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How Does Apple Music Stack Up Against Spotify, Qobuz or Tidal?

Most big names in the online music-streaming industry — including Spotify, Qobuz and Tidal — focus on pleasing the majority with multi-tiered types of music-quality plans. Apple Inc., however, has always developed innovation by going against the flow of the status quo. Hence, they created their own version of an online music-streaming service called “Apple Music” that focuses on quality and usability, traits always emphasized by Apple’s late visionary Steve Jobs. 

The goal of Apple Music isn’t just to provide more variety of music to its audience; Apple Music provides songs that sound as good as if you were actually sitting in the front row of your favorite musician’s live performance. Audiophiles crave this kind of high-fidelity experience from cutting-edge music artists, and Apple Music gives it to them in superb quality for all its music. Apple Intelligence blogger Zac Hall noted that Apple Music’s “256 kbps AAC playback is a higher quality than the 320 kbps MP3 format that services like Spotify use. Apple’s solution is also a smaller file size than its competitors.”.

This means music files load faster and sound better, especially on mobile devices.

Apple Music’s extra bonuses include a reasonable subscription price that includes family packages for up to six members, and Apple Music integrates with the iPhone’s Siri feature. Apple Music is essentially a combination of iTunes, a musically centered social-media channel and a 24/7 radio channel with DJs from London, New York and Los Angeles all in one place. Plus, Apple Music will launch on the Android platform too before the end of 2015.

As of June 2015, Tidal charges a higher premium fee if members want lossless-quality music, which often takes much longer to load. While the Qobuz music-streaming service is generally cheaper, they also charge much more for hi-fi music. Both Tidal and Qobuz also generally offer less tracks than Apple Music and Spotify. 

Spotify caters primarily to the free user who doesn’t crave high-quality sound since it’s most popular for its “freemium” service that allows free-music streaming as long as one listens to advertisements along the way. Famous music artists like Taylor Swift have protested Spotify’s service because it has the potential to greatly devalue the entire music industry.