time to get a feel for its features before needing to pay up.
Three months allows you to fully test Apple Music across devices and playlists before committing. Definitely take advantage if you‘re still deciding between the two!
Apple Music Leads in Social Sharing and Discovery
When it comes to music discovery and sharing, Apple Music shines. You can follow friends and see the music they are playing in real time. Shared playlists are also easy to find and follow.
Amazon Music allows you to share your listening via social media. But there‘s no option to follow other users or friends directly in the app.
Apple also leads in custom music suggestions. Its "For You" tab provides personalized playlists, new releases, and other recommendations daily based on your taste. So Apple Music does a better job using social data and listening history to tailor music discovery.
More Than Just Music – Apple Offers Exclusive Content
Looking beyond music, Apple Music offers some exclusive extras. As a subscriber you get access to live events, exclusive video content showcasing top artists, plus radio shows hosted by celebrities. This gives you a backstage pass to the world of music and pop culture.
Amazon Music provides quality playlists and radio stations curated by music experts. But original video content and celebrity events aren‘t included.
If you want more than just tunes, Apple Music goes bigger on high quality original programming and live experiences. For just listening, Amazon puts up strong competition.
The Bottom Line – Apple Music is the Superior Choice For Most
After comparing the critical factors – music selection, sound quality, price, platforms, discovery and content – Apple Music emerges as the streaming king for a few key reasons:
- Larger catalog of hot new and trending tunes
- Slightly better audio quality, especially with Spatial Audio
- Generous and helpful 3-month free trial
- Social listening experience with following friends
- Original content like live concerts and video series
However, Amazon Music remains a solid choice in its own right. It matches Apple Music in core features like song selection, price plans, and cross-platform accessibility.
If you want discounted streaming with Prime or highest fidelity tunes, Amazon Music excels. But for most listeners, Apple Music‘s superior discovery, sound quality, and extras make it the best overall option.
Hopefully this detailed comparison gives you the info you need to select the right streaming service for your musical needs! Both options provide endless, ad-free music tailored to you. But based on the key differences, I think Apple Music is the winner for its social experience, sound quality, and exclusive content. Happy listening!