Battle of the Beats: Spotify vs. Apple Music


Mackenzie Lawrence, Co-Editor

Whether walking on the street or walking the halls in the school, it is a rare sight to see anyone without an earbud in listening to music, podcasts, or the radio. 

With all the different options for what students at Stephen Decatur High School can be listening to, Apple Music and Spotify seem to always be at the top of the list. Students butt heads on their opinions: Which music platform has the most bang for your buck?

For starters, in order to use Apple Music, you must have an account and pay a monthly fee. For Spotify, you don’t need to pay to use the platform but in order to not have ads, have unlimited skips, play a song of your choice automatically and download music, you must pay a monthly fee to have a premium account.

Let’s look at why some students here at Decatur listen to Spotify.

Sophomore Josh Burrell has been using Spotify since 2020 but chooses not to purchase a Spotify Premium subscription. He likes that Spotify provides podcasts and has a “Spotify Wrapped” that shows listeners artists and songs they have listened to the most throughout the past year.

According to Burrell, the only downside of using Spotify is the amount of ads. “I will be listening to some nice music or I’ll be in the zone and then randomly hear ‘Geico can save you 15% or more on car insurance,’” he said.

Although he doesn’t like listening to the frequent ads, he listens to Spotify on average about three hours a day.

Junior Charlie Greenwood also listens to Spotify and chooses not to pay for Spotify Premium. He also mentioned his annoyance regarding the constant ads but likes the fact that he doesn’t have to pay for a subscription like Apple Music.

Greenwood has been using the platform for around three years and listens to music on it for around two to three hours daily. “They have just a really large collection of music,” he said.

Waylon Hobgood, a junior here at Decatur, has been using his mother’s Spotify Premium subscription for three to four years. He listens around three hours a day.

“I feel as if Spotify is better than other platforms because it is very easy to use,” Hobgood said. He added that he finds it aesthetically pleasing with the green and black accents.

Senior Arlenni Rodriguez used Apple Music for five years before switching to Spotify, which she has been using for the past three years. She listens to music on Spotify for around five hours a day.

“Personally, I didn’t like the aesthetics of Apple Music. I didn’t like how it was super light toned compared to Spotify, that just looks cooler in general,” she said, noting that Apple Music costs about the same, so it’s not really about price.

“I just feel like I like Spotify more because I’m able to find the songs I like quicker,” she added, “and it gives you stations and radios which Apple Music doesn’t really push towards you as much.”

If Rodriguez had the choice to switch back to Apple Music, she says she wouldn’t. “I think Spotify immerses you more into your music than I would say Apple Music does,” she said.

To further explore this topic, we polled students in the library on Dec 20 to see which platform they used. In result, we found that twelve students listen to Spotify and three students listen to Apple Music.

Although a majority of students attending Decatur listen to Spotify, there are still some who are loyal to Apple Music.

Senior Adam Gardner has been using Apple Music for the past five years. “I like the accessibility of it. I like how easy it is to switch from genres of songs. Just everything about it, it’s convenient,” he said.

In Gardner’s eyes, he prefers Apple Music over Spotify, based on how long he has used the platform. “It’s hard to compare them because I’ve been accustomed to Apple Music my whole life. I think its hard for me to say because I’ve never tried Spotify. I’m not a person of change. Once I find something I like, I stick to it,” he said.

His only complaint, or suggestion, about Apple Music is that they improve their yearly recaps. According to Gardner, he was less than impressed with their version of Spotify Wrapped.

“I listen to a lot of music so I’m a bit let down when I see that they put about half effort into their yearly recaps,” he added, “I think if I’m giving them all this money each month and I’m listening to all this music, I think they should at least put some effort into their Apple Music Wraps.”

Although this is a small let-down, this doesn’t stop Gardner from listening to the platform for around two to three hours daily. He doesn’t see himself switching to any other platform any time soon.

Audreyanna Heinsinger, a senior here at Decatur, has been listening to music using Apple Music for the past six to seven years. “It’s really organized. It’s easy to find things. I like the way it’s set up and there’s a really big plethora of songs you can listen to,” she said.

Heinsinger said she likes Apple Music’s unique lyric feature where you can copy and paste any lyric and send it to someone. When someone opens the message, it plays those specific lyrics to them. Spotify doesn’t have this feature.

Heinsinger uses Apple Music for as many as eight hours a day. She said, “I think that everything’s on there that I would like to be on there. It satisfies all my needs.”

Senior Lauren Hoffman has been a loyal Apple Music user for the past eight years. Throughout the day, she listens to music using the platform for up to ten hours.

“I like how it’s set up and I like the aesthetics of it. I just think it’s easier to use than other platforms,” Hoffman said. She also likes the fact that she has the ability to download songs to listen to when she is offline.

Sophomore Evan Copeland has been listening to Apple Music for the past year. “It has lots of variety and no ads. It is also very easy to find the music and it has a lot of different categories,” he said.

Copeland listens to Apple Music for around four hours daily and enjoys listening to music throughout the school day to keep him focused.

The only thing Copeland says he dislikes about Apple Music is that it doesn’t have some remixes of songs. Although he misses some of those rare songs, he said that Apple Music has most of the songs that he listens to.

After talking to so many people who have strong views on what music listening platform that they use, it is surprising to see that when asked what platform they would use if they didn’t use the one of their choosing, almost all of them said that they would use the opposite platform.

“They’re just the top two dogs. I mean, if one of them is not accessible, you just go to the other one. It’s just how it is,” Gardner said.

After digging into every aspect that affects a person’s decision on which platform to choose, it is not clear which platform is the better deal. Since they both are so different in many different aspects, it all depends on what you prefer when listening to music.

Apple Music Subscription


$10.99 per month


$16.99 per month

*no more than 6 users*

College Student

$5.99 per month

*comes with free Apple TV+*

Voice Plan (using Siri to play music)

$4.99 per month

**Offers a 1 month free trial**

Spotify Premium


$9.99 per month


$15.99 per month

*no more than 6 users*

*offers benefits such as Spotify Kids and the ability to block explicit music*


$4.99 per month

*comes with free Hulu and Showtime subscriptions*


$12.99 per month

*2 users*

**Offers a 3 month free trial**

THE HAWK PICK: Looking at the cost of each music listening platform, Spotify clearly provides the better deal for each plan, but everyone has their own preferences when they open their phone to listen to tunes.