You know the feeling. You're jamming along to some music and suddenly, a commercial starts playing. We listen to music all day in the office and we wondered, which one is better: Spotify or YouTube? We used our list of positive songs and put them on both. Here's how we compared them:
Commercials. Our least favorite part of anything we use. We understand programs have to make money, but it didn't used to be so bad.
YouTube: YouTube lets you skip certain ads, which is nice if you're able to stop what you're doing to skip it. We give YouTube a point for that and for the fact it's not YouTube doing the advertising. Users who create channels choose what kind of ads appear and how often. YouTube ads are not very targeted. Playlists for children can have scary, even terrifying ads, especially toward Halloween.
Spotify: Spotify has fewer ads by far. While YouTube can have an ad before every single song, Spotify let us play a few songs before we heard an add. On average, it seems to be every three or four songs, and half of those echo our own feelings. "You could be listening to music instead of this ad. Switch to our ad-free option." Very tempting. Spotify has safer ads, but they can contain language, even if the ad is done by Spotify itself.
Options. Here, the two are very different, except the ad-free version is priced the same.
YouTube: YouTube has a kid-friendly version. My children have been able to watch with the app, and I mostly don't have to worry about what they click on. Notice the clarifying word? While most of the content is child-friendly, there have been a few times where I've had to stop them and report an inappropriate video.
Spotify: As you may notice on our main blog page, we were able to do something with Spotify that we can't with YouTube: put a player directly into our site. Well, it looks that way... unless we're doing something wrong, it seems you can't have it play just in the browser. It always opens the app, which makes us wonder why have a player. Spotify has a few other features we like. First, Spotify can open when you turn on your computer. Since we always have music going, this is definitely an option we use. Second, you're able to search for new songs without the current one stopping and without needing to open a new tab. Third, when you're playing a playlist, the songs recommended are related to the playlist, and not a list of songs you've listened to before, as commonly seen with YouTube. It's given us some ideas for another positive songs blog.
Account Creation. How easy is it to make a personal and professional account?
YouTube: Now that Google owns YouTube, if you have a gmail account, you already have a YouTube account. This is forced automatically, so if you had a YouTube account prior, you now have a new one. It will log you into the new one as default, so you will have to frequently switch accounts if you want to go back to your old account. Professionally, it's difficult to do what you want. YouTube has a lot in place such as subscriber minimums and view count minimums before you can use certain features. There are other, video-related issues, but we're focusing on music for this post. On the positive side, you can switch between accounts easily.
Spotify: Created. Personalized. Done. The downside is it has the opposite issue as before; when you want to edit something, it opens in a web browser instead of being able to edit it directly in the app. Also, it doesn't let you switch between accounts.
Searches. Both let you search and sort by song or playlist. The difference is in the next section.
YouTube: Although owned by Google, their search feature isn't great. If you can't recall who sings a song, you can be scrolling through a lot of the same song. If you remember some of the lyrics, though, it can come up that way.
Spotify: Allows sorting by song name, artist name, and album. If you remember "That one song by that one person" Spotify can help you find it.
Dependability. A big difference.
YouTube: When it comes to YouTube, anyone can upload anything. It was originally intended for that purpose, so anyone could make something and be big (We remember you, Judson Laipply.) Unfortunately, bad apples spoil the barrel. A lot of illegal and highly offensive content is now on there. In addition, if you work hard for what you do, someone can take it and post it as their own and make money off of it. YouTube will let you contest it, but this also lets other people contest your content. Some YouTubers have quit because of these issues.
Spotify: Unless it is legitimate, it won't be on Spotify. On the positive side, you'll never come across something you shouldn't. On the down side, you can't upload anything you've created on your own. You have to go through the proper channels, and it requires avenues such as having a label.
User appreciation and engagement. We can't even talk about Spotify here. Spotify is a streaming service, so they don't offer any kind of personalization or engagement.
YouTube: Does anyone else look forward to YouTube Rewind each year (Ah, some of our favorite YouTubers were there this year!), or look to see if the button/icon has change? Have you typed Do the Harlem Shake in the search box? (Aw, it doesn't seem to do it anymore) We do love the effort YouTube puts into the experience, but they sometimes take sides on political issues.
What are your thoughts? We'd love to hear them!