Here's why Spotify still beats Apple Music


It's been a little more than three months since Apple Music was released, and the latest numbers show it lags well behind industry leader Spotify. Here's why Spotify is the better service.

First, let's take a look at the numbers. About a month after Apple Music launched, Apple made much of the fact that it had 11 million trial members. But that only meant that people were trying it out for free. Now that the trial period has ended the real numbers are coming in -- and Apple's real, paying subscribers dropped by a whopping 40%, down to 6.5 million people. And it could be that many of those people didn't realize the trial period ended and haven't bothered to cancel.

As for Spotify, it dwarfs Apple Music -- it's got 20 million subscribers, and a total of 75 million users. And for the first time, the Spotify app has become the top-grossing app in the US App Store.

So why is Spotify better? Start off with the free version -- Spotify has one, and Apple Music essentially doesn't, aside from radio. Spotify's free version varies according to what hardware you're listening on. But depending on the hardware, you can listen to individual tracks on demand, use playlists, share music and playlists, and more.

Also, for the moment if you've got Sonos speakers (which I do), you can listen to Spotify, but not Apple Music. That is expected to change by year's end. But for now, Apple Music won't work with Sonos.

Spotify also does a better job of introducing you to new music. It does a better job of alerting you to new releases, and is better at making recommendations based on what you're listened to in the past. The "Discover Weekly" feature is particularly useful.

I also find the Spotify interface simpler and easier to navigate than Apple Music's. And Spotify is far superior in the way it lets you share music and playlists with others as well. So there's good reasons that Spotify is doing better than Apple Music, and will continue to do so.

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