The Battle of the Wrappeds


Maroon Staff

While Spotify definitely seems to be the most popular streaming service, others like Apple Music and YouTube Music have their fair share of listeners and have come out with their own versions of Spotify Wrapped. 

Elliot Eisenberg and Emaan Zaidi

The avalanche of Spotify Wrapped screenshots filling up social media is a yearly tradition that both spurs excitement about the start of a new year of listening and also acts as a glimpse into the listening habits of friends. You can see their top artists and songs, how many minutes they’ve listened to, and more. While Spotify definitely seems to be the most popular streaming service, others like Apple Music and YouTube Music have their fair share of listeners and have come out with their own versions of Spotify Wrapped. 


If randomly stopped and asked which streaming service they used, the majority of people would answer “Spotify”. Honestly, it’s no shocker as to why. Spotify has a specific look, vibe, and feel to it that makes it that much more appealing to music lovers than any other music app. When asked what makes Spotify the go-to, “Spotify Wrapped” was the answer for Sarah Ornstein ’25. Wrapped gives listeners the ability to see how their taste has changed from January to December, a unique and creative way to express their musical preferences. “I look forward to Spotify Wrapped…it’s something fun and something to converse with your friends about… it’s cool to look back and see artists that you forgot about and realize how much you’ve grown,” said Ornstein. To add on, there really is no way to describe the devotion that fans have towards Spotify. “Even if Spotify didn’t have [wrapped], it wouldn’t make a difference. I would still use Spotify,” added Noah Zoland ’25.  “The hype for Spotify is so justified. It’s something that’s so worth talking about,” mentioned Ornstein. Further investigation shed light on one major downside to the service, however. If a user doesn’t pay for the app, they have a limited amount of skips. This feature makes it a less cost-friendly option in the world of numerous streaming apps. Despite this, the overall love for Spotify is the same way many feel for their favorite sports team or their best friend. A constant in their life, something that brings happiness in the form of broadway medleys, cheesy pop, classic rock, homey country, and witty rap.  

Apple Music

Apple Music is one of the easiest streaming platforms to use, as it comes in the Apple “phone package.” Apple seems to do everything; it gives you the cellphone you use daily, a TV streaming service, and of course, a music app. Who wouldn’t want to use such a simple platform? With Apple Music, even Siri can help you find a song to jam out to during a study session, a jog, or a lonely meal! “In general, Apple Music is better. It’s easier to find your music and favorite artists,” comments Chase Halpern ’25.  “I’ve tried Spotify; we used to have a subscription. Apple Music is the most convenient for my family, so that’s why we started using it,” said Halpern. When compared to Spotify, there’s seemingly no big difference in accessibility, cost, or features. Yet, “all of the Spotify users discriminate against all of the other users…  I feel scared to admit that I’m not a Spotify user,” explained Leila Saeed ’25. So, is there anything that makes Apple Music worse? “I would say Spotify Wrapped season is the only time of year I think I should just switch,” said Saeed. However, this year was the first time the streaming service released its own version of Wrapped, and it went over well with subscribers; “I actually felt a lot less left out… it was a good wrapped,” added Saeed. As more iPhones are purchased every year, the service continues to widen its audience, yet it’s unseen as to if this platform has any reason to claim the top spot of music streaming apps.

YouTube Music

Despite being a lesser-known music service, YouTube Music does an excellent job at reliably playing music for its listeners. Even without a subscription, it provides unlimited skips, curated playlists, and any song one could possibly want. “I don’t think there’s anything that makes it better, but it is still just as good,” said Julia Sobel ’25. However, a plus for YouTube Music that makes it better than the others is the multitude of mashups. Because it’s paired with YouTube itself, all of the funky, inventive remixes can be listened to as regular songs. Maybe you really like listening to Hamilton, Olivia Rodrigo mashups, or Zach Bryan meets Taylor Swift. Well, YouTube Music is the sole streaming service with this trait. Possibly, the only downside to the app was the long absence of a Spotify Wrapped spoof, “It’s sad because you want to participate, but you can’t,” stated Sobel. Luckily, last year the app released its own version of a yearly Wrapped. In addition, they now include seasonal Wrappeds, useful for the depths of winter when you just want to “feel summer” again. The tiff between Spotify users still exists with YouTube Music’s users. “I think Spotify is a little overhyped,” admitted Sobel. YouTube Music has around 50 million subscribers worldwide, yet few have heard of the app. Its many additional features make it a noteworthy choice in the world of music services and mean it doesn’t deserve to be the underdog in the music streaming world.

It’s difficult to come to just one consensus about what music streaming service is truly the best. Is it Spotify with its untarnishable reputation? Apple Music with all its convenient advantages? Or YouTube Music with its seasonal, in addition to yearly, Wrappeds? There is no “best streaming service.” As long as people get their music without ads and bad quality sound, year-end Wrappeds, and unlimited skips, there’s no need for an ongoing feud. In a crazy age of politics, climate crises, and homework, whether you are listening to The Greatest Showman or Billy Joel, music should be an unproblematic and fun way to pump up, dance, and relax.

An example of what a part of the YouTubeMusic Wrapped looks like.