Spotify versus YouTube Music – how the two streaming services compare

Spotify and YouTube Music are two of the most popular music streaming services in the game. How do they stack up against each other?

In part due to their optional free tiers, both Spotify and YouTube Music are hugely popular music streaming services around the world. We take a look at the features and cost of both platforms to work out

Spotify Free

Spotify is the most popular western music streaming service and the most subscribed streaming service in the world. Its free tier offers Spotify’s full library of over 70 million songs and playlists with adverts. Via a free account, playback on mobile is available in shuffle mode-only, with a limited number of skips and no downloads for offline listening. The Spotify app is also accessible on tablet and desktop, as well as some cars, TVs, consoles, smart watches and more.

Spotify’s algorithm driven playlists such as Discover Weekly and Release Radar are second to none. Those with a decent amount of listening data will find Spotify’s recommendations spot on. There’s something to be said for the app being the most popular in the world. This means new features are frequently added, the app is on almost all connected devices, the library is full of all new, classic and indie music, and sharing music with friends won’t run into any compatibility issues, versus say a subscription-only service.

Spotify Premium

For $9.99 per month for individuals in the US, a premium account grants users access to ad-free and on-demand listening with unlimited skips. Offline listening lets you take music with you on-the-go and keep listening without a data connection, even on the Apple Watch and Wear OS.

Spotify HiFi is the exciting new feature coming to Spotify soon. HiFi will bring CD-quality music to the streaming service, however we are unsure whether this will require additional payment for the upgrade.

YouTube Music

Birthed from the now discontinued Google Play Music, much like Spotify, YouTube Music has two tiers, one free and the other requiring a monthly subscription. Their free model offers ad-supported music on-demand across desktop, mobile and other devices such as cars, TVs, smart watches and more.

YouTube Music has 80 million songs available for listening including user-generated musical content on YouTube, alongside regular licensed music. This makes YouTube Music a great option for those that listen to lots of mixes and music from smaller artists that may not be on other streaming services.

YouTube Music Premium

YouTube Music Premium costs $9.99 per month for individuals in the US, however YouTube Premium subscribers ($11.99 per month) get access to Music Premium at no additional cost. Subscriptions grants access to ad-free and offline listening, as well as background playback on mobile, so you can dismiss your phone without pausing the tunes. YouTube Music are one of the last major streaming services to not offer a hi-fi options after Apple Music introduced lossless audio, plus hi-fi services from the likes of Amazon Music HD, TIDAL HiFi and Deezer HiFi.

YouTube Music is a great choice for those who already subscribe to YouTube Premium. Equally, YouTube Premium subscriptions become a lot more attractive at just $2 per month for existing Music Premium members.


Both services offer a one month free trial for new subscribers. All four options; Spotify Free, Spotify Premium, YouTube Music and YouTube Music Premium have slight differences between them. We recommend you try both Spotify and YouTube Music to find which is best for you. Don’t forget about Spotify HiFi’s imminent release.

To get your music on Spotify, YouTube Music and many other music streaming services for free, distribute through RouteNote.

How to share Apple Music with your family

Family Sharing lets you share subscriptions like Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+ and more.

How to cancel my Apple Music subscription

Apple Music buries the cancel subscription button away in the settings, making it hard to find if you don’t know where to look.

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