iTunes Match vs Spotify

As you may remember from this year's WWDC conference, Apple is releasing iTunes Match, part of iCloud which is designed to look up the music you have in your iTunes Library, and then allow you to listen to that music from any of your apple devices, including iPhone, iPod touch, and iPads. 

While at first this seems like a really cool idea, what you don't realize is that there's already a much better service out there called Spotify, which costs more (roughly $60/year vs $25/year), but allows you to listen to any song from any of your devices. This includes iOS devices as well as PCs and MACs. 

Spotify does also offer a free version of their service which simply adds in audio advertisements (similar to Pandora), but the free version doesn't allow you to stream to your mobile devices, or download songs for playing offline later. Still, if you're looking for that one-off song that you just can't get out of your head, or looking for similar songs that you don't already own, Spotify fits the ticket.

So, if Apple is to compete, they'd need to lift this restriction and allow you to listen to any song even if you don't own a copy of it, from any device, and allow you to listen to them offline as well. If they added that (and kept the lower price), surely it would easily beat off Spotify. The iTunes interface is way more refined then Spotify's, but you can't beat being able to listen to any song ever produced (and no, I have not found a single song that isn't on their system). 

Sorry Apple, looks like you fell just short of the mark this time.

Comments

Jordan Sissel said…
I've used Rhapsody for years now, and I did some math a while ago comparing it with pay-per-song models like iTunes.

Rhapsody is $12/mo for me (I do premium subscription for extra devices/features). That's roughly 1 CD per month, or 1 album per month on iTunes.

With offline play (Rhapsody and others support this), it's practically a no-brainer to use music subscriptions. If I listen to 1 new album a month (regardless of whether I like it, gotta pay full price to hear it at all on iTunes), then Rhapsody pays for itself compared to CDs, iTunes, Amazon mp3, etc.
Chris Moyer said…
Yes, it all depends on your listening habits. Remember that with iTunes you're buying those new CDs forever, so if you actually buy a new CD every month, then a subscription is worth it by far.

For me, I don't buy new CDs, I tend to listen to older songs and not pick up a lot of new ones.

The same is true with TV. Cable for me costs roughly $40/month. I watch on average 3 TV shows a week, which each would cost me $0.99 to rent on iTunes. That's roughly $12/month that I would pay with iTunes. The only reason I have to pay for TV is because some things (like ESPN or live sports) are not available on iTunes.
Costanza said…
You can use iTunes match with your PC.

http://www.apple.com/icloud/features/

"It’s built right into the iTunes app on your Mac or PC.."

Also, you can store your Music for offline mode:

"Once your music is in iCloud, you can stream and store it on any of your devices."

Sorry Chris Moyer, but it looks like your blog post fell just short of the mark this time. ;)
Khael said…
except spotify only has mainstream music. so if you're like me who listen to a lot of upcoming bands, then spotify don't really work.