In the past, Spotify used to absolutely rule the music streaming industry, and while it still does, there’s a new(-er) game in town. Google Play Music has been around for years now, but a recent change has made it competitive with Spotify.
Both Spotify and Google Play Music have all of the basic features we’ve come to expect. Both
offer a large music database, basic music controls (play/pause/shuffle), and playlists. Additionally, both are $9.99 per month for a single person. Spotify’s Family Plan is $9.99 for the first person, then 50% off each additional person, where Google Play Music is a flat $14.99 fee for up to 6 family members. Spotify offers 50% off for college students – something Google Play Music doesn’t offer.
Both services feature iOS, Android, and web apps, but where Spotify excels is with it’s Windows desktop program. Both services feature their own unique and clean UI; Spotify having developed their own look, where Google has used their signature Material Design style interface.
The User Base
Here is Spotify’s first major advantage: the user base. Because of it’s free version, nearly everyone uses it. It’s easy to send someone a link to a song or playlist, and they’ll know how it works! Google Play Music lacks that advantage, and in many cases, if you were to send a link, your friends would most likely say “sorry, I don’t subscribe to Google Play Music.”
Where Spotify Excels
Spotify does have some major benefits over Google Play Music. In fact, up until recently, Spotify was hands down the best route. Featuring Spotify Connect, 3rd party app integration, and the ability to follow artists and get email notifications when new content is released, this is where Spotify takes the lead.
Google Play Music Has A New Trick
It was all “fun and games” up to here. If we ended this comparison now, Spotify would be the winner by a long shot. But Recently, Google Play Music got a new trick: YouTube Red. Included in the $9.99 per month, Google Play Music subscribers also get full access to YouTube’s new premium platform, called Red. With YouTube Red, you get ad free video, the ability to download content for offline viewing (which is golden for road trips and flights), and Red exclusive content. With YouTube being such a popular site, for me personally, this made it worth the switch. I was a long time Spotify Premium subscriber, but YouTube Red had so much to offer for the same price!
The Bottom Line
If you’re in it just for the music, Spotify still offers more features. However, if you want the best bang for your buck and enjoy not only music, but also YouTube, then Google Play Music is the best option. What do you feel is better overall, answer down in the comments below.