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Apple Music vs. Amazon Music: Which Is Better in 2024?

Apple Music vs Amazon Music

Apple Music vs. Amazon Music: Which Is Better in 2024?

Key Points:

  • When it comes down to Apple Music vs. Amazon Music, feature parity is almost identical.
  • Apple Music does not offer a free option, Amazon Music is free for Prime subscribers.
  • Apple Music’s support for immersive audio is more robust as a whole compared to Amazon’s offerings.

Apple Music vs. Amazon Music: which is the better streaming service? When it comes to listening to your favorite songs and creating playlists, users are spoiled for choice. Beyond your more typical choices like the ever-present Spotify, both can serve as a compelling alternative. Like with any other subscription service, there are certainly advantages and disadvantages to take note of.

Before you take the plunge on either subscription service, it helps to know what you’re getting into. Both of these services are fantastic, but one might have a definite edge over the other. If you’re ready to change things up and get the tunes blaring, then our head-to-head comparison will have you more than prepared.

Apple Music vs. Amazon Music: Side-by-Side Comparison

Apple MusicAmazon Music
Monthly Pricing$10.99 per month$9.99 per month, free for Prime members (limited music library with no ads)
Family Plan$16.99 per month for six accounts$16.99 per month for six accounts
Student Rate:$5.99 per month$5.99 per month
Available Library100 million songs100 million songs
Song Download Limit:100,000100,000

There is quite a bit of similarity to be seen when looking at both of the services. However, the above figure doesn’t really indicate the quality or level of service you can expect from either subscription.

Apple Music vs. Amazon Music: What’s the Difference?

Apple Music vs. Amazon Music
Both services offer mobile apps for Android and iPhone users.

With some of the finer details out of the way, let’s take a deeper dive into what makes these two services tick. As a whole, they appear quite similar at first glance. This remains true the deeper down the rabbit hole you go. But, as you’ll see throughout, some subtle divergences arise when considering either service for your needs.

Library Size

With song catalogs of well over 100 million, both options are pretty much on par. You’ll find exclusive podcasts produced for Apple Music, but the same goes for Amazon. When it comes to popular releases, the services are essentially identical. While Spotify might be the default option for most distribution deals, they’ll end up on Amazon and Apple Music.

There isn’t a real edge when it comes to content availability. You’d be well-served with either option. One thing to note is that Amazon Music is stuck on shuffle mode unless you take the plunge and purchase the Amazon Music Unlimited subscription. Just from an overall playback perspective, this gives Apple Music the edge.

Sound Quality

A streaming service for music isn’t much good if the quality isn’t there. Both of the basic options for Amazon and Apple Music use 44.1kHz 16-bit audio. This is on par with CD quality, giving the full resolution of a lossless recording. If that isn’t enough both also offer up 48kHz 24-bit audio, an option that both services tout as high-resolution.

Now, if you’ve read any of my previous work here, you’ll know that I moonlight in audio production. I will safely say that both high-resolution alternatives sound fantastic. I don’t pick up any of the audio artifacts or other issues that can be present with recordings at a lower bit depth. It’ll come down to figuring out which option works better for you in terms of overall content.

There are some differences when looking at immersive audio. Apple has been a huge proponent of Dolby Atmos over the last decade. As such, Apple Music has superb support for immersive audio. It comes as a standard offering for AirPods, MacBooks, and other devices out of the ecosystem.

Amazon does spatial audio as well, with Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 offered. However, this isn’t an option available for mobile earbuds. You’ll need specific speakers to make the most of immersive audio when using Amazon Music. As such, the edge has to go to Apple Music.

Apple Music vs. Amazon Music
Apple AirPods are tailor-made for Apple Music.

Pricing

This is the first big difference you’ll notice between both services. Apple Music comes in at a nominal price of $10.99 a month. The service has undergone a price hike in the last few years. When compared to the likes of Spotify Premium, this is very much in line with the entire audio industry. That $10.99 a month gets you the full feature set from the service as well.

Amazon Music comes in at $9.99 for users without a Prime subscription. It is free if you do have a Prime Subscription, but that comes with some drawbacks. You can’t play songs in any order you want and there is no unlimited skips feature. As such, you’ll have to spring for the Amazon Music Unlimited subscription to get more control over your audio.

When factoring in the cost of a Prime subscription, you’re looking at a net cost of $24.99 a month. Apple Music wins out again from a pure price perspective. You’ve got access to the full service without the need to purchase additional upgrades.

Offline Listening

You might not always have the means of listening to audio online. This makes the ability to listen offline important, especially if you’re a playlist fiend while on the road. Apple and Amazon Music alike top out with a total of 100,000 songs that you can download. How this is implemented is interesting when looking at both services, however.

Apple Music allows users with an iCloud subscription to sync music across all devices. That means you’ve got access to the same offline library on your MacBook, iPad, and other devices in the same ecosystem. Amazon Music also allows the downloads to be spread out across devices, but it doesn’t have cloud integration. This totals up to download slots being used across up to ten devices.

Smart Curation

Apple Music vs. Amazon Music
Both services offer comparable services when looking at playlist curation.

One of the big benefits of any music streaming service is how it tailors your experience. Much like Spotify Premium, Apple and Amazon Music take notice of what you’re listening to regularly. As such, those listening habits will be tailored into custom-made playlists.

Neither service has a real edge in this department. I’ve found the selections to work quite well given the circumstances. You won’t be left without new music to listen to that aligns with your preferences. Apple Music does have a more radio-like presentation with Apple Music 1. Amazon Music’s DJ mode functions identically, however, with radio hosts providing commentary while you’re listening.

Apple Music vs. Amazon Music: Which One is Better? Which One Should You Choose?

So, which of these services is the top choice? When you’re shopping around for a streaming service, you want something fully-featured and consumer-friendly. With that in mind, I’d have to give the nod to Apple Music. The service is more affordable, immersive audio is better integrated, and the overall experience when using the app is more pleasant.

Amazon Music is a fantastic service, don’t get me wrong. The need for an additional subscription fee to get control over playback is a massive detriment to the service. For the cost of that one subscription, I could readily carry Spotify Premium and Apple Music.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Amazon Music better than Apple Music?

Not at all, feature-wise they’re quite close. However, from a cost perspective, Apple has a clear advantage.

Is it worth upgrading to Amazon Music Unlimited?

If you want to have control over the playback of your favorite songs, yes. That said, it is quite expensive for a single service.

Can I transfer my Apple Music to Amazon Music?

Yes, you can transfer playlists between services.

Is Amazon Music included with Amazon Prime?

Amazon Music Prime is included, but Amazon Music Unlimited is not. If you want ad-free music, unlimited skips, and offline listening, you’ll have to pay extra for the upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited.

What's the difference between Amazon Music and Apple Music?

Amazon and Apple Music have more in common than you would think. Apple Music is overall cheaper, provides better support for immersive audio, and comes with exclusive podcasts.

How many people can use Amazon Music?

The family plan from Amazon Music allows for up to 6 concurrent users.

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