Is it hard to choose? It’s because Spotify and Deezer are actually very similar. Both offer millions of songs, mobile apps, family plans, and super-useful conveniences for music lovers – whether listening online or offline. I gathered some relevant information about both after using them on a day to day basis to help with your choice.
Price and Free Period: Draw
I do not want to pay
In Spotify you can listen for free with ads between tracks and some limitations. Music and podcasts are available, but you can not listen offline (download music), and on-demand access (track and album) on mobile phones is limited to playlists.
In Deezer, the operation is the same. On mobile, access is only to Flow and Mixes (lists), with ads, no download and “standard sound quality” for free use.
I want to pay
If you want to pay, what is not lacking is option. The payment frees unlimited cell-phone access, downloading music and podcasts for offline listening, ending the ads, and bringing some extra features to listen to songs out of the country (travel) and family for up to six people on Deezer. You can also skip as many songs as you want.
- Spotify Free – Free
- Spotify Premium – $9.99/month
- Spotify Premium for University Students – $4.99/month (if you are a student)
- Spotify Family Plan – $14.99/month (up to 5 people at the same address)
- Spotify PlayStation ™ Music – same values applied to the above groups
- Deezer Free – Free
- Deezer Premium – $9.99/ month
- Deezer Family – $16.99 / month (up to 6 people at the same address)
- Deezer HiFi – $20/ month (content in FLAC)
- Deezer Student – $4.99/month (if you’re a student)
*Values in February 2019
You should have noticed that the ratings are the same. If you want some benefit in the price factor, look for periodic offers that guarantee the first free months (Spotify) or annual plans (Deezer).
1 month free
Both offer 30 days free for you to decide if you want to stay premium.
Available platforms: Draw
- Web player
- iOS (iPhone)
- Windows Mobile
- Windows 10
- Smart TVs
- Amazon Fire TV
- Chromecast Audio
Basically, both applications are available on all platforms. Some apps for cars, smart tvs, dongles, and connected speakers may vary.
Song Catalog: Draw
At the outset, the music services tried to work with the exclusivity, however temporary, of some artists. Tidal followed the line with an approach focused mainly on the releases of Beyoncé and Jay-Z. But basically, the most popular artists and bands are on both platforms (and other competitors).
I searched for Sheik Tosado and Mary’s Danish, and in the first case, no streaming service returned. In the second, Spotify showed only a page of “about” and a collection in which a song was available. It is common that when you do not have something in one of them (Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music or Tidal), you have none of them.
Spotify informs that it adds more than 40 million songs available to users of the free and paying version. Deezer boasts 53 million songs in the catalog.
Platforms claim that millions of tracks are available worldwide. However, the Deezer FAQ warns that artists, albums and songs that are not currently available may be restricted to countries and regions by licensing.
The ideal would be to have a music catalog comparison service – as we have with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO GO, iTunes and others (JustWatch). One tip is to play the band name (pure) on Google (the search engine shows the list of apps that play it).
At first, there are extra content in both Deezer Sessions and Spotify Singles. Artists are invited to make covers or live and acoustic versions that are dedicated to the production platforms. Unspecified part of these millions of songs, however, are sounds of nature, concentration, meditation playlists, podcasts, humor programs.
So, tie. I did not find anything that would be of any advantage to the listener in practice, although Deezer presents millions of tracks more than Spotify.
Quality of the tracks: Deezer
You should have noticed that Deezer has a HiFi plan, more expensive. Deezer HiFi is a high fidelity audio plan that uses the FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec format) (1.411 kbps) to deliver what it calls the “best listening experience.”
Note that a FLAC compatible handset and a suitable broadband connection are required to use it. If you are using Deezer without a FLAC compliant device, you will only be able to listen to the Deezer Premium standard (320 kbps).
Compatible devices include any macOS or Windows computer running the desktop application, speakers with Chromecast, and Samsung devices (Sonos, Yamaha MusicCast, Bang & Olufsen, and other dedicated brands). It is not yet possible to have FLAC quality on the phone with the Deezer application.
Required Broadband Speeds:
- 5.0 Mb/s – 1 FLAC stream
- 7.5 Mb/s – 2 FLAC streams
- 10 Mb/s – 3 or more FLAC streams
The default option is “Compact”, with 128 kbit/s. In Premium, in “Balanced” means you will be listening to 320 kbit/s on Wi-Fi, but 128 kbit/s (default) on the mobile network (4G). The “Top” option indicates the HiFi, you will be listening to 320 kbit/s on Wi-Fi and the mobile network. As an option, there is basic audio (64 kbit/s) in case you save your data.
In Spotify, the standard quality of the desktop application is Ogg Vorbis 160 kbit/s (default also in the free version). Premium users can enable “high quality” streaming (320 kbit/s) without paying more for it, but they do not reach the “very high quality” stream as in Deezer. The standard quality there is AAC 128 kbit/s (for Free) and 256 kbit/s (for Premium).
With the exception of the web player, you can use the following formats in Ogg Vorbis:
- Low – Equivalent to approximately 24 kbit/s;
- Normal – Equivalent to approximately 96 kbit/s;
- High – Equivalent to approximately 160 kbit/s;
- Very high – Equivalent to approximately 320 kbit/s;
- Automatic – Dependent on your network connection.
Comparing the same plans (excluding HiFi), both reproduce the Premium at (320 kbit/s) by the same value. If you want to invest in FLAC, it’s Deezer.
Custom Content and Recommendations: Spotify
In design, both are quite similar and there is nothing that demands a learning curve. As custom content I highlight Flow, which Deezer says is its “personalized soundtrack”. It’s the songs you like mixed with recommendations for news and others that “you had forgotten how much you liked” in a constant flow. That is, it is a mixture of the algorithm and its history.
The My Music sometimes sucks ugly but what bothers me the most is that it does not end and I like to work with finite playlists, recommend them to friends and get access to that same group of songs again in the future. The good thing is that when you do not want to think too much about what you hear, just play there and play.
In that regard, I preferred Spotify’s Discoveries of the Week. This is a playlist with songs that the algorithm thinks you’ll like based on the songs you and other users with similar tastes are listening to. That is, it is pure machine learning. The more you use, the more your playlist gets your face.
The cool thing is that the Breakthroughs of the Week are always updated on Monday, which gives me the incentive to start the week and helps me remember to save the songs I liked in a personal playlist before the next update. The fact of being discoveries also takes the pretense of being perfect and in fact shows new things.
A great control over this is that the songs you hear while in a “private session” (the one where your friends do not see what you’re listening to) will not influence the Findings of the Week recommendations. So, at the time of the party or playing some music that is not quite your taste, it does not change anything.
It’s a fact, it made a draw.
However, my criteria were the recommendations of songs, I stayed with Spotify. If you do not give up the high quality audio (lossless) it is worth checking out Deezer.
However, an important detail for family accounts: if you have a large family, Deezer allows up to six (6) people on the same plane, while Spotify only five (5).