Spotify vs Youtube: Who Owns The Future of Music Consumption?

by Andre Gonsalves

Who will emerge victorious? Youtube’s already won, but searching for the right song and not accidentally clicking on parodies or a radio rip or just nonsense is painful. So what’s a music lover to do?

Downloading from iTunes doesn’t make sense economically as it’s a waste to download one song at a time. It’s like buying one dish at a time at a buffet. It’s also a hassle, in that I only have a finite amount of space on my phone, so eventually I’ll have to do some music management. Who has the time for that?

I’ve been trying out all the streaming services for the last few months to see if the experience was actually better and the clear winner among all of them is…Spotify.

Was there any doubt? Where Spotify kills youtube is that I can not only easily find the right song but I can also find it in the highest quality. No need listening to youtube rips sped up to beat the copyright algorithm or just plain poor bitrates or the aforementioned parodies.

Another neat feature is that I can create playlists very easily and make them public and even have others follow them. How many of yall have friends that practically beg you on there hands and knees for new music. Now you can easily not only tell them but they can easily retrieve it and play it. No more “so who are you listening to?” and “Can I borrow a usb?”.

Spotify’s free offering provides pretty much all the features of its paid subscription as long as your on a tablet or pc. This makes perfect sense because your never going to carry your tablet or pc around to play music. Our phones are our primary gateway to music. Very smart of Spotify for recognizing this.

Where can Spotify improve? I’d like to see them have a feature to turn explicit versions off and radio edits on. If you have iTunes Radio, you’ll notice it has this feature and it’s handy for when the wife and kids are around.

I’d also like to see more curated playlists from well know tastemakers and djs. It doesn’t make sense to listen to the top 40 songs in the U.S. as one second you’ll be listening to a country song and then a dance song. Huh?

So how do you get your music on Spotify? Pretty easy actually. Just sign up for a service like CD Baby or Tunecore to place your song on iTunes and they’ll put your song into Spotify as well as a bunch of other services. The thing is if you’re just starting out you’ll likely make very little of iTunes downloads or those other sites, from my personal experience you’ll make more from Spotify.



Andre is the head audio engineer at ADG Mastering, which he helped found in 2012. For the last 10 years, he has made it his mission to empower aspiring artists and musicians from around the world. You can see more of Andre's writings on our Blog.


  1. You can create playlists and share them on youtube and listen to others’ playlists. YOU also get My playlists, whihc are created based on what you have listened to, You have to be an experienced user,’cause I’ve never run into those issues you mention. The main problem I run into is the wrong artist for a song either deliberately or out of ignorance. You can listen offline with youtube and last, but definitely not least is the rare songs I can f ind on youtube AND live tapes of performances from concerts, talk shows all over time.

  2. Who owns the future? Who is winning? it’s like anything else on the market, there will be or should be choices, hopefully more than just 2 and this won’t turn into the monopolies of TT and Comcast.

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