Whereas there are plenty of music streaming service providers in the industry today, Apple Music and Swedish-based Spotify are the main contenders. Due to their huge music libraries and a much larger fan base, Apple Music and Spotify are considered the two giants in the music streaming industry (Kim, Nam, and Min 12). Given that each company has its own unique features that set it apart from the other, choosing the best between the two can be a challenging undertaking. The basis of this analysis is to compare the market strategies of the two service providers in terms of the target market, market positioning, and the marketing mix (product, price, promotion, and place).
Apple’s main marketing strategy involves signing exclusive deals with big names in the music industry. It has a massive library consisting of over 50 million songs, which is much more than Spotify’s catalog. Apple Music, for instance, boasts albums from popular musicians such as Taylor Swift, Drake, Frank Ocean, Britney Spears, and many others. Additionally, Apple Music boasts of Connect, a social feature that allows artists to stay connected with fans in a friendlier manner. It is an easy yet effective way for avid lovers of music to get closer to artists (Kim, Nam, and Min 36). Apple’s continued preference for larger images favors larger screens to smaller ones like smartphones. As a result, a laptop, Apple’s Mac, and other portable devices such as tablets are better for Apple Music compared to smartphones. Unlike Spotify that provides users with both paid and free versions, Apple Music offers a free trial for a three-month period, after which the user must sign up. Apple Music premium service costs the same as Spotify, which is $9.99 for a single user and $14.99 for the family plan. Like Spotify, Apple Music also offers students a discounted plan at the cost of $4.99 (Kim, Nam, and Min 42).
Spotify’s catalog currently controls over 30 million songs, but with an average of 20,000 new songs being added to its library every day, Spotify will eventually catch up or even exceed its biggest competitor. It mainly focuses on promoting new albums and emerging artists as its main marketing strategy. One reason why Spotify is threatening to overtake Apple is the availability of paid and unpaid access. The fact that everyone can register and have free access to every track in its library has helped the company to reach as many users as possible (Vonderau 27). Instead of locking out content completely, Spotify skillfully seals away some features. Users who wish to subscribe to everything that Spotify provides need to subscribe to a premium plan at the cost of $9.99 or a family plan that allows simultaneous listening for at least five users at the cost of $14.99. With these subscriptions, uses have the right to choose any song that they want, download as many songs as they wish to their smartphones or tablets, or skip unpleasing adverts.
In summary, each service provider has its pros and cons, so it depends on what suits the user from each music streaming platform. Whereas Spotify provides the users with a well-rounded platform that is open to everyone, its access is limited unless you pay for the premium service. Apple Music, on the other hand, offers customers a three-month free trial version that allows the users to have a taste of its services.
Kim, Jiwhan, Changi Nam, and Min Ho Ryu. “What do consumers prefer for music streaming services? A comparative study between Korea and US.” Telecommunications Policy 41.4 (2017): 263-272.
Vonderau, Patrick. “The Spotify effect: digital distribution and financial growth.” Television & New Media 20.1 (2019): 3-19.