Amazon Music Unlimited vs Spotify: which is better?

In contemporary instances many people have modified the way that we listen to music, swapping bodily formats akin to CDs for streaming services equivalent to Spotify. Instead of "owning" music – whether physical or virtual – we now pay a per month subscription fee to get entry to music within the cloud, allowing us to listen to millions of songs – without in truth buying them.

Unsurprisingly, the recognition of music streaming has rocketed. In truth, music streaming is now the trade’s fastest-growing income source with an estimated 68 million people worldwide paying for a music subscription service.

Spotify is one of the crucial largest gamers on this marketplace, but it's starting to face stiff competition – especially now that Amazon has its personal rival music streaming carrier called Amazon Music Unlimited. Can the tech giant knock Spotify off its perch? Let's weight up the pros and cons...

The state of play

Spotify launched back in 2008 and has grown into one of the crucial greatest music streaming services in the world. But it's dominance is below risk as opponents combat for a piece of its pie. 

Spotify's competition now include: Apple MusicDeezerNapster and Google Play Music, in addition to Tidal and Qobuz, which specialize in hi-res music streaming. Now  Spotify's has an excellent larger rival – on the subject of sheer firepower – in the shape of  Amazon Music Unlimited

Amazon has been selling CDs and MP3s for years, and already provides Amazon Prime subscribers with get admission to to 2 million tracks as part of the deal. Now it has Amazon Music Unlimited, which expands that catalogue to 50 million tracks in return for a £9.ninety nine a month rate.

Torn between Spotify and Amazon Music Unlimited? Read on and we're going to compare those two streaming products and services to assist making a decision which is best.

MORE: Best music streaming services

Subscription plans

If you're on a tight price range, Spotify has you covered. It gives a loose subscription plan supported by way of some (quite demanding) ads. Audio quality is restricted to a maximum of 160kbps and you can best skip a monitor six occasions according to hour on mobile units. Still, it is free.

Step up to Spotify's £9.99 monthly Premium subscription plan and audio quality shoots up to 320kbps. You additionally get ad-free music, unlimited search and skip, plus the way to listen offline.

Spotify also provides a Premium Family subscription for the discounted price of £14.ninety nine per thirty days. It covers as much as six customers (everyone has to reside at the similar deal with) and includes parental controls.

MORE: Spotify confirms 39 million paying subscribers

Unlike Spotify, Amazon doesn't offer a free, ad-supported subscription plan inside Amazon Music Unlimited – only a free 30 day trial. Prime subscribers do, alternatively, get loose get entry to to Amazon's more elementary Prime Music streaming offering as a part of their package deal.

A normal Music Unlimited membership will set you again £9.99 per 30 days. However, Amazon Prime subscribers get a bargain – bringing the associated fee all the way down to £7.ninety nine per 30 days or £79 in line with yr.

Amazon additionally gives a cheaper £3.99 per month subscription – but you'll best use it to  flow music via a unmarried Amazon Echo or Echo Dot speaker (ask Alexa for a 'loose trial'). If you wish to have to access Amazon Music Unlimited on more than one Echo gadgets in your house, you'll be able to want a regular £9.ninety nine monthly membership. 

Finally, Amazon provides a Family membership plan for £14.99 per month (or £149 in keeping with year) for up to six accounts. Up to ten units can use Amazon Music on one account, and music will also be downloaded to play offline on the iOS, Android and Fire pill platforms.

*Result: Spotify edges it*

Music catalogue

Given that Spotify launched eight years prior to Amazon Music Unlimited, you would suppose it might have the larger music library. Not so. While Spotify offers get right of entry to to 40 million tracks, Amazon Music Unlimited customers can take their pick from over 50 million tracks.

We did not in finding any fast gaps in both offering, and our seek for extra obscure music artists revealed an excellent success rate between Music Unlimited and Spotify. 

While Spotify says it doesn't want to limit non-Spotify customers through tying artists into unique contracts, Amazon is identified for the peculiar premiere. Country singer Garth Brooks, as an example, was once a huge exclusive for Amazon Music Unlimited.

*Result: Amazon Music Unlimited wins*

Compatibility

Spotify is out there by way of both iOS and Android apps, in addition to its web participant. It additionally gives the advantage of Spotify Connect, which we could top rate subscribers flow immediately to speakersTVs or systems. It’s develop into a well-recognized feature in lots of hi-fi and AV products – including Sonos speakers – and is a large draw for those excited about bringing streaming into their present system. 

It's additionally price noting that Spotify is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant - simply ask for the music you need "on Spotify". 

Amazon Music Unlimited is suitable with smartphones and tablets by means of its Android and iOS apps; PCs and Macs by the use of both its internet participant or desktop app; Fire drugs and Fire TVs; some BMW and Mini in-car leisure programs; Sonos multi-room wireless audio system and Bluesound and NAD BluOS devices.

As you'll be expecting, Amazon Music Unlimited integrates seamlessly with Echo devices but no longer with Google Assistant (Amazon and Google have a quite 'nerve-racking' courting). You can ask Alexa to play a specific track or search by means of mood, lyric, artists or decade. Alexa even inspires exclusive artist commentaries dubbed 'Side-by-Sides' - the audio identical of a DVD statement. 

*Result: a draw*

Music discovery

Spotify's USP is music advice. Its massively common 'Discover Weekly' function uses AI and system finding out to generate a playlist of 30 songs which are related on your listening behavior – and it is impressively accurate. 

Plus, on Fridays, Spotify sends out a two-hour 'Release Radar' playlist containing brand-new music and remixes. The extra you concentrate, the better the recommendations fit your tastes. 

MORE: Spotify’s new Release Radar function seeks to bring you new music

Amazon Music Unlimited is split into three primary sections: ‘Browse’ (the streaming service), ‘My Music’ (your native and Cloud library), and ‘Store’. The tech giant's in-house 'Music Experts' curate thousands of playlists, while Amazon's algorithms recommended music in line with your listening conduct. 

Bottom line, Music Unlimited's discovery features are good – however Spotify’s are more refined. 

*Result: Spotify wins*

Sound high quality

Spotify Premium customers can stream music at a data charge of as much as 320kbps (CD high quality). Amazon Music Unlimited is slightly extra cagey on the subject of streaming quality, claiming to support 'more than one bitrates' (we’d wager it’s now not dissimilar from Spotify’s 320kbps streams). Listen to the two side-by-side via the cheap pair of headphones and differences are barely audible.

Listen thru an accomplished DAC/headphone combo, on the other hand, and Amazon Music Unlimited has a slight edge. It offers the best sound high quality of the £9.99 per thirty days services, even though the variations almost certainly aren’t considerable sufficient to sway a choice via themselves. 

*Result: a draw*

Hi-res audio streams

Amazon lately launched Amazon Music HD, offering 50 million 'HD tracks' tracks at a CD-quality-quality bitrate of 16 bit/44.1kHz plus millions extra in 24bit and up to 192kHz (which Amazon refers to as 'Ultra HD'). It prices £12.99 per month for Prime subscribers, or £14.99 in the event you should not have Prime. Existing Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can get entry to HD tracks for an extra charge of £5 per thirty days. We're currently placing the brand new provider to the take a look at so you'll want to take a look at back for our definitive verdict.

Contrast this with Spotify, who has hinted at upping its maximum quality from 320kbps however is yet to do so, and possible shoppers may well be swayed through Amazon's bundle. 

*Result: Amazon wins*

Verdict

So which is absolute best? That is dependent upon your instances. Spotify is probably the most recognisable name in music streaming and its Premium subscription gives get entry to to 40 million songs. If you love discovering new music, Spotify Premium's complete features and wide compatibility earn it the title of most sensible all-rounder.

If you like to use Alexa devices, however, Amazon Music unlimited makes far more sense – it integrates effectively with Alexa and your present Amazon account. It sounds a little subtler than Spotify, but the user interface on desktop and transportable devices is not all the time reliable. In our opinion, Spotify edges it however it is a closer contest than you would be expecting.

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