I have been obsessed with music for as long as I can remember. I joined the school choir in third grade – the first year you were allowed to join – and I stuck with it through my senior year of high school. I participated in honors choir in middle school – aka my 12-year-old self got out of bed an hour earlier than normal 2x a month to sing in the audition-only group that met before school.
My first concert was in the 7th grade when myself and 4 of my closest friends traveled to Peoria, IL (with an adult, of course) to see the Jonas Brothers. Fast forward to 2018 and I’ve seen over 400 live performances (trying to hit 100 this year – I saw 93 last year). It’s the one thing I am most passionate about and because of that – utilizing tools that help me fuel that passion are super important to me, like music blogs and websites, but most importantly, Spotify.
Spotify launched on Oct. 7, 2008 – just about ten years ago. I started using it in its early stages, when I had to sit through ads and could only hear songs on shuffle. I started high school in 2009 and graduated in 2013 – which means I was using Spotify daily in its early stages. I have vivid memories of coming home from school on days I didn’t have to go to soccer practice and opening up Spotify to listen to music while I did my homework. I started using the paid subscription whenever it came out – I want to say it was also in high school or during my early days of college.
iTunes was frustrating to me back then because I didn’t want to pay $1.29 for one song if I didn’t even know I liked it, let alone $9.99 for an entire album. Granted, things are different now since the launch of Apple Music.
So why do I use Spotify over Apple Music? For a few reasons. I will start with the basics.
Spotify did it first.
Spotify changed the game with their streaming platform – and while I definitely think they can change their methods that would allow artists to get paid more for their music, this is unfortunately how the music industry works. In 2017, musicians only made 12% of the industry’s $43 BILLION revenue. If you’re interested in seeing a breakdown of these stats, click the link above.
This is also why I like going to live shows – I know that musicians make the majority of their revenue from touring. Regardless of its flaws, Spotify was the first real player to bring a streaming platform to the masses, and it’s definitely a tool that helped me get way more interested in music when I was younger.
I’m a playlist dork – I have over 50 sitting in my Spotify account (that are private) and Spotify definitely makes it easier for me to curate playlists, not to mention the fact that they allow you to make collaborative playlists with your friends. That’s probably my favorite feature on Spotify. With the New Music Friday playlist, I can look forward to Spotify giving me the most buzzed about music released every week – and with the special Release Radar playlist, it’s even more curated to the user’s specific genre preference. Many times an artist I like who is smaller and may not have the necessary ammo to get them on the NMF playlist ends up on my Release Radar playlist, which is awesome. Here’s when I should mention Apple Music – I know that they have curated playlists for new music but whether or not it’s updated as religiously, I’m not sure. Someone fill me in here.
Did I mention I love the playlists? I love that there are people who work for Spotify who solely create playlists based on different things – need to workout but only want to listen to rock music? There’s a playlist for that. A coffeeshop playlist? Also exists. A 2000s playlist with all of your favorite middle school jams? Absolutely! Basically any sort of playlist you can think of exists on Spotify and they are all very user friendly.
I haven’t been utilizing this as much recently because on Mondays I tend to listen to a ridiculous amount of podcasts, but I absolutely love the Discover Weekly playlists. Whoever’s job it is to curate my DW playlists with music that they will think I like based on what I listen to – you’re doing great. This is an amazing way for me to find new music and it’s VERY rare that it’s a song or artist I have heard of / listened to before. If you’re ever feeling uninspired with your music, head to the Discover Weekly Playlist.
I love when I see my favorite artists on the Spotify homepage featuring singles they recorded live in the Spotify Studios – usually the artists does one of their own songs then does a cover. Launched in December of 2016, Spotify started having artists record in-studio in New York City and have featured artists like Harry Styles, Florence & The Machine and many more. It’s updated every Wednesday.
Some of my favorites are Wolf Alices’ “Don’t Delete The Kisses” live version and Rostam’s cover of the Christmas song “Fairytale of New York.” Taylor Swift’s version of “Delicate” in-studio is pretty rad, too.
Spotify’s “Year In Review”
Not only can you see your Top 100 Songs of the year at the end of every calendar year, you can see your most streamed artists, songs, albums, etc.
Here are my Top 20 songs of 2017. Not surprising, but I’m super amped to see what it is this year.
- Green Light – Lorde
- Don’t Take The Money – Bleachers
- Crying On The Bathroom Floor – Muna
- Look What You Made Me Do – Taylor Swift
- Hard Feelings/Loveless – Lorde
- Radio – Sylvan Esso
- Everybody Lost Somebody – Bleachers
- Sleep Deprived – Léon
- HUMBLE. – Kendrick Lamar
- …Ready For It? – Taylor Swift
- Stay – Zedd, Alessia Cara
- Bad Behavior – The Maine
- Dark Days – Local Natives
- Sober – Lorde
- Around U – Muna
- On + Off – Maggie Rogers
- Let’s Go – Khalid
- Want You Back – HAIM
- Perfect Places – Lorde
- For You – Léon
You can also see data like this during the year like the genres you listen to the most, the times of day when you listen the most, etc. It’s super interesting, easy to follow and of course, aesthetically pleasing. For a music nerd like me, this is crucial and I couldn’t imagine paying for a service that doesn’t let me explore my own music habits.
Go to spotify.me for your own data. I just did this today.
This is a big reason: An executive of Apple Music once said that women need help finding new music because all they do is sit around and talk about boys (YEAH, I’m serious).
“I just thought of a problem: Girls are sitting around talking about boys. Or complaining about boys, when they have their heart broken or whatever”
Once I heard that Jimmy Iovine said this in an interview, I seriously told myself that I would NEVER use Apple Music again. I’m already succumbing to the brand with my iPhone, Apple Podcasts, and MacBook Air (I know most podcasts are on Spotify but it’s easier for me to separate my music and my podcasts) – but this is just one that I could not get over. Jimmy’s comment was almost three years ago and he did in fact apologize for it (of course he did!), but it seriously infuriated me. The music industry is already extremely unbalanced in terms of the musicians, executives, and especially music journalists. Someone so high up in the industry should not be running their mouths about women and their inability to find music (can someone find me evidence to support his claims on this?) and it just made me so upset that someone can just throw out a statement like that and think it’s okay to say.
I know a TON of women in my life who love music and like to find their own new favorite artists – so many women who are photographers in the industry, publicists, you name it. It’s hard enough for us to make names for ourselves in a male-dominated industry and believe it or not, some of us are actually really good at finding music that we love. And we don’t need Apple Music to do it!
Have I made a compelling of enough argument to share why Spotify is better than Apple Music? Gonna switch over to the dark side? Let me know.
Follow me on Spotify here.