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FACEOFF: Spotify transcends traditional streaming, adapts to listener trends

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Spotify and Apple Music are the subjects of a heated music streaming debate.

Spotify and Apple Music are the subjects of a heated music streaming debate.

Spotify and Apple Music are the subjects of a heated music streaming debate.

Gianni Zorrilla, Life & Arts Section Editor

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We are living in a golden age of music access. All the music in the world is virtually at our fingertips for less than $10 a month thanks to modern streaming services.

If you are a fan of music in any capacity, you have inevitably been exposed to or even encouraged to partake in the great streaming service debate of the century: Spotify vs. Apple Music. In the eyes (or ears) of millions– 180 million to be precise, Spotify reigns supreme. Not only does Spotify lead in the number of paying subscribers (83 million), but it also leads in overall content and features, which are constantly being updated.

We all know that music taste is a fluid entity. Spotify moves with it, making the process of discovering new music less daunting. The service learns from your listening habits over time, tailors playlists to fit your ever-shifting preferences and supports an expanding library.

Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature, a personalized 30-song playlist updated every Monday, is a prime example of this. Carefully curated through an algorithmic filtering process, Spotify is able to profile each user’s individual taste in music using a technology called Echo Nest. It analyzes listening history to get an idea of genre preferences. These formed “taste maps” account for the core of Discover Weekly’s success.

Spotify also has an entire Discover page that makes recommendations based on artists you listen to frequently. For instance, if you listen to, say, Dr. Dog often, Spotify might recommend bands like Fruit Bats or Local Natives in the Similar Artists tab.

The latest record releases, exclusive live sessions and new singles can all be found in the New Releases tab. Similar to the New Music Friday’s feature, you are connected to the freshest content from both popular and rising artists. Not to mention, your six Daily Mixes which groups familiar songs and artists by genre.

If you happen to like podcasts, Spotify has you covered. Numerous podcasts can be saved to your library and even added to playlists alongside your music.

If you like concerts, you’re in luck: Spotify will show you upcoming concerts nearby based on your listening habits. Radio and mood-focused mixes are also available through this streaming service, only adding to its versatility.

Spotify’s social component is far superior to Apple’s. You are able to follow friends and see what they are listening to in real time under the social tab. Along with sharing and recommending playlists with each other, you can collaborate in playlist-making. There is also the option of publishing your listening history on Facebook, introducing a new world of opportunity for social interaction.

At times, it seems that Spotify knows your musical preferences better than yourself, and better yet, introduces you to parts of your music taste that you weren’t previously aware of. Spotify is multifaceted and redefines streaming by transcending the traditional. Apple Music trails behind as Spotify continues to evolve and diversify.

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FACEOFF: Spotify transcends traditional streaming, adapts to listener trends