YouTube Music vs. Spotify: Which one to choose?

Onur Demirkol
Jul 24, 2023

Music streaming apps are widely used all around the world as music is something that people "need" in their daily lives. Music can make you happy, sad, excited, etc., and that is why choosing the best music streaming service is very important. In this guide, we will take two of the most known apps and compare them. Here is YouTube Music vs. Spotify!

Users of mobile devices or PCs can listen to music online or offline using music streaming apps. Users can search, stream, and download music from a huge library of tracks from various genres, artists, and nations with these apps. Because there are so many different music streaming services. You can make many comparisons between different apps, for example, we recently compared Spotify vs. Apple Music, and the list can go on and on.

Today, we will be looking at the differences and similarities between two music streaming apps, comparing their features, audio quality, library, and pricing.

YouTube Music vs. Spotify

YouTube Music vs. Spotify: How to determine which one is better

As its name suggests, YouTube Music is a subsidiary of the massive video-sharing website YouTube. Its large collection of songs and music videos makes it a refuge for music lovers who enjoy both audio and visual content. Your musical choices can be taken into account when creating playlists, radio stations, and suggestions on YouTube Music. It offers a distinct hybrid experience that differentiates it from its competitors thanks to its ability to convert between video and audio modes smoothly.

Spotify, a pioneer in the music streaming sector, has captured the hearts of millions of people worldwide with its remarkable collection of millions of songs, podcasts, and playlists. It has become a formidable force in the sector thanks to its user-friendly interface, intuitive playlist curation, and powerful music discovery algorithms. Additionally, Spotify provides a free, ad-supported tier that enables consumers to test out its services before upgrading to the premium version.


The basic features and capabilities of Spotify and YouTube Music are fairly similar, from how you play, stop, shuffle, and skip tracks to how you can add items to your library and like items to help you organize what you're listening to.

Both services are simple to connect to speakers and other devices in your house and, when available, even provide lyrics. The play window is essentially the same; it shows album art and offers options that are quite similar in the dropdown menus, such as downloading, sharing, launching "radio" stations based on your selection, seeing the artist or album, creating playlists, and more.

YouTube Music and Spotify offer a similar set of features, including:

  • Ad-free listening
  • Offline listening
  • Custom playlists
  • Radio stations
  • Discoverability features
YouTube Music vs. Spotify
YouTube Music vs. Spotify

Audio Quality

Sound quality is better on Spotify compared to YouTube Music. Spotify's streaming quality for its free tier is 160 kbps, compared to YouTube Music's limit of 128 kbps (if using the online player).

As you move up to the premium tiers of both services, you receive 256kbps when listening to Spotify Premium on your web browser using the web player. You can choose from a range of 24 kbps to 320 kbps while using Spotify's apps. No matter where it is played, YouTube Music Premium has the same bitrate, which ranges from 48 kbps to 256 kbps at its highest.

However, these differences are considered pretty small, so even though Spotify looks like the winner here, if you are not a professional musician who is used to these kinds of bit rates and sound quality, it might not make a huge difference for you. You will still enjoy YouTube Music's audio quality. At the end of the day, though, Spotify has the better audio quality.


One of the most crucial factors to consider when purchasing a service or a product is the price. You should also compare the costs of Spotify and YouTube Music in this situation. Both applications offer monthly subscription plans and have different prices. Below you will find the YouTube Music vs. Spotify comparison in terms of pricing.

YouTube Music vs. Spotify
Credit: PayTunes


Spotify recently increased its prices. It wasn't a drastic increase, as most plans only went up a dollar, but it still bothered many people using the app for years. Considering the economic struggles of technology companies in recent years, Spotify's price raise makes sense to many.

  • Individual: $10.99/month
  • Duo: $14.99/month
  • Family: $16.99/month
  • Student: $5.99/month

YouTube Music

YouTube Music has also increased its prices recently, a couple of days before Spotify. It was expected from most of these music streaming apps to increase their prices and luckily, both companies made "slight" adjustments. Here are the current YouTube Music prices:

  • Individual: $10.99/month
  • Individual: $109.99/annual
  • Family: $16.99/month
  • Student: $5.49/month

Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Jaron said on June 27, 2011 at 11:11 am

    The easier way is to use Foobar 2000 – add files, right click – Convert – Convert to a Single File and choose desired format and options.

    1. kktkkr said on June 27, 2011 at 7:12 pm

      I personally like this method as it is the fastest way to combine files. You can also use a DSP to remove silence, which may come in handy.
      The only complaint I have is that there is no easy way to manually control the volume of each track in the output.

      Bear in mind that for encoding to MP3 in Audacity/foobar2000 you will need a compiled(?) version of LAME encoder.

    2. max said on December 8, 2016 at 11:27 pm

      There is no option to convert to a single file in the Foobar. (I selected Mp3 output).

  2. jaomadn said on June 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    If the process is to merge the multiple mp3 used mp3wrap command line package to wrap multiple mp3 files and use sound or audio converter to any format you like. or use ffmpeg and mp3wrap for full auto merge and convert using search, identify format, merge and convert script.

    1. Paul C said on February 2, 2018 at 3:51 pm

      I know this is old, but I came here today looking for a solution to stop my mp3 player playing audiobook chapters/tracks out of order and others might too! (tried all the other renaming ways etc but no luck.)

      I found a way to merge multiple files in Audacity (which is brilliant and free btw):

      file menu – import – select all files you want to merge
      select menu – select all
      track menu – align tracks end to end
      file menu – export – export as mp3

      NB: do not ‘open’ the files as it will create a new window for each. Do not ‘export’ without staggering them first otherwise it will merge the files on top of each other rather than end to end and will just sound like white noise.

      1. John, UK said on July 30, 2018 at 3:25 pm

        Thank you for this. I was looking to do exactly the same, and it works just as described. One small point, you can also “drag and click” a group of audio files into Audacity as an alternative to the “import” option. It worked with my mp3, so presumably also with other formats.

      2. Emanuel said on October 7, 2018 at 4:38 pm

        file menu – import – select all files you want to merge
        select menu – select all
        track menu – align tracks end to end
        file menu – export – export as mp3

        Worked Perfectly!

        Thank you!

      3. Nyks said on June 20, 2019 at 9:49 am

        Thanks a lot!

        > select menu – select all
        The “Select all” now is in another menu (maybe a change in Audacity):
        Edit / Select / Select all

  3. Roman ShaRP said on June 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    1) You should know that there are 2 types of wavs a) uncompressed wav b) so-called RIFF-wav. The difference between second and mp3 is only in header.

    I discovered this long time ago. The only (alas) program I know which is capable of adding/stripping RIFF header and making RIFF-wavs from mp3s is cd grabber CDEX. I still have it installed solely for RIFF job I occasionally need.

    Some audio tracks in video are RIFF-wavs, I don’t know if it makes difference for VirtualDub, but it is big difference in size between uncompressed and compressed wavs.

    2) As for me, the easiest way to split-join mp3s (and without re-encoding) is famous Mp3directcut . I made joining of 2 files of the same bitrate literally in no time. Of course, if there are different bitrates, I probably had to re-encode.

    1. jarri scheil said on November 21, 2017 at 3:46 am

      Except for the hijacking of your search engine:

      Don’t forget to Click

      You will not be able to proceed until you check a box to set as your New Tab page or default search.

  4. Roman ShaRP said on June 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Oh, I should tell where is joining in Mp3DirectCut:

    File -> Batch processing -> Check “Join to file” and enter file name.

  5. Arbie said on July 18, 2011 at 5:30 am

    Is there an easier way? Well there are certainly other ways. One way that is more “visual” and versatile is to import all the tracks and use the time shift tool (the double headed arrow) to move the files into the proper places. You can visually see the overlaps and adjust the fade out and fade in (if you are going to do that) with the envelope control or the fade out and fade in the effects dropdown. When satisfied with your efforts select “export as mp3” or “export as wave” as desired and your project will mixdown to a stereo file in your desired format.

  6. seoras said on March 23, 2016 at 11:26 am

    All much more cumbersome than Insert>Append as used in an older audio editor, the name of which escapes me.

    1. Patrick said on February 8, 2017 at 8:02 am

      Cooledit Pro, I think (now : Adobe Audition)

      I haven’t thought about about this one ;)

  7. Shabalala said on February 27, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    The above info is from Paul C incomplete and confusing. Here is a more comprehensible method for Audacity 2.1.3 as of Feb 2018:

    Merge multiple files in Audacity:

    File – Import / Audio – select all files you want to merge
    Open (you have no choice here)
    Edit / Select -> All
    Tracks / Align Tracks -> Align end to end
    File / Export Audio – set file name and select file type you want (mp3)
    Click OK to accept message that tells you that all tracks will be merged into two channels

    1. Miki said on April 5, 2018 at 4:13 pm

      @Shabalala Great idea, tanks a lot.

    2. Brian said on April 14, 2018 at 7:14 pm

      Totally. Every time i come to this page I ignore everything and come right to this comment.

    3. Bess said on September 19, 2019 at 2:42 am

      Perfect! Thank you Shabalala. Cheers, Bess

  8. Quaternion said on June 12, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    What Brian said. Thanks @Shabalala.

  9. K Gangadhara Rao said on October 19, 2018 at 5:03 am

    There is no option ‘Align End to End’ in the Older version of Audacity. What to do?

  10. PJ said on December 21, 2018 at 4:41 am

    <3 comments for this reason: THE CORRECT ANSWER – thank you @Shabalala

  11. steve gershwin said on January 7, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    Hey all, I tried align end to end and also copy/pasting track 2 onto the end of track 1. Both of these options leave a noticeable gap/click. Anybody have any ideas? I have version 2.2.1

  12. Paul TW said on October 30, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    It is simpler to do this:

    Use File > Open so that the files appear in their own windows.

    Click on one of the files and Ctrl A to select all of it then Ctrl C (to Copy)

    Switch to the other open file in its own window and place your cursor where you want to merge the file and Ctrl P (to Paste)

    All done!

  13. daveclark966 said on January 26, 2020 at 4:04 am

    Avdshare Video Converter is the top one MP3 Merger which can easily merge more than one MP3 into one entire MP3 file without any quality loss. Besides, this powerful MP3 Merger also supports to change the merged MP3 format to another one, like MP3 to WAV, AAC, WMA, AIFF, FLAC, OGG, etc.

  14. Deryacenter said on February 27, 2020 at 12:34 am

    This page exists primarily to make it easier to search for alternatives to an application that you do not know under which section has been added. Use the links in the template at the top to view the main sections as separate pages.

  15. Jerry Smit said on June 29, 2020 at 5:37 am

    Am I the only one think Audacity is a little complicated to use? I have used several merging tools to combine my MP3 and WAV files. Some online tools like Clideo are slow to upload and download files. Then I tried Joyoshare Video Joiner. It supports multiple video and audio formats. Most important of all, it is very easy to use. Just several clicks! Then it finishes the merging. You can relax that Joyoshare can merge audios with zero quality loss.

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