YouTube Music vs Spotify – The Ultimate Battle 2021

Wondering which app is worth using for music streaming? The race for apps, especially for music streaming, is at the pinnacle. Google Music shut down and combined with YouTube Music. Meanwhile, Spotify retains supremacy due to its algorithm and extensive features. 

So, it all comes down to which one is best for you? In this battle of the music apps, you will learn about which Music app is good for you. 

YouTube Music vs Spotify

Both are pretty remarkable. It all comes down to what you’re looking for. With that in mind, let’s begin! 

Quick Overview: In a Nutshell

This segment covers a quick overview of the complete review. It is a short segment to help those who want to read quickly. 

If you don’t want to check out the comprehensive examination, you can just read this for the decision. 

YouTube Music  Spotify
  • YouTube Music has prestige as the most potent factor. It is popular and has extensive libraries, even from local libraries, as it connects directly to YouTube’s video streaming platform.
  • However, it still doesn’t compete with Spotify’s algorithm. If you like YouTube’s default mechanism from the video streaming app, you will love it. Personalization is great.
  • As a music app, it is useless unless you have a premium subscription. Because it just feels like YouTube (video) without a subscription. Therefore, it has a lot to achieve to surpass Spotify. 
  • Spotify can be crowned the king for music streaming apps. It has high-quality streaming, podcasts, and much more. Overall, it is a complete hub for audio lovers.
  • More importantly, it plays background without needing subscriptions. The advertisements are less annoying for free service, as well. The unique personalization algorithm, daily and weekly mixes, is something that makes Spotify fantastic.
  • Spotify is also growing in popularity as a premium music streaming app. It doesn’t need to work on anything to make itself better. Now that Spotify Hifi is in development, it might soon reign supreme. 

Both apps have similar subscription packages and costs. However, Spotify has much more versatility in subscription packages that can suit daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly streaming. It has flexible packages, almost like you can customize them.

YouTube Music offers an extended trial of up to 3 months for new users. Meanwhile, Spotify has just a 30-day free trial. Still, there is a lot that Spotify brings to the table, which YouTube doesn’t. 

Comparison Table: The Key Takeaway

Here is a quick comparison table for the difference between the two platforms: 

YouTube Music  Spotify 
  • Great content library directly from YouTube Video platform and much more. 
  • 256 kbps of music streaming.
  • It significantly lacks podcasts.
  • Background play only with a subscription. 
  • YouTube Premium is the best subscription to reap all benefits.
  • Lack of some songs and artists, but consistently growing with new music to add to the library. 
  • 320 kbps of music streaming.
  • Contains podcasts, poetry, and much more. 
  • Background play available for free.
  • Comes with several packages for flexibility in a subscription. 

With that, now it is time to move to the preliminary review and article.

Introduction To The Platforms – YouTube Music Vs. Spotify

If you want a quick overview, Spotify is like the king of music streaming apps. It has the best algorithm, which allows it to create various mixes, suggest or even bring song ratio. Spotify is full of features and has higher quality audio available for users (320 kbps rate). 

Meanwhile, YouTube Music is still young and emerging. It is full of features, and sometimes it is hard to distinguish it from Spotify music. If you have the habit of listening to music on YouTube (On phone or PC) and want the same playlist to exist on your phone, it is one of the most convenient options. YouTube music syncs the same account’s data for ease of use. 

While Spotify is the king, it only has video services to add. Meanwhile, as YouTube Music is growing, it has a lot of raw potential for the future. 

About Spotify Music

Spotify Music is the pioneer of music streaming apps in today’s digital era. It acted quickly, so we have an international company that provides us with different music from the libraries. While it didn’t have a big name, it has become quite prominent in recent years.

Spotify Music It is highly compatible and works with almost every device and platform. You can play Spotify on a web browser, as well. But of course, people prefer using YouTube for that. Regardless of that, Spotify is unique in design and graphics. It has a fresh user interface, and everything seems quite incredible.

Some of the features of Spotify include: 

  • Daily Mix

Daily mix and weekly mix are two different services that Spotify offers. It brings you various artists and songs to explore. These playlists are different from your like or favorite playlist. It just gets you mixes of the songs Spotify’s algorithm thinks that you will like. 

Spotify Daily Mix

Instead of one, you get multiple mixes divided between bands, genres, and artists. This makes things relatively easy for you to explore. It also means that if someone else played a song using your Spotify, it wouldn’t mess your personalized content too much. 

  • Song Radio

Suppose that you’ve come across a song that you like. Now, you might want to explore more songs that are similar to that. For that purpose ‘Go-To Song Radio’ option exists. It won’t bring you something like an endless stream of radio. Instead, you get a collection or playlist of songs that are similar to that specific song.

This makes things easier. People like to find songs similar to those they are listening to. 

  • Car Mode 

This might seem like an unnecessary addition, but Spotify is working on adding various modes. The car mod will turn the interface more minimalistic. It makes songs load faster, and you can use the app just like a music player, with minimum interference. Car mode is great because it brings added convenience to the users. While it might seem unnecessary right now, you will feel the ease while you’re driving or riding. 

About YouTube Music 

YouTube Music is a recent innovation. Before that, we had Google Music, but the company has decided to shut it down due to lack of succession. 

Google and YouTube joined together to bring YouTube Music. So, you have the competence of the most successful search engine and the prestige of a big-name like YouTube.

YouTube Music

It goes without saying that YouTube has an extensive music library. You can find local artists, budding ones, and much more. YouTube Music is basically a YouTube app that weeds out all other kinds of videos. All the videos related to music or a song will become available on YouTube Music.

It also means that the YouTube video app and YouTube music app use the same algorithm. The personalization is also quite similar. More importantly, if you make any changes in preference in one, it will again happen in another app if the accounts are the same.

Some of YouTube Music’s features include:

  • The Mixtape

You might’ve seen it on YouTube’s official app. There is an option to play videos on a mixed tape. It is a smartly created list containing songs or videos that you will like. The same feature is available in YouTube music for you to explore. 

YouTube Music Mixtape

Apart from Mixtape, you also get a daily mix similar to Spotify. There are also recommendations, and nothing has surpassed the recommendations of YouTube, not even Spotify. This makes things quite interesting for users to explore new songs. 

  • Video Playback 

This is something the majority of music streaming apps lack. Spotify is working on introducing video content for podcasts, but music is still at large. However, YouTube Music offers video music videos right from the start.  You can find any video and start streaming it.

This keeps things quite interesting and entertaining. It is perhaps a unique selling point that YouTube music has going for itself. However, it also keeps the app similar to the video streaming counterpart. 

  • Music Player Playback

Another significant aspect of YouTube Music is that the interface and layout are indeed like a music player. Therefore, playing audio or music will minimize the video and won’t interfere with your browning at all. However, for background play, you need to subscribe to YouTube. Apart from that, it is pretty easy to navigate and has a lot going for itself. 

Cost And Value For Money: 

The first factor that plays an important role is the pricing of the app. If you don’t have the budget, there’s no point for you to consider any of the two services. Let’s look at the subscription plans and options available from both YouTube Music vs. Spotify. You will also receive information regarding the trial options. 

Spotify Packages

Spotify has been in the game for longer. It knows how to allure users to value-added services. Hence, it has something for almost everyone, and that’s what makes it such a fantastic platform and high value for money. Many bundles are available from different partnerships, like the Hulu + Spotify pack, making it easier for you to subscribe to the services. 

Spotify Packages

Free Package 

There is a free subscription package available for Spotify users. However, you can’t download music to steam it offline. There is also a limit to the quality selection. You can’t select the high quality. The free pack also comes with a bundle of advertisements, and you can only skip songs six times in a row before you would have to listen to the music. Apart from these restrictions, the free pack is quite viable. 

$5 Per Month For Students (With Hulu) 

This package is available for students exclusively. Of course, you’d have to provide proof that you’re a student. However, you get everything that an individual pack offers. There’s no restriction. That’s not all! Even after you stop being a student, Spotify keeps bringing you discounted pricing to enjoy music at a discounted rate. 

Of course, with this package, you get ad-supported Hulu. So that’s even better. 

$10 Per Month For Individual

This is the standard subscription. It allows you to download the songs for offline use. You also get access to more personalized services, and there aren’t any advertisements anymore. Thus, you can steam continuously without any problem. 

$15 Per Month For Family

With this package, users can share the same account with up to six members. There will be individual profiles and accounts that you can create. You don’t need to be any specific age to use it, either. You can download, stream and do anything that a premium pack comes with. 

1 Month Trial + Extension Up To 6 Months

Spotify also offers a 30-day trial by default. You can check whether the premium services are for you or not. Often, Spotify also offers an option to extend the trial. The extension can be anywhere from 3 additional months to 6 months. However, it is not entirely a free trial. They will charge you minimum fees of around 0.99$ or something similar. 

Still, for the price, as you are getting it for around multiple months, and that’s quite commendable. 

YouTube Music Packages

YouTube doesn’t have much flexibility, but it seems to be quite similar to Spotify. This isn’t the only service YouTube has similar pricing for. Its video streaming (Live TV) app has a package identical to Hulu TV. 

YouTube Music Packages

However, unlike Spotify, there isn’t any bundle package available for YouTube subscribers, except for YouTube Premium, which brings everything in the bundle. There is a student pack, but there aren’t additional benefits to it. Let’s take a better look: 

Free Plan 

The free Plan is identical to the standard YouTube video streaming option. It has advertisements while you can listen to music. However, the advertisements are not as intrusive as the video platform. 

The most significant drawback is that there isn’t any background play option available for YouTube’s free plan. Of course, the quality is limited, and there isn’t any downloading option available either. 

$10 Per Month For Individual

This is the standard plan available. It allows background streaming and unlocks access to different quality streaming. Finally, you can enjoy YouTube music thoroughly, and if you compare it to Spotify’s pack, there is virtually no difference at all.

$5 For Student Plan 

YouTube has decided to introduce the same Student package. It is the individual pack available at a discount. Thus, it gives all those features, but at half the rate. 

$15 Per Month For Family

You need to be at least 13 years old to enjoy a Google account. The same applies to the YouTube family pack. It has the same six device availability, downloads, and everything else that you find on Spotify. 

$12 Per Month For YouTube Premium

This is the most striking package available. While Spotify has a bundle package with Hulu, YouTube brings you complete access to all of its premium platforms. YouTube premium allows you to access YouTube Premium’s original content, YouTube Red, YouTube Live TV, and YouTube Music, all of it at once. Of course, most of these bring you basic plans, but it is a high value for money with the vast array of entertainment you get.

There’s no way Spotify can match this specific package. 

3 Months Trial – No Extension

There is a new fluctuation. YouTube offers three months of free trial options. You need to provide the credit card information for automatic payment to subscribe. Therefore, once the trial ends, it will automatically renew the subscription according to the package you have. 

The Battle Of Content: Who wins?

After pricing, it all comes down to the content. Are you indeed getting the value for your money? There’s no doubt that YouTube would have a win on this if it were just about music and songs. 

It has the most extensive library, especially after fusing with Google Music. However, Spotify also has podcasts and much other audio content. Therefore, it all comes down to your specific requirement. 

Here is a quick analysis to help you: 

Content Library

YouTube has the most extensive library for content. It has official songs and music directly from the studios and production companies. Additionally, any local artist or content creator also has their songs published.

So, if there is any lesser-known artist you follow on YouTube, you will have an option to listen to them on this app, and that’s what makes it fantastic. 

Spotify has millions of songs. However, you will find that many famous artists, bands, or songs are missing. There are many artists who are gradually joining Spotify. Overall, there is still a lack of songs. 

There isn’t Linkin Park, a popular music band, easy to find on Spotify off the top of the head. But you can find them on YouTube. 

Still, Spotify has a lot to offer, and you will most likely find the most popular tracks, music, and much more. 

Quality Of The Content

If you talk about quality specifically, YouTube offers up to ‘High’ for the settings. It isn’t clear, but it is pretty self-explanatory. Meanwhile, Spotify has ‘Very High’ as the final setting available.

To put it into perspective, YouTube’s High setting is 256 kbps, while Spotify’s Very High is 320 kbps. However, YouTube Music doesn’t have a limit on the video-supporting ones. You can load them to the highest quality available. So, that’s something that stands out for YouTube.

Meanwhile, Spotify also offers quite a fantastic quality. None of these are as good as hi-fi quality, of course. But Spotify is going to introduce Spotify Hi-Fi for higher audio quality soon. YouTube needs to pick up the pace if it wants to compete. 

Content Algorithm And Suggestions 

If you talk about suggestions, then YouTube Music has an edge. YouTube Music’s recommendations are similar to its algorithm in the YouTube video app and support Google. This keeps things quite relevant, and you will always find something similar.

Meanwhile, Spotify has song radio, which helps you explore various songs similar to that one song you like. There is also the Daily Mix and other suggestions that Spotify brings. This keeps things relatively fresh and exciting. 

Spotify will always win if it is the new songs you’re trying to find unless you like YouTube’s recommendations. 

Downloadable Content

Both apps offer downloadable content but with a subscription pack. You can also download them at the highest quality available. 

Spotify doesn’t have automatic download, while YouTube music has an option to automatically download and even renew the content if that’s what you need. 

YouTube takes an edge here. 

Verdict – YouTube Music Vs. Spotify 

From the looks of it, if you’re under a budget (mainly a Student), Spotify Music with the subscription options would be a better choice. It reigns supreme, and there isn’t any other app that can surpass it. 

Meanwhile, YouTube is great for those who want to import their YouTube video’s playlist and stream anytime. In other words, YouTube is great for those who have specific playlists already existing on YouTube, and they want to listen to it anytime. 

Prestige Of YouTube

YouTube has the most significant content library. You can find almost any song ever made on YouTube. Someone has most-likely uploaded it. That’s what keeps YouTube ahead of the curve. 

It is full of features, ease of use interface, and much more. However, it needs to work on the quality of audio significantly.

For the average listener, there isn’t any different. However, for an audiophile, there is a minor problem. The YouTube premium package is also worth the money and brings you a lot. There’s no doubt that if the company keeps heading in this direction, it might surpass Spotify soon. 

Excellence Of Spotify 

Spotify is just excellent. It has a minimalist requirement for you to interfere. The suggestions are fantastic. The daily mix keeps things exciting. You can even find something from weekly radar or release radar for the songs relevant to your taste. 

It has a lot going on itself and has affordable package options available. 

If you like to find new songs and music, or if you want ease of use, Spotify would be the right choice. The higher quality audio and the future of Spotify Hi-Fi are going to keep it the primary choice. Still, they need to do something about video streaming to match YouTube. 

Pros And Cons  Of YouTube Music & Shopify

These are the quick pros and cons if you’re still having some problem deciding which app to choose. Hopefully, this will do the job. 

YouTube Music Spotify
Pros  Pros
  • Separates YouTube’s video content from music for you to stream.
  • Music videos are available.
  • Automatic downloads and library renewal.
  • From official to local music is available. 
  • Higher quality of audio than many other apps.
  • Daily mixes are separate and don’t get affected by random choices too much to ensure multiple-users.
  • Interactive but minimalist user interface and app. 
  • Student bundles and other offers are worth checking out. 
Cons  Cons 
  • Syncs user data with the YouTube platform. So playlists get mixed. 
  • No podcast or other audio content.
  • Lack of background playback without subscription is quite a blow. 
  • No option for automatic downloads, especially for daily mixes.
  • There’s no way to stream videos for music. 
  • Lacks features for premium services. Free service suffices unless you don’t like advertisements. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is YouTube Premium Package Worth The Money?

Yes. YouTube Premium Package is the best subscription option that you can get. It has everything to offer, from YouTube Music to the original YouTube app with an ad-free experience.

When Is Spotify Hi-Fi Coming To The Market?

Spotify Hi-Fi received the official announcement in early 2021. The rumors have been there since late 2020. Of course, after the advent of Amazon Music, it became pivotal for companies like Spotify to move to the next level.

Is Amazon Music Great For HD Music Streaming?

Yes. Amazon Music is peerless at the given moment. It has an unparalleled quality for music streaming. 

Many experts have compared it to something ‘fresh from the studio.’ As in, it steams audio in studio quality. Therefore, it is an excellent platform for most audiophiles with the right equipment.

Why Did Google Music Shut Down?

Google Music was indeed one of the pioneers. However, it didn’t receive the proper promotion to become a powerful platform. 

Many local streaming apps became more popular. Spotify had the appropriate marketing, and it was already a popular platform.

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That’s everything relevant to cover regarding YouTube Music Vs. Spotify. We decided not to bother with irrelevant aspects that would consume too much time for no reason. 

With information like pricing and content availability, you will get the most information. 

However, both apps are highly compatible if you’re worried about compatibility. You can use them on iOS, Android, Windows, Android TV, and other Smart TVs. They are also available for gaming consoles. 

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