It’s proven, Spotify has the best playlists! But are they the best music service? Find out.

The race between the music streaming giants continues with Apple Music recently announcing they have about a third of Spotify’s 20 million paying customers. As the chase of Spotify continues, we’ve taken a quantitative look to find out which music service is the best right now.

Keep reading to find out who has the best music recommendations, radio feature and much more! At the bottom of the post you can also download an infographic summarising all the results.

We invited 300 of our US based testers to compare Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and Pandora. 4_runners

Our testers come from all walks of life. Here’s the breakdown of the testers that participated here.1_demographics

The testers evaluated the music services across 12 categories that were divided into 3 rounds and the winner was the one who won the most rounds. The first round looks at everything relating to the music, the second round the information beyond the music and the third round the practical elements of using the service.2_rounds3_start_round_one_The_music

Music Recommendations
There has been a lot of talk about the music recommendations within the services. For example, Apple Music has talked about their recommendations being handpicked by teams of experts and they certainly back that up with a 90% positive score, dominating both Spotify and Tidal.5_music_recommendation

Music Catalog
It goes without saying it’s important for a music service to have a sizeable music catalog and Spotify takes home this category. However it’s interesting to note, despite having about 20 times less music, our testers prefer Pandora’s music catalog to Tidal’s.6_music_catalog

Playlists
Spotify provides weekly playlists that are tailor-made to your taste. It seems to work as they win this category with an 88% positive score.7_playlist

Radio Features
It comes as no surprise that Pandora, which is basically one big radio feature, takes home this category. All the other streaming services got comments along the lines of “it tends to repeat often”, from our testers.

Winner of The Music Round, with 2/4 categories won – Spotify9_winner_round_one10_round2_theextras

Artist Info
Apple Music has said their artist info is “so much more than just a biography”. Despite this they fall behind Spotify.11_artist_info

Behind the Scenes (making of videos, interviews etc)
Despite promoting this feature on their website, Tidal falls desperately short of Apple Music and a whopping 25% even thought it was bad. 12_behind_the_scenes

Connection with Artists
“Artists. Fans. Zero interference”, you can read on Apple Music’s website. We’re not sure if that’s true, but they’re certainly outdoing the others when it comes to connecting the users and the artists.13_connection_with_artist

Winner of The Extras Round, with 2/3 categories won – Apple Music14_winner_round_two15_round_three_usabillity

Stability (did the app crash)
Surprisingly, the most senior app of them all, Spotify, crashed the most. You’d think they would’ve had time to sort out such issues. Pandora crashed the least.16_stability

Appearance
I guess it isn’t surprising that a company used to designing a variety of successful products win this category – Apple Music.17 appearance

Navigation
Tidal has the best navigation. It’s quite impressive considering most people are probably more used to others’ interfaces.18_navigation

Sharing with Social Media
In a fairly even contest Apple Music takes home these points.19_social_media

Premium Sound Quality
Tidal has been promoting a premium sound quality, however it doesn’t stand out here. Spotify falls behind all the others. We also asked if they would be willing to pay extra for premium sound quality. Only 8% was.20_sound_quality

Winner of The Usability Round, with 3/5 categories won – Apple Music21_winner_round_three

And this means we have a winner. By winning 2/3 rounds we can announce that Apple Music is the best music streaming service right now! It’s impressive to see Apple take home the trophy, considering they’ve only recently moved in to Spotify’s neighbourhood. Although it should be said, our test shows Spotify still has a slight edge in the music department, which after all is vital. 23_championCLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE INFOGRAPHIC