The music industry has been completely transformed by technology and the battle is on between Spotify and iTunes for your music dollar.
Apple had a massive head start with innovations like the iPod and iPhone as well as iTunes to distribute content. Until recently there haven’t been any serious competitors to Apple, but with the arrival of Spotify many consumers are questioning which music service is best for them.
The biggest difference between the two is that Spotify allows you access to stream pretty much any song you can think of while iTunes allows you to own the song itself. If you prefer physically owning your files then iTunes may be for you, but if you want access to a ton of songs at any time then maybe Spotify is worth a shot.
iTunes maintains over 28 million songs and sells them by album or individually. Once the songs are paid for users can burn them to CD or do whatever they like with them.
Spotify works quite differently, the library is somewhat smaller with 20 million songs but you can stream them as often as you like.
Price models are a major difference between the two. iTunes is free to use, but only 90-second previews are free. Albums range from approximately $7.99 to $13.99. Individual songs range from $0.99 to $1.29.
For $29.99 per year you can add your entire music library to the cloud. It’s called iTunes Match and allows you to listen to songs that you’ve already purchased on your iPad or iPhone without having to sync with a computer.
Spotify works just like iTunes, except you don’t need to buy any songs. All you do is pay a monthly fee to use the service. It’s $4.99 per month for desktop-only access and $9.99 per month to use the desktop app and mobile app for your smartphone as well as download songs.
In the end both services have the pluses and minuses. The a la carte pricing model at iTunes can be trying while Spotify’s monthly fee makes things a lot less complicated. iTunes takes the edge in giving users more options once the music is purchased.