Spotify vs Deezer

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If you’re looking for a new music streaming service, the current king of the ring is Spotify. But should you be giving some lesser-known contenders a try? There aren’t many differences between Spotify and Deezer. They’re both streaming services with similar functionality and available content, but there’s a big difference when it comes to their respective popularity and audio quality.

Spotify vs Deezer: User interface and functionality

Pictured is the Deezer app now playing screen held in hand against blue tile background

The background color of the main “Now Playing” section in Deezer changes color depending on the song you’re listening to.

As someone who values aesthetics a lot, I have to say I’m impressed by both Spotify and Deezer. Deezer has a bright user interface with lots of color, and a nice uniform font for everything. The Music page has different sections including “Your favorite artists,” “Recommended playlists,” “Music by genre,” “Popular playlists,” and “Made for you.”

Spotify’s interface is dark-themed and similarly very easy to navigate. Its “Home” page features recommended music for the current time of day, recently played music, new releases, and a “Made for You” section. When it comes to the actual music player, I think Spotify is a bit more attractive than Deezer, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Spotify also supports animated cover art, so sometimes you’ll see short videos to playing during certain songs. For example, Cornelia Street by Taylor Swift repeats a 5 second montage of pictures of her in nature.

Deezer and Spotify both have similar functionality within their interface; you can skip songs, like songs, add to queue, adjust the playback mode, and with Spotify in particular you can select which device to stream from. Some songs on Spotify have a “Behind the Lyrics” feature, which comes from Spotify’s partnership with Genius, and explains certain parts of a song based on things the artist has said about it. Deezer has a feature that lets you view the lyrics of a song as they’re being sung.

Both Deezer and Spotify allow you to dislike songs on some of their algorithmically-designed playlists, and you can specify if it’s the song you don’t like—or the artist in particular. Once you like a song on either streaming service, it gets added to a playlist. On Deezer, the “Favorites” tab keeps track of everything you’ve saved and downloaded along with any playlists you’ve made, and it keeps track of your top tracks and MP3s you’ve uploaded for local file playback (“My MP3s”). On Spotify, “Your Library” works the same way, and you can enable local files to be visible from your account settings.

Unfortunately, Deezer could use some development love, as there are a few gremlins in its app. In his quest for a new music streaming service after Google Play Music died, Chris has reported that every time he tried to make a playlist in Deezer the app would crash, and there have been plenty of similar complaints on Deezer’s forums. These issues seem to strike rather unlucky individuals, as there hasn’t been a mass exodus from the service just yet. Just be aware that you may run into issues from time to time.

Winner: Spotify

Spotify vs Deezer: Music discovery

The Deezer and Spotify interfaces side by side

Both Deezer and Spotify have charming user interfaces, making it easy to navigate new and saved music.

Spotify has the infamous “Discover Weekly” playlist which updates every Monday with new songs Spotify’s algorithm thinks you will like. In addition, it has the “Release Radar” playlist which updates weekly with newly released songs from the artists you follow, and “Daily Mix” playlists. Spotify regularly recommends additional playlists, albums, and radios based on your listening history. Besides personalized algorithmically-designed playlists, Spotify has an extensive catalog of editorial playlists categorized by mood, genre, activity, culture, and more.

The “Made for You” section of Deezer includes several different daily mixes created by the Deezer personalized algorithm. It also recommends playlists and stations based on mood, what’s currently popular, and what Deezer thinks you will like. Deezer’s main discovery feature is “Flow,” which is a never-ending playlist that can be modified in real time by blacklisting tracks and/or artists. Flow is built based on all of your music tastes—at least, the ones you’ve shared with the service, anyway. Deezer also has a weekly “Discovery” playlist, a “New Releases” playlist, and a “Chill” playlist all based on your preferences.

Both Spotify and Deezer create Radios or Mixes of related songs based on songs and artists. Spotify also creates them for playlists that you make. All in all, the discovery features of Spotify vs Deezer are very similar.

Winner: Draw

Spotify vs Deezer: Content and availability

Music

When it comes to their respective music catalogs, there aren’t too many differences between Spotify and Deezer. They both have upwards of 50 million songs and all the underground music you could wish for. Both streaming services accept submissions from unsigned artists and signed artists alike. Deezer, however, is available in many more countries across the world than Spotify.

Both streaming services allow you to upload your own files for local media playback, and both services allow you to download songs for offline listening.

Podcasts

Close-up of podcast section on Spotify app in iOS.

Spotify has a large collection of podcasts including some exclusive shows.

Spotify has more podcasts than almost any other service, but Deezer is continuing to add shows to their catalog. Deezer’s Shows tab allows you to browse podcasts by their duration, which is a cool feature that Spotify doesn’t have. On either streaming service, you can browse podcasts by topic, popularity, network, and more. Spotify and Deezer both have original podcasts and Spotify has quite a few exclusive deals with shows, such as The Michelle Obama Podcast.

Exclusive artist content

Deezer Originals include Live EPs which artists record in Deezer’s studios and are exclusively available on Deezer. Spotify Singles is pretty much the exact same thing—but for Spotify. In addition, artists can publish an “About” page on their profile, and Spotify’s artist profiles allow artists to make their personal playlists available for fans to listen to.

When it comes to how much each streaming service pays their artists, Deezer comes out on top (at least, by a per-stream revenue of a single artist reported by The Trichordist), but not by a huge amount. Of course, take this chart with a heaping helping of salt, because the payouts change all the time, and vary based on revenues for each service.

Digital Service Provider $ Per Stream
Qobuz $0.04390
Peloton $0.04036
iHeartRadio $0.01426
Amazon Unlimited $0.01175
Napster/Rhapsody $0.01110
24/7 Entertainment GmbH $0.01050
YouTube Red $0.00948
Tidal $0.00927
Deezer $0.00567
Google Play $0.00543
Apple $0.00495
KKBox $0.00435
Amazon Digital Services Inc. $0.00395
Spotify $0.00331
Loen $0.00205
Pandora $0.00155
Vevo $0.00109
Yandex LLC $0.00051
YouTube Content ID $0.00028
UMA $0.00013

Like I said, there aren’t that many differences between Spotify vs Deezer when it comes to content, but Spotify has more podcasts than Deezer and a few more artist exclusives, so it wins this round just by a tad.

Winner: Spotify

Spotify vs Deezer: Audio quality

The biggest thing that sets Deezer and Spotify apart is audio quality. Deezer has a HiFi setting, which plays lossless FLAC files at 16-bit/44.1kHz, so long as you pay for Deezer HiFi. Deezer Free’s audio quality tops out at 128kbps via MP3 files, and Deezer Premium’s is 320kbps. You can also download audio files of any of these quality settings. You can adjust your audio quality playback settings at any time and can even preset them to play or download certain quality types over WiFi vs data. This can come in useful because streaming and downloading FLAC files takes up a lot of data and storage space. Keep in mind that if you want to enjoy all the benefits of Deezer HiFi audio quality, you need a good set of studio headphones or speakers—your earbuds aren’t going to cut it.

Spotify only has lossy file options, AAC and Ogg Vorbis. Spotify Free’s audio quality tops out at 160kbps and Spotify Premium’s maximum quality is 320kbps—the same as Deezer Premium. There is no high fidelity option. You can switch between streaming quality and download quality at any time on Spotify, and you can set your downloads to only occur over WiFi.

On the upside, both Spotify and Deezer have adjustable EQ settings, so you can edit the sound signature of your playback to be however you like it.

Winner: Deezer

Spotify vs Deezer: Pricing

Both services offer a free, ad-supported tier and both offer free trials of Premium to test the waters.

To read more about the differences between the Spotify subscriptions, read our in-depth Free Spotify vs Spotify Premium article.

Subscription Price Features
Spotify Free Free – Listen to music with ad interruptions
– Shuffle music
– On-demand playback from 15 Spotify-created playlists
Spotify Premium Student $4.99/mo – Listen to music ad-free
– Download music for offline listening
– On-demand playback
– SHOWTIME and ad-supported Hulu
Spotify Premium Individual $9.99/mo – Listen to music ad-free
– Download music for offline listening
– On-demand playback
Spotify Premium Duo $12.99/mo – 2 separate Premium accounts for a couple under one roof
– Duo Mix: a playlist algorithmically created and updated for both members
– Listen to music ad-free
– Download music for offline listening
– On-demand playback
Spotify Premium Family $14.99/mo – Up to 6 Premium accounts for family members living under one roof
– Family Mix: a playlist algorithmically created and updated for all members
– Can block explicit music
– Spotify Kids: app for kids 12 and under
– Listen to music ad-free
– Download music for offline listening
– On-demand playback
Subscription Price Features
Deezer Free Free – Ad supported
– Shuffle play
– Personalized recommendations
– 128kbps MP3 audio
Deezer Student Free for 30 days then $4.99/mo – No ads
– On demand playback
– Personalized recommendations
– Unlimited access to tracks
– 320kbps MP3 audio
– Offline listening
Deezer Premium $9.99 for 3 months then $9.99/mo
OR
$99.90/year
– No ads
– On demand playback
– Personalized recommendations
– Unlimited access to tracks
– 320kbps MP3 audio
– Offline listening
Deezer Family Free for 30 days then $14.99/mo – No ads
– On demand playback
– Personalized recommendations
– Unlimited access to tracks
– 320kbps MP3 audio
– Offline listening
– Up to 6 accounts
– Content catered to kids
Deezer HiFi Free for 30 days then $14.99/mo – No ads
– On demand playback
– Personalized recommendations
– Unlimited access to tracks
– High quality audio
– Offline listening
– 16-bit/44.1kHz FLAC files
– 360 Reality Audio

Because it has an annual plan that saves you about $20 each year, and a relatively inexpensive HiFi plan, Deezer wins this round.

Winner: Deezer

Spotify vs Deezer: Social functionality

A picture of Spotify Home tab running on a Windows PC

The Friend Activity section on the right updates as your friends change the song they’re listening to.

Many people choose Spotify because of its social features. Spotify can be hooked up to Facebook to easily find your friends’ profiles from where you can view and follow their playlists and artists they’ve recently listened to. Additionally, once you follow your friends, you can view their live listening activity on the desktop Spotify app under “Friend Activity.” If you find it creepy that people can view your activity, you can disable these features.

Another fun social feature is called “Collaborative Playlists,” which is exactly what it sounds like. Anyone who creates a playlist can set it to “Collaborative,” share the link with other Spotify users, and then everyone with the link can make edits and additions to the playlist.

Deezer also allows you to follow your friends’ profiles and view and save their playlists. However, because Spotify is simply a more popular streaming service, it’s likely that you’ll be able to find more of your friends on Spotify than Deezer. Additionally, Deezer does not afford the ability to view your friends’ live listening activity. Both streaming services allow you to share songs to a number of apps, and Spotify has partnerships with Tinder and Bumble so you can display your top songs on your profile.

Winner: Spotify

Spotify vs Deezer: Additional features

Deezer and Spotify apps side by side on two smartphones

Deezer and Spotify both have special features.

Ever heard of Shazam? Deezer has a similar feature within the app for identifying the song that’s playing wherever you are. In a different vein, Spotify has the Crossfade feature for eliminating the gaps between songs. Both streaming services work with Carplay and Android Auto, but Spotify can also be integrated with Google Maps and Waze.

Listening statistics are another fun feature to keep in mind. Every December, Spotify releases statistics in the form of interactive graphics for each Spotify user to view, called Spotify Wrapped. The graphics display the song you listened to most over the year, how many total minutes you spent listening, who your top new artist was, and more. Deezer has a similar feature called the Stateeztics app, which updates consistently rather than just becoming available once a year. In this app you can view the average number of songs you listen to each day, your top track from the last 30 days, and more.

Winner: Draw

Which streaming service you crown the winner here depends on what you’re looking for in a streaming service. If HiFi audio is the most important thing to you, get Deezer HiFi. If you want the ability to easily share music with your friends, go with Spotify Premium.

Related: Amazon Music HD vs Spotify Premium

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