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YouTube Music vs Spotify: Which Music Streaming App Worth the Buck

Here’s a detailed comparison of Spotify and YouTube Music streaming apps now available in India.

Updated
Tech Reviews
5 min read
Both these music streaming apps have launched in India this year.
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All of a sudden Indian mobile users are flooded with plenty of music streaming apps. We were just confined to Gaana, JioSaavn and Amazon Prime Music a few months back, and now you can also consider Spotify and YouTube Music as well.

We’ve looked closely at most music apps in the market, so it would be fair to compare what the latest music platforms in the country have to offer.

While Spotify recently claimed to have garnered over 1 million users in the country, YouTube is by far the largest streaming platform, with over 1 billion users logged in across the globe. And YouTube Music would have a similar impact in India.

So, what do these new music streaming apps offer, how much do they cost you monthly and what local features are they giving you right now? Here’s everything you need to know.

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Features Comparison

Both the apps are available on mobile and desktop, no surprises there. Spotify has definitely gone spunky with its design, tailored over a green and black design code. The text on the titles/albums is easily readable and there’s an appealing look to the album covers across the app.

This is an app which knows its way around users, who’ve appreciated it over the years and the Indian version isn’t very different from what the global users get. In terms of features, you can stream music at up to 320 kbps, and the company has claimed it is ready to face network issues in the country.

Spotify lets you seamlessly switch between mobile or desktop. It still doesn’t work on smart speakers like Amazon Echo or Google Home, but hopefully the plugins will make their way in soon. Having said that, it lets you stream music privately, which won’t be shared with the public. There’s also car view, that connects with your car’s Bluetooth system to play music, where you left off.

Spotify mobile app interface.
Spotify mobile app interface.
(Photo: Spotify screen grab)

You can say the same things for YouTube Music as well. In-sync with the global version, YT feels like an app already in dark mode. The music catalogue as well as the video content are offered with reasonable space between the covers. It’s neat, clean and simple. Something that YouTube has epitomised over the years.

Black coloured interface of YouTube Music.
Black coloured interface of YouTube Music.
(Photo: YouTube Music screen grab)

Talking about features, YouTube Music has a smart toggle switch, which lets users listen to music in audio or video format.

This way, you’ll be able to save data bandwidth, or play music while stuck in a bad network area.
The audio/video toggle switch is useful option.
The audio/video toggle switch is useful option.
(Photo: YouTube Music screen grab)

Pretty neat I’d say. It’s something that was easy for YouTube to offer as you get both video and music content on the Music app. However, you need to know that without paying for the service, you can’t play music in the background, you’ll have to keep the app open.

How’s the Content?

Fair to say that it’s still early days with both these streaming platforms. But we’ve been using them for couple of weeks now and mostly found ourselves switching between both of them.

Spotify, at least for me, has been about discovering new music. You get showered with new music and podcasts depending on genre and even where you’re located. However, Spotify’s ongoing tussle with Warner Music means a lot of content is missing from the platform.

For India, Spotify has created city-centric playlists that includes music from all corners of the country. This is updated on a weekly basis.
Desktop version of Spotify.
Desktop version of Spotify.
(Photo: Spotify web screen grab)

YouTube Music is a behemoth when it comes to packing in content. As we’ve mentioned before, it caters to music as well as videos. Being a Google product ensures that YouTube Music delivers near perfect recommendations through its mix tape playlist.

It even lists out your music history and most of the machine learning technology is entrusted on giving you the best music options.

This is how YouTube Music looks on the web.
This is how YouTube Music looks on the web.
(Photo: YouTube Music screen grab)

YouTube Music also does a better job with local content. It lets you play audio filed on the phone and browse through music from varied languages, something that Spotify is yet to offer.

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How Much Do I Pay?

Now let’s look at how much these streaming apps are charging in the country. YouTube Music caters to a basic plan for Rs 99 per month. We did come across a family sharing plan (for up to 6 people) for Rs 149, but that isn’t available yet.

Also, once you’ve got the music app (you need to download it separately), YT Music can be used on trial for one month only.

Prices of Spotify and YouTube Music in India.
Prices of Spotify and YouTube Music in India.
(Photo: Spotify and YouTube Music screen grab)

With Spotify, you get plenty of ways to try the app. This one is also available on free trial of three months, but that only works with the premium plan which costs Rs 119. You can also sign up for days, weeks, months or a year and there’s a student plan which costs 50 percent less than the regular plan. There’s no sign of family-sharing plan yet for Spotify as well.

So, there you have it, both apps detailed, prices given and features listed. Take a call on which one suits your needs and lifestyle.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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