The Debate: iTunes vs. Spotify

Let’s face it: we all love music. Whether it be in the car, sitting at work or while you’re working out, music can affect your mood or your performance.

Up until last year, iTunes didn’t have much competition in the music-listening and download world. Then Spotify became available in the U.S.

So, what does Spotify have that iTunes doesn’t?

Searching & Discovering Music:

  • Spotify – Allows you to search for music in a variety of ways: by browsing through your friends spotify-whatsnewplaylists, searching through the “What’s New” page and through the available apps. I’ll get to the apps later. Because you can let Spotify choose music for you, you can discover more than you ever thought possible.
  • iTunes – Allows you to search for songs based on their title, album name or artist. If you don’t already own the song, you can listen to a preview of it before deciding to purchase.

Listening to Music:

  • itunes7Spotify – Allows you to listen to full-versions of songs that you don’t own – for free. Of course, you can always listen to your library, too. In addition, you can listen to playlists that you’ve created, that your friends have created or that other users have made public. 
  • iTunes – Allows you to listen to music that you own. If you’ve listened to a preview that you like within the iTunes store, you have the option of purchasing it.

Music on Mobile:

  • Spotify – with a Spotify premium account, you can listen to all of the music you can imagine from anywhere. Without a premium account full-access to music is only granted via computer.
  • iTunes – Users can import their personal music collections to their iDevices to listen on-the-go.

Use of Apps:

  • Spotify – offers a wide selection of apps to help discover music, play the perfect party playlist, meet new friends with similar tastes and discover underground music that should be way more popular than it is. 
  • iTunes – Offers apps such as iTunes U to add non-music content to your library which can be viewed on your iDevices.

In addition, Spotify can import your personal library to your iPhone, iPod, whatever you own.


A friend of mine recently used the Spotify Premium free trial:


Of course, when the free trial is over he will no longer be able to download playlists for offline listening unless he subscribes to the account.

Most agree that Spotify is great for music discovery — but some think that iTunes still has more benefits.


Especially if you own Apple mobile products, you may be more inclined to stick with mostly using iTunes. But, in the words of Jake Williams:


He’s right. Each program has its pros and cons. Decide which you prefer.


2 thoughts on “The Debate: iTunes vs. Spotify

  1. xtex says:

    iTunes revolutionized the marketplace NOW Spotify revolutionzies music consumption. For those of us that spend 10+ hours a day in front of our computer, listening to Spotify’s immense library for FREE is unbeatable. Now you can take you playlist offline {for FREE} with your Android phone, holy shnikey’s! So I guess the only reason to pay for the stream is to have it offline for your Apple device. Spotify may not kill the competition but it certainly has the momentum and potential to change the game. Not only for iTunes {Apple} but the entire music entertainment & delivery industry. The answer is exclusive content [music, art, interviews, liner notes, video, fan club benefits, discount concert tickets, the kitchen sink] for iTunes {Amazon, Google, Record Companies, etc.} to offer a deeper level of engagement that’ll convert the casual listener to a dedicated fan.

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