Streaming services are more abundant than ever, which can make it hard to gauge which platform is best for you.
We’re living in the golden age of music thanks to all the streaming services that are currently on the web. But with so many options on the market, from Spotify to Amazon Music Unlimited to Apple Music, it can be hard to figure out which streaming platform will suit you best.
That’s why we’re going to be breaking down both Spotify and Amazon Music Unlimited, so we can see how they differ in terms of pricing, features and audio quality.
Both Amazon Music Unlimited and Spotify offer a couple of plans for their users. Free plans are available, although they are ad-supported and come from the top playlists, with no option to choose your own music or skip through tracks.
Prime members can join Amazon Music Unlimited for £8.99/$8.99 a month, or pay £89/$89 for a yearly subscription. Non-Prime members can also join Music Unlimited for £9.99/$9.99 per month, with no option for a yearly membership. There is also a Family Plan, which costs £14.99/$15.99 per month or £149/$159 per year, with non-Prime members paying the same rates.
Finally, Music Unlimited also offers a student membership wherein users need to be accredited to college or university to qualify, in the same vein as Spotify. That membership costs £5.99/$5.99 a month.
Spotify offers up a few more plans in comparison. There are Individual, Duo, Family and Student memberships, with the pricing listed below.
- Individual: £9.99/$9.99 a month
- Duo (2 accounts): £13.99/$12.99 a month
- Family (up to 6 accounts): £16.99/$15.99 a month
- Student: £5.99/$4.99 a month
Spotify offers one more plan than Music Unlimited with the Duo membership, which lets you pair up with a friend or family member.
Overall, both services offer similar prices, but Music Unlimited wins out thanks to its discounted yearly membership and slightly lower rates.
Spotify and Music Unlimited both offer very similar features. They both boast a massive music library with a huge collection of contemporary artists as well as older music. Spotify claims that it features over 100 million tracks and 5 million podcasts on its platform, alongside 300,000 audiobook titles.
Amazon Music Unlimited claims that its platform features over 100 million songs, but it is a little more tight-lipped about the number of podcasts and audiobooks it supports. From our experience, Music Unlimited does come with a host of podcasts and audiobooks, although it’s not clear if it can go head-to-head with Spotify in terms of numbers.
Looking at compatibility, both services are available on most platforms, including iOS, Android, macOS, Chrome OS and Windows. Devices that run on FireOS are more compatible with Music Unlimited than Spotify, however, Spotify is supported on the Amazon Fire TV Stick.
When it comes to streaming quality, Amazon does seem to take the cake. It offers lossless audio streaming across a lot of its tracks, albums and content, aided by the fact that Amazon Music HD – previously a separate, more expensive tier – is now included with Music Unlimited at no extra cost.
Amazon Music Unlimited offers two quality ranges: HD and Ultra HD, which have sampling rates ranging from 44.1kHz to 129kHz. This is better than CD quality and can preserve the original recording without any loss of quality, making it the better option if you’re after the best-sounding music. On the other hand, Spotify uses AAC or Ogg/Vorbis format, which ranges from 96kbps to 256kbps.
Overall, Music Unlimited offers better-quality audio than Spotify, although you will need to ensure that you’re using a device compatible with these formats.
All in all, both Amazon Music Unlimited and Spotify have benefits and disadvantages. In terms of pure audio quality, Music Unlimited is the best option, as it supports HD and Ultra HD formats which have the best sound. Both services are similarly priced and are supported on similar platforms.
With little separating the two services, it may come down to which user interface you like. From our experience, we think Spotify is more streamlined and user-friendly, but it’s worth checking out both to see which you prefer.