Apple Music vs. YouTube Music (2024): Which Should I Go for?

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April 17, 2024

As research suggests, the music streaming market remains robust even as the world faces economic challenges. In this context, music subscriptions have the potential to be seen as an affordable luxury. Numerous outstanding music streaming apps offer unique features, providing music lovers with the opportunity to compare and determine the best platform for their needs. When considering Apple Music and YouTube Music, the two exhibit both similarities and significant differences. You may wonder: between YouTube Music and Apple Music, which one should I go for? To ensure you’ve made the right choice, let’s delve into a comprehensive side-by-side comparison of Apple Music and YouTube Music.


  1. Basic Comparison of Apple Music and YouTube Music
  2. Plans and Pricing
  3. Music Library
  4. Audio Quality
  5. Streaming Experiences
  6. Additional Features
  7. YouTube Music vs. Apple Music: Which Should I Go for?
  8. Extra Tips: How to download Apple Music / YouTube Music to MP3

1. Side by Side Comparison of Apple Music and YouTube Music

Apple MusicYouTube Music
Free PlanN/AYes, Ad-supported
Premium$10.99/month or $109/year – Individual
$16.99/month – Family, up to 6 people
$5.99/month – Student
$10.99/month or $109.99/year – Individual
$16.99/month – Family, up to 6 people
$5.49/month – Student
Other PlansN/A$13.99/month or $139.99/year (YouTube Premium Individual*)
$22.99/month (YouTube Premium Family*)
$7.99/month (YouTube Premium Student*)
Free Trial1 month1 month
Music Library100 million songs100 million songs
Audio Quality– Up to 128 Kbps (High Efficiency)
– 256 Kbps (High)
– Up to 24-bit/48 kHz (Lossless)
– Up to 24-bit/192 kHz (Hi-Res Lossless)
– 48 Kbps (Low)
– 128 Kbps (Normal)
– 256 Kbps (High)
Subscribers88 million 80 million YouTube Music and Premium subscribers
Offline Listening100,000 songsAs much as the free space on your device allows.
Availability167 countries and regions96 countries and regions
Other Features– Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos
– Live lyrics and Sing
– Live radio stations
– Integration with YouTube
– Music videos and unofficial release
– Collaborative playlists
* YouTube Music Premium is included in YouTube Premium.

2. Plan and Pricing

Price always plays a crucial role when making purchasing decisions. To help you make an informed judgment based on pricing, let’s take a closer look at the plans and prices offered by Apple Music and YouTube Music:

Table of Plans and Prices: Apple Music vs. YouTube Music

Individual PremiumFamily PlanStudent Plan
Apple MusicN/A$10.99/month or $109/year$16.99/month(up to 6 people)$5.99/month
YouTube MusicYes, Ad-supported$10.99/month or $109.99/year
$13.99/month or $139.99/year (YouTube Premium Individual**)
$22.99/month (YouTube Premium Family**)
(up to 5 people)
$7.99/month (YouTube Premium Student **)
** YouTube Music Premium is included in YouTube Premium.

YouTube Music

In addition to its Premium subscription, YouTube Music provides a Free tier, a feature absent in Apple Music. The ad-supported plan on YouTube Music allows users to access the full catalog, enjoy unlimited track skips, and play any song. However, users on the free plan using mobile devices cannot play music in the background or download songs for offline listening.

Regarding pricing, YouTube Music and Apple Music offer Premium plans at nearly the same price point. Notably, YouTube Music provides an extra option where you can enjoy YouTube Music Premium as part of the YouTube Premium subscription. This not only grants access to all features of YouTube Music but also includes YouTube Video Premium benefits such as an ad-free experience and background play. Many users find this bundled option convenient, especially if they are already loyal YouTube Premium members.

Apple Music

Apple Music does not offer a free subscription tier, but with Premium plans priced similarly to YouTube Music, it provides superior audio quality with lossless tracks and Spatial Audio featuring Dolby Atmos. These features, which are not available on YouTube Music, make Apple Music an attractive option for audiophiles willing to invest in high-quality audio.

YouTube Music vs. Apple Music: Price-wisely

YouTube Music’s Free Plan makes it an excellent option for music lovers on a budget. The bundle with YouTube adds great value to the YouTube Music experience. On the other hand, Apple Music appeals to hi-fi enthusiasts who prioritize high-quality music.

apple music prices vs youtube music prices

3. Music Library

Both Apple Music and YouTube Music boast extensive libraries, each comprising over 100 million songs. This vast collection of music is more than any individual could possibly listen to in a lifetime. Occasionally, Apple Music and YouTube Music may strike exclusive deals to provide early access to an artist’s new song or album. However, these exclusivity periods are typically short-lived, and the material eventually becomes available on most music streaming platforms in the market. That said, Apple Music and YouTube Music share a significant portion of the same songs in their extensive catalogs.

Apple Music

Both Apple Music and YouTube Music offer plenty of playlists for users to enjoy. However, Apple Music places a greater emphasis on expert-curated playlists. Yes, you can share Apple Music playlists with friends, but user-generated playlists are not widely available on the app.

Although Apple Music may not feature unreleased music or covers, it excels in its live radio feature. The platform offers a selection of main radio stations and provides 24/7 streams that focus on new music, popular hits, country genres, and more. Additionally, artists such as Lady Gaga or Elton John host their own radio shows on Apple Music, and the platform offers a range of international and local stations as well.

apple music library

YouTube Music

YouTube Music offers a variety of playlist options, including editor playlists, publicly shareable playlists, and collaborative playlists. This enables users to share their own playlists and caters to listeners with niche tastes.

In addition to officially released music, YouTube hosts a wealth of content that can’t be found elsewhere, such as unreleased tracks, remixes, mashups, covers, and live performances. YouTube Music provides access to all of this content by allowing you to play the video as a song. Many YouTube users appreciate YouTube Music for its ability to discover obscure and old-school songs that may not be readily available on other platforms.

While it may not provide live radio, the platform allows you to personalize your own stations. Each song or playlist that you listen to becomes a radio station that you can personalize. Its new feature “Create a radio” lets users create a radio station from scratch, allowing users to create a personalized radio station based on selected genres or artists.

Apple Music vs. YouTube Music: Music Content

Personal preference determines which service is superior in terms of content. Both services offer a satisfying experience of listening to mainstream artists. If you are into live radio, Apple Music is the ideal choice. On the other hand, YouTube excels in providing user-generated playlists and lesser-known covers or remixes, giving it an edge in this regard.

4. Audio Quality

When selecting a music streaming platform, audio quality is another key factor.

YouTube Music

YouTube Music provides three levels of audio quality for premium members: low at 48 Kbps AAC, normal at 128 Kbps, and high quality at 256 Kbps. They also offer an option called “Always High,” which maintains high quality even in poor network conditions. However, YouTube Music currently does not offer lossless audio.

youtube music audio quality

Apple Music

Apple Music offers three audio quality settings for Wi-Fi (starting from 256 kbps) and an additional “High Efficiency” setting for streaming on mobile data. In 2021, Apple Music introduced lossless audio without any extra cost, making it an attractive choice for audiophiles. With lossless and Hi-Res lossless audio, you can enjoy songs up to 24-bit/192 kHz – 145 MB approximately for a three-minute song.

Furthermore, Apple Music includes a feature called Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, aiming to deliver an immersive listening experience. However, compatible hardware and software are required to fully enjoy the benefits of Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos. If you already have suitable devices and high-end audio gear, this feature is definitely a plus.

apple music audio quality

Apple Music vs. YouTube Music: Audio Quality

Apple Music clearly wins in the category of Audio Quality. It offers a superior audio quality of lossless audio and provides additional features of Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos. But the choice also depends on your personal setup. If you primarily listen to music with mid-tier headphones or earbuds, YouTube Music may suffice. Nonetheless, if you possess advanced audio equipment, Apple Music would be worthwhile to maximize your listening experience.

The table below is a comparison between YouTube Music and Apple Music regarding their audio quality.

Audio QualityHigh EfficiencyLowNormalHighLosslessHi-Res Lossless
Apple MusicUp to 128 Kbps HE-AACN/AN/A256kbps AACUp to 24-bit/48 kHz Up to 24-bit/192 kHz
YouTube MusicN/A48kbps
Apple Music vs. YouTube Music: Table of Audio Quality Comparison

5. Streaming Experiences

Both Apple Music and YouTube Music provide excellent streaming services that make the experience of playing music enjoyable. Whether you’re searching for a specific song, exploring curated playlists, or creating your own personalized library, both Apple Music and YouTube Music provide smooth navigation and convenient controls, allowing you to dive into the world of music with ease.

Apple Music

Apple Music offers a sleek and polished user interface, supporting both light mode and dark mode options for users to customize their app’s appearance based on their preferences. While Apple Music integrates well with the Apple ecosystem, it can also be used on Windows and Android devices, Sonos speakers, Amazon Echo, Google Nest, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and more. This wide-ranging compatibility ensures that users can enjoy their music across multiple devices and environments.

One standout feature of Apple Music is the ability to upload your own songs and seamlessly integrate them into your library. It doesn’t differentiate between saved songs and uploaded tracks. This flexibility allows users to curate their library and edit tags to ensure everything is organized exactly as they desire.

YouTube Music

YouTube Music boasts a cool-looking dark gradient theme throughout its user interface. However, compared to Apple Music, YouTube Music supports fewer platforms – such as lacking support for game consoles – which may be a limitation for some users. Desktop users need to access YouTube Music via the web browser.

YouTube Music separates saved and uploaded songs. If users wish to play saved and uploaded songs together, they need to create playlists, which can be a minor inconvenience for some. On the other hand, YouTube Music offers a diverse range of playlist options, allowing users to discover and enjoy a wide variety of curated music. Additionally, YouTube Music has an exclusive collection of unreleased music and music unavailable on any other streaming platforms, a unique feature that continues to captivate and attract music fans.

Apple Music vs. YouTube Music: Streaming Experience

Apple Music provides wide compatibility with various platforms, making it an excellent choice for users within the Apple ecosystem as well as those on Windows and Android devices. It also offers seamless integration of uploaded songs into the library, giving users greater control over their music collection.

On the other hand, YouTube Music lacks support for some devices and desktop apps. However, it compensates with a plethora of playlist options and an exclusive collection of music unavailable on other streaming platforms, making it an appealing choice for music fans.

6. Additional Features

Both YouTube Music and Apple Music offer several shared features that enhance the music streaming experience. These include:

  • Offline listening: Download your favorite songs for offline listening.
  • Real-time lyrics: Follow along with the auto-scrolling lyrics when listening to a song.
  • Year-end wrap-up: Both Apple Music (Replay) and YouTube Music (Recap) offer a year-end summary, showcasing your most-listened-to artists or songs.
  • Local file playback: Play songs stored locally on your device.

However, each streaming platform also offers unique features that cater to different preferences:

Apple Music

Apple Music introduced a Sing feature, which turns millions of songs into a karaoke mode. You can adjust the volume of the vocals and real-time lyrics to sing along to your favorite tunes. However, Apple Music Sing is currently available on Apple hardware only.

apple music sing

YouTube Music

YouTube Music stands out with its collaborative playlists, offering an engaging way to discover music. When creating a playlist, you have the option to invite other listeners to add songs and videos, broadening your musical horizons and increasing the chances of discovering new artists.

Additionally, YouTube Music provides an exceptional value option with integration into YouTube. By subscribing to YouTube Premium service, you can eliminate ads not only on YouTube Music but also on regular YouTube, making it a compelling choice for those seeking an ad-free experience at an affordable price (just an additional $2 per month for an Individual plan).

yt music collaborative playlist

Apple Music vs. YouTube Music: Additional Features

While YouTube Music and Apple Music offer similar features like offline listening, real-time lyrics, year-end summaries, and local file playback, their unique offerings set them apart.

Apple Music impresses with Apple Music Sing, this karaoke-like feature makes it more than a streaming platform and adds a dynamic and interactive element to the music listening experience.

YouTube Music excels with collaborative playlists, enhancing the social media features of the streaming service. Additionally, YouTube’s premium service provides excellent value by eliminating ads on both YouTube Music and regular YouTube for a small additional fee.

7. YouTube Music vs. Apple Music: Which Should I Go for?

Thankfully, deciding between Apple Music and YouTube Music is a matter of comparing their features and ranking them based on your needs and preferences. If you are already using one of these streaming services, rest assured that both options are excellent choices.

Apple Music is particularly appealing to audiophiles and individuals who prefer the Apple ecosystem. With its focus on high-quality audio, it caters to those who prioritize superior audio quality.

On the other hand, YouTube Music attracts music fans who enjoy a wide range of unreleased songs, covers, and remixes that may not be readily available on other streaming platforms. Its integration with YouTube adds value by granting users access to an extensive music video catalog.

YouTube Music provides a free plan, allowing users to enjoy music with occasional ads. However, Apple Music only has paid subscriptions. This makes YouTube Music stand out for its immediate and free music access.

By now, you should have a better understanding of whether Apple Music or YouTube Music is the better fit for your preferences. You may consider their unique features and how they cater to your specific needs in a music streaming service. If you’re still unsure, both platforms offer one-month free trials, giving you the opportunity to test them out and determine which one is the better choice for you.

Extra Tips: How to download YouTube Music and Apple Music to MP3

How to Download YouTube Music to MP3?

YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium members can download songs, playlists, and albums with the YouTube Music app to their Android or iPhone/ iPad. But songs downloaded can only be played within the YouTube Music app. You cannot transfer the downloaded files to other devices or play them on another program or device.

Pazu YouTube Music Converter is a reliable software tool that can help you download YouTube Music with a free or premium YouTube Music account. It can download any YouTube Music songs, albums, and playlists. You don’t even need to copy and paste YouTube/YouTube Music links, as Pazu YouTube Music Converter features a built-in YouTube Music web player. Pazu allows you to search for your favorite songs from the YouTube Music catalog and then download them at lossless quality with full ID3 tags.

Once the songs from YouTube are in plain formats, you can keep them on your devices and play them on any device. Let’s take a look at the detailed steps.

Download Pazu YouTube Music Converter on Your Mac or Windows

To get started, download, install and run Pazu YouTube Music Converter on your Mac or Windows, which features a built-in YouTube Music web player.

How to Download Apple Music to MP3?

Downloaded Apple Music content will only be available for offline listening within the Apple Music app while your subscription is active and the content is still available on the service. However, you can choose a better way to download Apple Music and save it forever on your devices with a smart Apple Music downloader. Pazu Apple Music Converter is a safe and effective downloader that can help you download any Apple Music songs, albums, and playlists to MP3, AAC, FLAC, and other popular formats on Mac/Windows without any loss in quality.

Not only does Pazu Apple Music Converter download your favorite songs, but it also preserves the original audio quality, ID3 tags, and metadata, so you won’t lose any important information. Plus, one of the distinguishing features of Pazu Apple Music Converter is the really fast download and convert speed – almost 10 times faster than any other similar software.

Pazu Apple Music Converter is integrated with the Apple Music web player, so you can batch convert any Apple Music playlist or album to the format you choose without iTunes or the Apple Music app.

Program NamePazu Apple Music Converter
Supported OSWindows 11/10/8.1/8/7 (32 bit & 64 bit) 
Mac OS X 10.12 or higher
Supported LanguageEnglish, Spanish, French, Japanese, German, Chinese
Built-in Apple Music Web PlayerNo need to install Apple Music app or iTunes
Key Features – User-friendly interface
– 10x Fast Music download speed
– Advanced DRM removal
– Lossless audio quality
– Keep original ID3 tags & metadata
– Download Apple Music songs, albums, and playlists
– Unlimited downloads
– Adjustable output options

Download Pazu Apple Music Converter on your Mac or Windows.