Spotify vs. Apple Music: Who does the better year-in-review playlist?

Story by CBC Kids News • Published 2019-12-12 08:00

Plus, a look at the most-streamed artist in 2019

Spotify users are getting into the spirit of the season by joyfully unwrapping their year-in-review Wrapped lists.

Meanwhile, Apple Music users can’t seem to find the wrapping paper.

Spotify, the popular music-streaming service, offers the Wrapped feature every year at this time.

The service allows users to see which artists and songs they streamed most in the past 12 months.

Since 2019 marks the end of a decade, this year’s feature also tracks their listening habits since 2010.

Because the lists are already formatted like an Instagram story, they’re easily shared.

That’s not the case for Apple Music’s Replay feature, which launched in November.

Some subscribers aren’t impressed.

Tweet from fatima shows clunky drawing next to fancy one with text: apple music replay vs. spotify wrapped

Tweet from camryn says I don't have spotify but I took my statistics from apple music replay and photoshopped them onto the spotify layout because I want to be included

Tweet from mmmilkue says People with Apple Music watching Spotify users post their decade replay with image of lady sad woman eating all alone.

Spotify is also getting a boost from its Spotify for Artists feature, which allows musicians to share statistics about how many people listened to their music in 2019.

Some big names are jumping on board as a way to thank their fans.

Tweet from Ariana Grande says Thank U Spotify and shows chart that says more than 3 million people listened to you more than any other artist.

Of course, Spotify’s Wrapped feature isn’t perfect.

Some subscribers are complaining that the statistics don’t match their actual listening habits.

CBC Kids News asked Spotify to address these complaints, but haven’t heard back yet.

Tweet from Milky Majime says I genuinely think the spotify wrapped thing is wrong or stopped collecting data at some point cuz like this aint it. Next to screengrab of Wrapped list.

Apple Music’s Replay also offers some features that Spotify’s Wrapped doesn’t.

For one thing, Replay allows you to check your listening statistics year-round, instead of just in December, which is the way Wrapped works.

Replay also allows users to see the number of plays on each song, another thing Spotify doesn’t do.

We asked RECAP host Myah Elliot, an Apple Music subscriber, what she thought about that feature.

“It’s cool to actually see the number of times I’ve heard a song,” she said, adding that the results can be surprising.

“Sometimes I feel like the number should be way higher and sometimes I think some should be lower.”

Here’s what Myah’s Replay list looks like:

Screengrab of Myah's Replay shows fake smile by Ariana Grande at the top of the list with 141 plays.

When it comes to the streaming wars, Spotify seems to be in the lead.

In April, the company announced it had reached 100 million subscribers, which was almost twice as many as Apple Music had at the time.

There are other competitors on the market, of course, including Amazon Music, Tidal and YouTube Music.

While exclusive contracts with certain musicians used to be a way to set the services apart, that era may be coming to an end.

Earlier this month, for example, Jay-Z was widely reported to have posted all of his music on Spotify, after years of keeping it exclusive to his own company, Tidal.

Tweet from Erik DeArcos says Jay-Z is back on Spotify. This is not a drill. With screengrab showing his full catalogue.

No matter which platform you’ve been using to stream your favourite tunes this year, it seems certain artists were at the top of everyone’s list.

Tidal and YouTube Music didn’t get back to us when we asked for their top streamed lists from 2019, but here’s where some of the other streaming services landed.


Most- streamed artist 2019. Spotify: Post Malone. Apple Music does this by genre.  Billie Eilish (Alternative)  Drake (Hip hop)  BTS (K-pop)  Ariana Grande (Pop)  Khalid (R&B). Amazon Music Ed Sheeran.

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