Which Music Platform has the Best Listening Experience?

Jamming out to music with your friends and getting interrupted by a toilet paper ad is the worst. In order to prevent such an occasion I analyzed various apps including Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube Music and Soundcloud, grading each based on album availability, subscription prices, ad interruptions and gilded access (the ability to close out of an app while still listening). Based on the data I collected, I ranked each app, scoring them on a scale of 4, least satisfactory, to 1, most satisfactory.

4. Soundcloud

Why have an app that lets you listen to other people sing your favorite song? In Soundcloud’s case, this is the harsh reality. Almost 53% of Soundcloud albums are home-made or parodies, leaving barely any space for the original studio releases. When there is a rare chance you do find an original release you can’t even listen to it without a subscription. Although Soundcloud places first for artist diversity and creativity, it comes in last for album availability. You can purchase a “pro+” membership for $12.99 per month to gain access to the full catalog, quality audio, and offline ad-free listening. With ads between every song and the only accomplishment being gilded access… Soundcloud can’t compete.


3. Youtube Music

Since Youtube Music is so similar to Soundcloud, ranking them was tricky. Having the same creative innovation almost made their truce. However, Youtube Music’s inclusion of both gilded access and album availability helps resolve this issue. Although Youtube Music does not provide gilded access, it does contribute with the least expensive subscription price of $9.99 per month, making Youtube Music reside in third place.

2. Spotify

Placing Spotify, one of the most recognizable music streaming platforms, in second place  may seem controversial but in contrast with competitors, it  fits well right here. Although Spotify excels in almost every category, I’ve practically memorized all Spotify ads after hearing them so often. You can only skip 6 songs per hour, meaning you have to listen to songs you don’t like. However, Spotify does provide $9.99 monthly payment, high-quality audio and gilded access for everyone. 


1. Apple Music

Winning by a landslide, Apple Music fits all criteria. Apple Music has swept competition in every category from a reasonable $9.99 monthly charge (with the addition of 6 month free trial) to ad-free listening and gilded access. Even though I am a Spotify listener, Apple Music blew my expectations out of the water. Downloading songs and unlimited skips surely justifies Apple Music’s Number One ranking. In contrast with Spotify, Apple Music’s key advantage of lossless and spatial audio creates a lively, enjoyable experience and platform together.