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YouTube Music Vs Spotify: Reviews And Important Differences

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youtube music vs spotify

Two platforms that are considered heavyweights in the music streaming industry, so it’s no surprise then that there is often a big debate about which of the streaming platforms is going to be the best suited for you.

Both have massive influences over the industry, and it can often be confusing to prospective users as to which one has the best features, especially considering how similar they appear on the surface.

So we’ve created a Youtube Music vs Spotify comparison guide for you to decide which of these platforms is going to be the best for you!

Spotify Music Streaming Service Overview

YouTube Music Vs Spotify

Making its debut in 2008, Spotify quickly became incredibly popular and reached its first million subscribers in 2011. Since then, Spotify has gone on to become one of the most popular apps and is a household name. 

YouTube Videos Overview

YouTube has been an online powerhouse since the mid-2000s, and since being purchased by Google in 2006, has gone from strength to strength, dominating the internet.

YouTube Music was initially released under the name “YouTube Music Key” in 2014 and was created as a supplementary music videos streaming service to Google Play Music, which now no longer exists.

After a few years of rebranding and development, it finally became YouTube Music in 2018. 

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Spotify and YouTube Music: Free Plan Comparison

Both of these streaming services operate on a freemium basis, which allows users to stream the music they want for free, with the inclusion of some ads. With the option to then remove those ads at a certain cost. 

There are actually some differences between the free plans each platform offers, which we’ll aim to cover below. 

Both streaming services grant you access to their entire content library. YouTube allows you to skip most ads after 5 seconds, whereas Spotify doesn’t. Both platforms allow you to play music in the background, however, YouTube can only do this on a web player, not on mobile devices. 

YouTube’s free plan lets you skip an unlimited amount of songs, but Spotify will only let you skip 6 songs an hour. Neither allows you to download music offline, and YouTube offers both video and song mode for playback, whereas Spotify has no video mode.

On the desktop app, YouTube offers two different audio settings, Low (48kbps) and Normal (128kbps) sound quality.

But Spotify offers 4 different audio settings depending on sound quality, Automatic (which differs depending on internet speed), Low (24kbps), Normal (96kbps) and High (160kpbs).

Both YouTube Music and Spotify Price Plan Comparison

Both of the platforms have identical price plans. For standard users, it costs $9.99 a month, a family package of up to 3 users is $14.99 a month, and a student plan is available for $4.99 a month too. 

Spotify Premium and YouTube Premium features include ad free playback, the ability to download songs for listening whilst offline, as well as access to the higher quality playback options.

It is worth mentioning however that Spotify’s quality reaches 320kbps, whereas YouTube’s is capped at 256kpbs.

Spotify and YouTube Music Content

spotify vs youtube music comparison

Each of these music streaming service feature extremely expansive content libraries, however, Spotify has much more content just outside of music, with podcasts, audiobooks, and even their own Spotify Original Shows being available on the platform.

YouTube Music offers content that is much more music driven, but does feature a lot more remixes, mashups, and covers than what is available on Spotify. (Also see, “Best Podcasts On YouTube“)

If you’re someone who loves to discover new artists, then Spotify makes it incredibly easy, providing you with a curated playlist each week of new artists that the algorithm thinks you’ll enjoy based on your listening habits.

In addition to this, Spotify also regularly updates its genre playlists and daily mood mixes too, which will include some of your most played favorites, as well as some songs you might not have listened to. 

ALSO SEE: How To Loop A Podcast On Spotify

This sort of discovery is a little bit harder on YouTube and requires a bit of effort to locate, and their promotion of newer artists is not quite as extensive as Spotify’s. 

So, both platforms have large libraries for you to trawl through, however, if you’re a fan of discovering new artists or are just looking to expand your music horizons slightly, you might be better off opting for Spotify over YouTube music.

However, if you want the added bonus of being able to view music videos, then YouTube Music should be your choice. 

YouTube Videos and Spotify Premium Ease Of Use

Both platforms utilize a dark background, but it should be noted that Spotify beats YouTube Music in terms of layout and design being much more striking and appealing to the user.

YouTube Music offers the advantage of being able to filter your search results, however, Spotify makes it much easier for you to move around the app thanks to the navigation sidebar, and the sorting option for playlists makes arranging your playlist a lot easier too. 

So whilst YouTube Music isn’t particularly difficult to navigate, it’s just that Spotify’s minimalism and accessibility make it just that little bit easier to explore. 

Popular Music Streaming Services Additional Features

Both platforms feature a whole host of additional features, including lyrics for songs, although Spotify’s lyrics will autoscroll as the song plays. The option to enable Storyline, which will provide the listener with some background history to the song and its origins. 

Both are able to cast to other devices, but Spotify’s connectivity tends to be much quicker and seamless than YouTube Music, but YouTube Music is able to play local files from your device, which is possible after a quick scan of the device’s storage. 

Summary And Verdict: Spotify and YouTube Music

Youtube Music vs Spotify

To summarise, both of these platforms are excellent choices for a streaming service, and are able to provide you with incredibly large libraries of music for you to enjoy, and both are at identical price points.

However, as a result of the better accessibility, better connectivity, and amount of content, we believe that the best choice is Spotify!

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Matt Brook

With a background in Journalism and years of experience in the industry, Matt brings a wealth of knowledge to the WiredClip team.

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