YouTube Music vs Spotify – Battle of the music streaming services

Google recently launched YouTube Premium in South Africa.

Initially, it will be focusing on the YouTube Music service – a music streaming platform that offers users a vast library of music and music videos.

Many South Africans already use music streaming services such as Spotify, however, which offers a massive database of music.

To see how they compare, we compared YouTube’s music streaming service against Spotify in South Africa.

Music database

Spotify offers users over 30 million songs, and adds over 20,000 songs every day.

With Spotify, it is quick and easy to find the music you’re looking for and you will rarely be unable to find the song you want.

While YouTube doesn’t provide a definitive number of official songs on its platform, the fact that it can draw from user-generated content such as covers, remixes, and live versions of songs makes it an equally attractive choice.


YouTube Music offers an array interesting features, including integration with Google Play Music – ensuring that users get the advantage of interoperability between the two platforms.

An additional bonus to YouTube Music is that it can be subscribed to as part of the complete YouTube Premium offering, which includes ad-free YouTube surfing and the ability to download YouTube videos.

Google has said that the service supports searching in South African languages like isiZulu and isiXhosa, too.

Where Spotify has an advantage is playback quality, offering up to 320Kbps audio quality – except when played through a browser or Chromecast device.

YouTube Premium listeners are always limited to 256Kbps.

Spotify also integrates with other apps, such as Tinder and Instagram, to let people know what you’re listening to.

Also supported by Spotify is multi-login support and cross-device playlist synchronisation.


Both platforms offer a free version, but these includes adverts between songs.

The paid versions are then priced the same, with Spotify Premium and YouTube Music Premium R59.99 per month locally.

YouTube Premium, which includes an ad-free YouTube video experience, costs R71.99 per month, while a family plan – which allows up to 6 accounts to be connected – costs R109.99 per month.

Spotify’s family plan is not yet available in South Africa.

In terms of free trials, Spotify offers a 30-day period for users. YouTube Premium, however, gives users a free trial spanning 3 months.

The winner

It is difficult to pick a winner, as each platform offers unique benefits.

Regular YouTube users will enjoy the complete YouTube Premium package, as they will no longer need to view ads on the platform.

Fans of cover songs and live music recordings may also appreciate YouTube Music, as it wins in this department.

However, Spotify offers superior audio quality and is available on a broader range of devices.

Each has its own pros and cons, and the decision of which platform to use will largely come down to a user’s specific preferences.

Now read: YouTube Premium launched in South Africa

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YouTube Music vs Spotify – Battle of the music streaming services