Music fans, listen up! Whether you're into R&B or pop, classic or jazz, a music streaming service will offer you the perfect way to listen to your favourite tunes at home or on the go.

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When it comes to streaming services, Amazon and Apple are big names on the block. Both platforms launched their music services in the 2000s — Amazon Music in 2007, Apple Music in 2015 — and have since become popular contenders for streaming music in many households.

The two streaming platforms are easy to use and boast a wide library of tracks but provide several different features and advantages. From varying subscription packages and prices, to their unique, and pretty similar features, we’ve looked into the two services and created a helpful guide to help you decide which is best for you to splash your cash on.

Get up to five months Amazon Music Unlimited for free

With the BBQs out of the shed and the picnic on the park plans confirmed in the group chat, streaming your favourite songs over a wireless speaker is just what the summer ordered.

And what better way to do that than with a five month free Amazon Music Unlimited trial?

Prime members can get five months free Amazon Music Unlimited, and non-Prime members can access three months of Amazon Music Unlimited for free.

Get up to five months free Amazon Music Unlimited

For more music streaming comparisons, check out our guides on Apple Music vs Spotify, and Amazon Music vs Spotify. To make sure you don't miss out on some of Amazon's best offers of the year, take a look our when does Prime Day end explainer.

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What’s the difference between Apple Music and Amazon Music?

Apple Music subscription starts with the Individual plan, costing £10.99 per month, or the Family plan for £16.99 each month, for up to six users. There’s also a Student plan for £5.99 per month, or you can sign up to Apple One for all-in-one access to different Apple subscriptions including Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Fitness+ and more.

Apple Music used to have a £4.99 per month option with its Music Voice plan, allowing you to access music only through Siri when connected to Wi-Fi. This plan was discontinued from Wednesday 1st November 2023.

Apple Music offers over 100 million songs. All content will stream ad-free across all Apple Music plans and can be played on all Apple devices, including Apple HomePod and HomePod Mini, Apple TV 4K and Apple smartwatches. It is also supported by Xbox models, PS5, Roku and Android smartphones.

Amazon Music also offers a range of streaming plans to match your listening needs and monthly budgets. Differing from Apple Music, it starts with a free plan, meaning you don’t have to fork out the cash each month - you can listen to the whole library of the platform. However, the drawback is you can only listen on shuffle mode, so there’s no skipping to your favourite tune.

Then there’s the base version, included in Amazon Prime, at £8.99 per month. For an expanded catalogue of content, there’s the option of Amazon Music Unlimited coming in at £10.99 per month, or £9.99 if you already have Prime membership. A family plan will cost £16.99, the same as Apple Music.

Amazon Music will also play with zero adverts, and with Amazon Music Unlimited you have access to over 100 million tracks.

At the moment Amazon Music Unlimited is offering a pretty spectacular deal; you can get up to five months of Amazon Music Unlimited for absolutely nothing at all. But you better act fast, as this deal is running for a limited time only, and for more information, take a look at our Amazon Music Unlimited offer guide.

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Apple Music vs Amazon Music

Daniel de la Hoz via gettyimages
Daniel de la Hoz via gettyimages

Need to know more? As similar as they sound as streaming services, Amazon and Apple Music still have several distinctions which set them apart.

As we’ve already mentioned, both platforms have jam-packed libraries of more than 100 million songs. Wowzer! That’s a huge amount. It’s worth mentioning that Apple Music does not include podcasts - they have a separate service, Apple Podcasts, for that. Amazon Music plans do have access to podcasts, but they have a separate streaming service called Audible for audiobooks.

In terms of sound quality, Apple Music provides a hi-res audio output of 24-bit/192 kHz. The same output is delivered with Amazon Music Unlimited thanks to its HD and ultra HD feature. Both platforms feature lossless audio streaming for authentic and high-quality sounds, however Apple Music one-ups Amazon with its spatial audio support across all plans delivering crystal-clear content. Amazon only includes this feature on Amazon Music Unlimited. Both platforms also use Dolby Atmos for three-dimensional, immersive sound.

Thanks to its iCloud Music Library, you can download and play tunes from Apple Music, access all your devices when logged in with the same Apple ID, something which Amazon Music does not offer. You can also get up to six months free of Apple Music when you purchase an eligible Apple audio device. Amazon may not offer these, but it has been around longer and does give you the option for hands-free listening with Alexa, so it really does become a situation of weighing up benefits.

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Apple Music vs Amazon Music verdict: Which music streaming service should you buy in 2024?

All in all, we don’t see much in it. Both streaming services provide millions of songs (over 100 million to be precise) and have several package types available for every music fan.

The platforms are similar in what they offer - from listening ad-free and discovering new music to providing immersive sound with Dolby Atmos and access to spatial audio. Both also have family plans for the same price at £16.99, which can be used across up to six devices.

Amazon Music does, however, offer a free basic plan, so for the money-conscious people looking to pull in their belts, we’d suggest starting there - just be prepared to listen to what it throws at you, as remember - it only plays in shuffle mode. But it does just miss out on the high-level music quality which Apple Music offers.

Try them out with a free trial first to see how you get on with them - Apple Music gives one month to test the water, whereas Amazon Music Unlimited offers five for Prime members and three for non-Prime members. Could that help you decide?

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If you also enjoy audiobooks, be sure to check out the best Audible deals for this month. Plus, take a look at our deep-dive into 'What is Amazon Music Unlimited?' and if it's worth your money.

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