Apple Music vs Amazon Prime Music comparison

Apple Music has been flying since it launched, and Apple claims that it has more than 35 million subscribers. Amazon Prime Music hasn't had quite the same impact, and had a relatively low-key launch, but for anyone thinking about getting an Amazon Prime account it comes bundled in.

Price

You can try Apple Music free for the first three months, after which it will cost you £9.99 per month to subscribe. That's a pretty standard price for music streaming services in the UK, and if you use it often enough can be a really good way to save money on buying albums and singles from iTunes, and also save space on your iPhone as the songs are stored in the cloud unless you download them to listen to offline.

There are also student and family options with the latter enabling access for up to six people. They are priced at £4.99 and £14.99 respectively. 

Amazon Prime Music is only really worth subscribing to if you're interested in Amazon's Netflix rival Prime Instant Video, as well as its next day delivery service and its kindle bookstore bonuses, as you'll get all of those things rolled into one for £79 per year or £7.99 per month.

It's worth signing up to the free trial of Amazon Prime if you haven't done so already, as it means you'll be able to try all of the aforementioned features for one month to see whether you think it's worth the £79.

Otherwise, the Amazon Music price for non-Prime members is £9.99pm matching Apple. There's also a family option for £14.99 which matches with access for up to six people. There's no student plan but if you have an Echo or Echo Dot smart speaker you can sign up for £3.99pm via the device.

Catalogue

Of course, one of the most important selling points for a music streaming service is the selection of songs. There's no doubt that Apple Music wins here, and by a long shot too. Apple Music offers a whopping 45 million songs.

Amazon Prime Music has a slightly smaller selection of music, but you're unlikely to run out any time soon with a catalogue of over 40 million songs.

Top 12 Apple Music tips

Compatibility

Both of these music streaming services work on Apple devices, both mobile and desktop. They have their own dedicated apps for iPhone and iPad, while Apple Music can be found in iTunes when using a Mac but you'll have to use the web player for Amazon.

Amazon Prime Music also works on Android and plenty of Alexa smart speakers, Fire TV, Fire tablets and other devices. Check out the full list here.

It's rare to find an Apple app on rival smartphones but you can get Apple Music on Android. Be warned though, we've found it buggy in the past and it won't get updates as quickly as the iOS version for new designs and features.

Music discovery

When it comes to discovering new music, both Apple Music and Amazon Prime Music do offer recommendations, though we much prefer Apple's method.

Apple Music has a section called 'For You', which offers up playlists, individual tracks and artists, and timely content for you to enjoy. It does take a bit of time for Apple Music to get to know you, but you can tell it what you like and dislike so it will eventually start recommending songs that will almost always be of interest to you.

Amazon Prime Music uses your previous purchases and anything you've marked as 'I own it' to determine what recommendations it shows you. It also looks at what you add to your library, but during our time using the service so far it has recommended largely the same tracks and we can't find a way to tell it what we really like and dislike.

Amazon does offer a decent playlist section, though, with moods and genres to choose from including 'Best of Prime Music,' '50 great 80s classics,' 'Morning cup of coffee' and more.

Similarly, Apple has a playlists section that also includes moods and genres, and each playlist has been curated by experts in that field or genre, according to the company.

Design

Apple Music is by far nicer to look at, although we do think it has a bit too much going on in some sections, making it look cluttered. However, it's a huge improvement over the Amazon Music app, which we think is a bit dark and gloomy.

If you're struggling to get used to Apple Music, try our How to use Apple Music complete guide.

Extra features

There is no radio feature available for Amazon Prime Music - there are stations but it's not the same - so we'd consider that a big downfall in comparison to Apple Music's brilliant radio feature. Apple offers Beats 1 Radio, which is a live, unskippable radio station that plays globally 24 hours per day, and there's also lots of additional channels to choose from that play an infinite amount of songs with as many skips as you like based on a particular genre or mood.

Both Amazon and Apple have additional motives with their streaming service, as they both aim to encourage you to purchase digital music via their respective shops. However, they also both offer offline listening, which means you'll be able to download songs to listen to when you're not connected to the internet, and those songs will be available offline for as long as you're a subscriber to the streaming service.

Apple Music offers a social element that Amazon Prime Music lacks, which is called Connect. It's not as social as Spotify's offerings that connect you to Facebook within the app to tell you what your friends are listening to, but it does give you inside access to posts made by the artists themselves, and you'll be able to like and comment on those posts.

Read next: Apple Music vs Google Play & Apple Music vs Spotify

OUR VERDICT

Amazon Prime Music can't beat Apple Music when it comes to the user interface, catalogue, recommendation engine or radio features, but it manages to be just about good enough to add an extra appeal to the £79 per year Amazon Prime, which is rapidly becoming very good value. You might find that Amazon's service is enough but Apple Music is better for serious music lovers who want to listen to whatever they fancy, whenever they fancy, and discover new tracks along the way.

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