Guest Article By: Laura Hong
The rapid growth of streaming services has dramatically changed the way consumers, consume music. In the last decade, streaming services have grown exponentially to the point where multiple streaming services not only exist-but flourish. The two most recognizable in 2016? Apple and Spotify.
With its 8th year in market, Swedish based Spotify, boasts 30MM active subscribers. In comparison, Apple Music’s debut in 2015 has garnered 13MM subscribers since its emergence into the music streaming industry. This presented the question to me: How do they differ? On the surface, Apple Music and Spotify provide similar services.
Both apps are relatively easy to use, priced similarly at $9.99 per month and widely available on mobile and desktop devices. In short, both play music on demand from a large catalog of songs and make recommendations based on listening your history. Both services offer the ability to create and share playlists of any kind and able to play music even when there’s no service or Wi-Fi around. Quick disclaimer: I do admit, I am a huge Apple fan and love their line of products, from the iPhone, to the iPad, MacBook, and Apple TV!
As a big Apple user, personally I was really surprised with Apple Music’s UI functionality. It’s very easy to get “lost” in the service, the UI is not a “natural” digital experience. Just recently, I’ve cancelled my apple music subscriptions and flipped over to the Spotify.
Here’s the main reason why;
In typical Apple form, visually the Apple music app looks beautiful-but the same can’t be said about its navigation. For a company that is all about a minimalist layout, I found it pretty surprising as to how confusing it was. It was not intuitive and hard to navigate.
Non-user friendly interface
What really bothers me the most about Apple Music is that everything seems more complex. Each task requires going to another section of the app to do so- it just takes more effort from me to get to play what I want to listen to. I find that in order for Apple Music to be more successful, they needed to simplify and streamline the app much more. This made me realize all the content in the world matters little if you don’t enjoy actually using the application.
Spotify on the other hand, has a strong all around showing and simple yet engaging user interface. It provides effective content, great aesthetic, and most importantly it’s simple to use. You can’t really go wrong with Spotify, especially if all you want is a solid no- fuss music streaming experience without a lot of complications and menus tacked on. I really felt like Spotify struck that perfect balance between streamlined user interface (UI) and fun without compromising user experience.
The fact is, the way we consume music is changing more than ever. Music streaming services are here to stay, and this is just the beginning.
Laura Hong is currently enrolled in the Advertising and Marketing Communications program at Humber College. Besides her interest in the tech world, Laura is a huge dog lover, health nut and loves scuba diving.