When it comes to music streaming services on the Google Play Store and App Store, there’s definitely no shortage. There are apps like iHeart Radio, Rdio, Beats Music and SoundCloud that give you new ways of discovering music while on the go. We’ve decided to compare two of the most popular music streaming apps, Spotify and Pandora, to see which will give you the best music listening experience.
1. Spotify vs. Pandora: Subscription Price
If you’re new to Spotify, you can listen to music on your smartphone, tablet and computer.
While Spotify is free, the non-Premium version only allows you to listen to albums in Shuffle mode. You also have the option to upgrade and try Spotify Premium free for 30 days. Spotify Premium offers a way for you to listen to any song with no ads. After your free month ends, you will automatically be charged $9.99 a month. If you no longer wish to pay for Spotify Premium, you can cancel at anytime.
Pandora is another great way to listen to radio stations and discover new music for free from your smartphone, tablet, or e-reader. Just like Spotify, Pandora offers an ad-free subscription service, Pandora One, for listeners who want to listen to their favorite songs without advertisements. Pandora One subscriptions cost $4.99 a month. Depending on where you live, taxes may also be applied.
2. Spotify vs. Pandora: User Interface
Back in April, Spotify launched a new darker theme with new fonts and icons that make the music streaming service look beautiful across all platforms. Spotify’s redesign was focused on content and making it easier to discover new music.
While Pandora hasn’t received an major makeovers recently, the company updated its IOS app with a new design for IOS 7 in December 2013. The update also featured an alarm clock that lets you wake up to your favorite Pandora music. After your alarm goes off, music will start playing with album art scrolling in the background. Just like any other alarm, you can snooze, and keep listening to your favorite music.
3. Spotify vs. Pandora: Features
On Spotify, you can listen to artists, albums and create any playlist that suits your mood. Listeners can create playlists from genres and moods like party, loves football, mood, pop, workout, focus, rock, country, urban, dinner, sleep, chill. romance, groove, travel etc. The music streaming app also offers various radio stations ranging from different genres like alternative, emo, pop, punk, hardcpre, rock and more. Spotify is a great place to discover new music. Simply go to the Discover page and Spotify will offer suggestions based on what you’re currently listening to. You can even see what music your favorite celebrities are listening to. Share your favorite artists with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.
For listeners who don’t want to go through the effort of creating playlists and searching for songs, Pandora might be the right service for you. Unlike Spotify, Pandora offers a pure ‘radio’ experience that selects the songs you listen to based on your listening preferences. With Pandora, you can receive push notifications and see when your favorite artists release new music on their stations, wake up to your favorite Pandora Station with the alarm clock feature, and post your Pandora active on Facebook. You can share stations, tracks, artists albums and the stations you enjoy listening to on your Facebook timeline. Rate your favorite songs, find lyrics to songs, and use the sleep timer to hear music before you go to bed at night.
4. Spotify vs. Pandora: Music Library
With Pandora, you can easily select your city and listen to local radio stations. You can even choose to browse by talk radio, music and entertainment. Listeners can discover new artists by listening to stations by category including alternative, classical, hip hop, oldies, rock, soft rock, mix and variety, etc. Pandora also makes it easy to search for your favorite artist, song and you can customize your own station.
With Spotify, you can browse through top lists, new releases and discover new music in the discover tab. Listeners can find their favorite music by searching for songs, artists and albums. If you want to listen to the radio you can by going to the menu, clicking on radio and browse by genre stations which include alternative, classical, emo, pop, pop punk, punk, hardcore, jazz, rock and a whole lot more.
Both services provide a very robust and up-to-date music library. Whiles some artists such as AC/DC, The Beatles, and The Black Keys are not available on Spotify, they are available on their respective Pandora stations.
5. Spotify vs. Pandora: Mobile Apps
Spotify currently is supported on multiple devices. You can download Spotify on Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android, WinPhone, Google Chromecast and other platforms. One killer feature of Spotify Premium is the ability to listen to songs offline. Premium users are able to download music to listen to on the Spotify app, making it convenient to listen to your favorite songs on a plane, in the subway, or other places where data or wifi is not available. Listeners who don’t want to pay for the Premium service still are able to browse artists and create playlists, but they will have to settle with listening to everything in Shuffle mode.
Pandora currently is supported on multiple devices as well. You can download Spotify on Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android, Pebble Smartwatch and other platforms. The mobile app has all of the features found on the browser experience including song lyrics, biographies, and artist exploration.
Overall, Spotify is one of the best music streaming services available for iOS and Android devices. Spotify consistently updates and refreshes its look based on its users demands. Spotify’s interface is user friendly and sports a beautiful black theme. It’s easy to navigate through Spotify’s large music library and discover new artists all while on the go. While Pandora offers a great radio experience for listeners who don’t want to put too much effort into selecting music, Spotify offers a similar radio feature as well. Pandora appears to have a better song selection algorithm than Spotify’s radio selection, however with the amount of features Spotify offers for the monthly cost, it may provide you with a lot more value.