No-one buys physical music anymore; gone are the days of queuing up outside HMV to get your hands on that freshly released CD. Thankfully, music streaming services have completely changed the way we consume music, and they've changed it for the better. For access to millions of songs on demand, for the price of a single CD each month, there's no wonder it's where the future of music is heading.
Spotify launched back in 2008; it was the first time that you could stream music as opposed to downloading it on this scale. With Spotify, you have access to (almost) any song or artist that your ears desire - including that obscure band you went to see in the back room of a pub last week. Spotify offers both free and paid for subscriptions (although most of the sought-after features are only available on the paid plan) and with 40 million paid subscribers and a further 55 million free subscribers, it is truly the market leader.
For seven years, Spotify ruled the roost. In 2015, however, our favourite tech brand wanted in on the action; Apple Music was born. Since its launch, Apple Music has gained 16 million paid subscribers. There's no free subscription available, just a three-month free trial for all users. You might think that this would mean that Spotify has the edge, but Apple Music has soared in its first year, proving to be a true competitor.
With two top-notch music streaming services out there, how do you go about working out which one to go for?
How to Pay
You can pay for Spotify via credit or debit card with an online gift card, or add the payment to your monthly phone bill. Apple Music links to your iTunes account so you can pay the same way you do for apps: via credit, debit card, monthly phone bill, online gift cards, or store credit.
Both services offer a wide range of payment options, and if you fancy saving a bit of money, you can actually get your hands on discounted online gift cards for both Spotify and Apple Music. Who doesn't love a bargain?
Despite boasting over 30 million tracks, the major albums not available on Spotify are Taylor Swift's 1989, Kanye West's Life of Pablo, Adele's 25, Jay Z's The Blueprint, and even Prince's Purple Rain.
Don't expect to get Apple Music and be able to listen to The Beatles or Prince anytime soon (where can we actually listen to Prince?!). Apple Music does take the lead here though, as most of the music not available isn't on Spotify either.
On The Go Listening
We're always on the go and the last thing we want is to drain our precious data. Both Spotify and Apple Music have mobile apps that allow you to download playlists to listen to offline.
Both services do technically allow you to integrate your own library. Although Spotify's process is a tedious desktop based one whereas Apple Music should integrate with your iTunes library automatically. There are still a couple of known bugs with the integration, but it looks like Apple are in the process of ironing out the creases.
There are pros and cons for each of the services. Spotify is still the market leader with the number of subscribers and the number of tracks available, but Apple Music is creeping its way up the ladder, getting the big artists on board and pushing the boundaries of online streaming.